There are moments that are our everyday. They become so ordinary to us, such a part of our lives that we don’t even think about it. It’s those little moments of cuddles, getting ready for the day, and family dinners that seem like they don’t need to be documented because they are your normal. Those simple moments that you wish you could get a picture of, because you realize that those little moments don’t last forever. –TahJah Harmony, photographer
As a photographer, I am usually on the other side of the lens. Even candid shots with my family don’t include me. I am always the one taking the picture. I don’t mind this role in my family, but I want my children to look back at photos and see mom having fun with them. When the opportunity came up for a lifestyle photo shoot, I jumped at the chance. These are images that never would have been seen otherwise, but it’s what we do everyday. Moms, I urge you to get in front of the camera. Yes, your hair is just fine. It doesn’t matter if you have makeup on. Don’t worry about what you are wearing. Just get into the picture!
Although I sound pretty confident about getting in front of the lens, I had a mini panic attack when our family was chosen. It has to look natural, just like a typical day. Well, that’s a problem…we don’t have typical days! It took everything I had not to dress the children just perfectly for photo day. But I took a deep breath and decided to let them dress themselves, just like they do every other day. This is not about the perfect family portrait; this is about our real life. Then more worries rolled in. The house is a mess! Should I hire a maid or clean like a mad woman? No, Christie. Calm down. Do what you would normally do? Neither.
The morning TahJah arrived happened to be so hectic, I didn’t even have time to worry about the details I was stressing over anticipating her arrival. As soon as she drove up our driveway, the kids ran outside with excitement to meet her. My oldest son began giving her orders. (Because he thinks he’s in charge.) The girls ran around and giggled, then hid. TahJah was a calm breath of fresh air. She helped me and the kids relax. Even my shy 5-year old who hid in her room at first warmed up to her. She even showed TahJah where she lost her first tooth the previous day.
TahJah spent part of the morning, lunchtime, and a little of the afternoon with us. We raise rabbits and chickens, so a lot of our diet includes eggs. I made scrambled egg sandwiches with chocolate milk. We make these for breakfast, lunch or supper. They are delicious and the kids love them! If you haven’t tried it, it’s a quick meal that makes everyone happy, especially with tasty, fresh yard eggs.
After lunch, we went to collect the eggs the hens laid that morning. This is where my oldest daughter really comes out of her shell. She loves holding our baby chicks and playing with our baby bunnies. We call her the “chicken whisperer”. Our hens will walk right up to her and let her pick them up.
My daughters both frequently pick wildflowers for mommy, but they are still learning to pick them lower on the stem so I can actually put them in a vase. I cherish each weed they bring into the kitchen for me. That is the only gift they have to give and it means more to me than any wrapped present.
Then, we finished up our schoolwork for the day. Our homeschooling is done at the kitchen table. It’s not glamorous, but I cherish this time with my children. Many days are monotonous and quite frankly, boring. But when you see your child read for the first time and you know that YOU taught them that…well, it’s similar to watching them take their first steps.
I waited impatiently for the images to be uploaded. Now I know how my clients feel. I worried the pictures would not look natural enough, or I probably look fat, I hope she got enough shots of Audrey… When the images arrived, I was pleasantly surprised. TahJah seemed to capture a typical day of our family, even though I thought there was no such thing.