I have started a tradition with my nieces that every year around the holidays, I schedule a photo session complete with silliness, cute outfits, and memories that I hope they talk about long after I am gone. Its my Christmas gift to my family and I am not sure if they truly appreciate it as much as I cherish it, but to me, pictures are worth more than a thousand words on any given day! This year was the best ones we have had so far and I am already spending way too much time contemplating next year’s session and how on earth I could possibly top 2013.
That’s the feel good stuff. The sap. Then there is my insertion into the pics. Not that I need to defend my presence in the pictures, because I don’t owe anybody that. I do however want to share how it came to be for me and give you something to think about for your own self 🙂
After escaping a horribly abusive relationship in the summer of 2012, I wasn’t sure that I would ever recover. Not only did it shake me to my core, and a place where I didn’t even recognize myself…….but it also destroyed what little self esteem I had worked so hard to find and live with. I couldn’t stand to look at myself for a myriad of reasons that I will spare you of here. What I do know is that once I started finally coming out of the dark so to speak, I honestly saw physical transformation as well as emotional transformation. I was becoming someone I didn’t know, but thankfully someone better.
When you have been through something like that (or for me anyway) and you finally start to see light and peace, you want to do WHATEVER you can to hold on to it. To document it, to capture it so that you never lose it again! So, I did a photo session of me. Often, things like that are thought of as vain. But, when you evolve enough in life, you evolve to a place where a stigma such as that matters very little to you. Actually, it doesn’t matter at all. Because nobody knows you or what you went through and as I have said from the beginning, if you don’t love yourself, you are no good to anyone else.
Every year since (ok, so it’s only been 1 year), there seems to be something happening in my life that has caused major change. And every single time, without fail, I see transformation. Even when I think there isn’t room for it. The simple recognizing of that in itself is amazing. So, I decided to keep documenting.
I hop into the niece’s session because I want them to see that I was present. Our family has a unique closeness, but at the same time, we aren’t too good at loving each other completely out loud. I want them to see that differently and to change with me. I also throw in a few shots of myself to remind me of my own journey and where I was at that time.
My point in justifying my fabulous new pics that truly captured me 🙂 is to tell you that it’s ok. It’s ok to be present. It’s ok to take a gazillion pictures and to document your life. After all, some day when you’re gone it’s all that people will have of you. It is not ok, however, to get the pictures back and destroy yourself in critiquing them. Don’t do it. I know you’re going to, I did too. Then I made myself stop and remember why I do it, where I was, and where I am. And that picture is worth more than a thousand words 🙂
Love yourself. Document yourself. Tell your own story so that you know it’s told right!