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
When I found out my family and I had been selected for the photo shoot, I panicked. “I need to hire someone to clean my house. Get cute new clothes for the girls. Not too cute, it can’t look staged. What meal can I be cooking? What songs can be ‘randomly’ playing that we will all dance too?” And a million other things that needed to be fixed before someone could come show the whole world how we are. Then I realized, that’s not who we are. We are a crazy, spontaneous, busy family of 5. I emailed TahJah a little intro of us and told her there will be clean laundry on the couch, toys on the floor, and dishes (probably from 2 nights ago) in the sink. But we will be laughing, dancing, and loving being together, because that is who we are! And with that, I threw caution to the wind and let a stranger into our house to photograph our “normal”.
The morning of the shoot, I was exhausted from a long night with our 7 month old. I walked around saying, “I need to get dressed. I need to brush my hair. I need to put on makeup.” But never had the energy to do any of it. No one in my house are early risers so when the shoot was scheduled for 9am, I worried how my kids would be. About 30 minutes before TahJah arrived, our power went out. I felt it was God saying, “Relax and just be you.” So with that we were. We were all in our pajamas, minus my husband who had just gotten home from work. My kids’ hair hadn’t been brushed. And our normal routine was thrown out the window!
When TahJah arrived, I explained how I wasn’t sure what to show her since this wasn’t our typical mornings because the power was out. She reassured me to just do what I would do if she weren’t there. Since it was the first day in several that it hadn’t rained, we just went outside and enjoyed the sunshine! Breakfast was on the fly and whatever we could make without electricity. She never made me feel uncomfortable or judged. She was warm and welcoming and made me feel like our family wasn’t crazy! She even complimented us on how easily we adapted.
When the pictures arrived, I was still a little bit hesitant. This was it. This was the moment I would see my weakness and failures as a mom, wife, and housekeeper. But what I saw was smiles on my kids face because we were all together. I saw love and joy. Laughter and bliss. I saw my family for exactly who we are. Loving and carefree. You still see our shed half painted (because who doesn’t need a half painted shed!) and our grass needs to be cut. But all of those imperfections make up who we are! I am so thankful for this opportunity. I have the posed pictures of us on the beach and in front of trees. Where our hair is perfect and everyone (hopefully) is smiling. Those are great and I love them. But this is what my kids will remember. The day-to-day life. Now I have photographs to show just how perfectly, imperfect my family is. And for that I am grateful!
Hear what TahJah had to say about Lisa’s shoot and see more photos over here on her blog. (See week 1 with Mandy’s family here.)
Hiya, my name is TahJah Harmony and I am the whimsical creative behind Quaint+Whim. Where I specialize in fine art lifestyle photography. I have a huge heart to document family portraits and motherhood. I believe that every family has a unique story, and the best way to capture that story is through photographs. I have a strong passion to keep my photos authentic to your everyday so when you look back on your photographs you can remember 10 years from now like it was yesterday. Motherhood is something that means a lot to me even though I am not a mother, I was very fortunate to be an adult and watch my mom raise my baby brother (We are 19 years apart in age!). It gave me a whole new perspective on how to look at motherhood. Not from the eyes of being a mother, but from the eyes of being a daughter. I am so thankful for that gift.