I have a funny habit of photographing my kids’ dirty, muddy shoes.
We have three boys. They spend a lot of time running, jumping, digging, and playing in the dirt. Their open air laughter and wild yelling is the soundtrack to my life right now. Photographing their dirty, muddy shoes captures three really important pieces of context for me.
1. The mess.
Each splash of mud, each scuff, each little imperfection was put there by my very own kids while doing the very important business of having a childhood.
2. The style that is popular right now.
Have you ever looked at photos from when you were a kid and laughed at the trends? Your kids will too!
3. The perfect imperfection of life as you are growing up.
My kids are learning and changing, not posing and primping. I want to capture that because I love it! I appreciate the whole process of growing up. Capturing a still of this is, to me, priceless. These are the stories I want to be able to share with them over and over.
For example, let me tell you about the photo in this post. This particular photo tells a big story. See those shoes? They belong to my youngest boy. They are his first real shoes meant for running around in. And at thirteen months old HE picked them himself.
“The ones with the orange soles, DaDa!”
(Well, it was more lunging and pointing, but you know what I mean.)
THAT was what HE wanted.
He’s just recently really not a baby anymore. He’s in to everything. He has a BIG personality and is fiercely determined when he wants something. He loves to learn about the world in any way he can. See that acorn in his hand? Yeah, he’s about to try to put that in his mouth like he does one hundred times a day. I, of course, will stop him for the hundredth time right after I snap the photo that describes all of this magic. 🙂
When he becomes the man who he will become someday, I will show him this photo and tell him these stories. I imagine we will giggle about how much has changed and how much hasn’t.
The smiles, the professional shots, the perfect backgrounds, the super hot mama selfies….Hey, take those too! (That’s what you want to post on social media, right?) But don’t be afraid to capture the messy, the real. The things that help give personal, meaningful context. Not to post, but just for you.
These are your family stories. Hold them close and tell them to the people who matter most.