Today I'm writing about something personal, which is not something I normally do on my blog. I'm also holding a contest, which is another thing I haven't attempted before. But this is something I've been thinking about for a while now, and I've finally decided to give it a whirl. So here we go....!
As many people know, and many may not know, I am a single mom. Single motherhood is quite a journey. I saw this quote recently, which sums it up perfectly...
Yes, single-parenting can be trying at times, but I honestly believe I receive twice the reward. The happiness I’ve experienced is something like I’ve never known. (I won't claim that I've done this alone. I have an amazing support system of friends and family who have helped immensely on this crazy ride...you all know who you are). I would never change a thing about my situation. I know being a solo-parent has made me a stronger person, and I hope somehow it will make my daughter a stronger person too.
But if there is one thing that really bums me out, it’s that I’m rarely in photos with my daughter. As a photographer, I have ungodly amounts of photos of her. After all, she is my number one favorite subject to photograph. But the pictures of the two of us together...these are few and far between. I barely have any good photos of the two of us when she was a teeny-tiny newborn, and that breaks my heart. I can't go back and recapture those moments. I cherish the few images that I do have, even though I may not look that great or the picture might not be of the best quality.
As time went on, I realized that I needed to make more of an effort to capture pictures of us together. We've all read those mom blogs that urge you to get over yourself and get in the picture with your kids, even if you're having a bad hair day. To repeat...you cannot recapture those moments. Not only will you look back at those pictures someday and smile, your grown children will too.
So I started making more of an effort. But it's tough because on any given day, it's just me and Violet. There is no one else readily available to snap a candid picture of us. The only other living creature in our house is the dog. And while he is pretty gifted, unfortunately, he has no thumbs and cannot operate a camera. So getting in the shot can be a challenge for me. But, I've gotten much better about asking complete strangers and random passers-by to take a quick shot for us. Also, my number of mama/daughter iPhone selfies has increased exponentially. I've even started using a piece of equipment that I hate...the dreaded tripod. These pictures may not be perfect, but on second thought...yes they are.
Here is a shot from our recent vacation in Mexico (thank you to the random guy who snapped this).
And, here is iPhone selfie #643...
And I've noticed something...I might not like a picture at the time it was taken (for whatever reason…the aforementioned bad hair day, less than stellar wardrobe choice, eyebrow madness, etc.), but when I look at that same picture months later, I’m so happy that I have it. I'm so glad I got over myself and took the picture anyway. After time passes, I don’t look at that picture and pick myself apart. I just see that fleeting moment that was captured with me and my little girl. (Note...this applies to all parents, by the way. Not just us single ones. Get in the picture, people!)
The last two summers, I decided to give myself a birthday gift. I hired a photographer to shoot a mommy/daughter photo session for Violet and me. This will definitely become a yearly tradition for us. Not only am I thrilled to have these beautiful images of the two of us, but as the person who is usually behind the camera, it was such a treat to have someone else take the pictures. Violet and I could just play and have fun while someone else documented the whole thing. These pictures decorate the walls in my home, and they are something I can share with Violet when she is older. It's been my favorite birthday gift to date.
So I had this idea. What if I gave another single mom the gift of a photography session? What if I could capture some of those fleeting moments for a parent who hasn't had the time, energy, or budget to even consider doing something like this? Once this thought entered my head, I could not stop thinking about it.
So I'm doing it, and here's how it's gonna work...
- Nominate yourself or someone you know.
- Write a couple paragraphs about why this single mom is all kinds of awesome, and why she should be chosen to win a photography session.
- I will review all entries and choose one lucky winner. Winner will be revealed on Mother’s Day 2014!
- Winner receives a 2 hour photography session for her and her kiddos (Small print: date/time/location TBD, to be mutually agreed upon and within reasonable driving distance from Rochester area).
- Winner will receive final, hi-resolution images via instant download (includes print release and printing tips).
- I’ll even throw in a complimentary make-up session for the mom to get dolled up before our session (at a local salon)!
- Submit your entry by emailing me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Deadline to submit your entry is April 30, 2014.
- Lastly, I realize there are some awesome single dads out there too. I decided I shouldn't discriminate, so I'm making this contest dude-friendly. If you know an amazing single dad who deserves recognition, please nominate him. He can opt out of the complimentary make-up session. :) The winner will still be announced on Mother's Day because I won't be able to wait until June/Father's Day.
Please like this post and share, share, share! Start typing and get those entries in. I’m so excited to share this gift with a fellow single-parent!!
I will end with a recent favorite of me and my girl. I guess I am warming up to using the tripod. :)