Where are you standing?
This past weekend I went to Southern California.
My dear friend Ann had texted me about wishing I could do their photos in San Diego like I had done practically every year since 2011.
I joked, “Fly me out.”
She replied, “Sure!”
With a post to facebook, I booked another San Diego photo shoot.
A bride from 8 years ago, now pregnant with her second child also booked a maternity/family session with me.
My sister volunteered to have me fly in to her in Irvine and she’d drive me down to San Diego.
I booked a ticket for my oldest to come with. Trip was officially on!!
I got to photograph my sister’s family as well as watch her kids overnight so she and her husband could celebrate their 17th anniversary. <3
On the plane I brought out my new travel water colors with travel paintbrush and had so much fun!
As I thought about what I wanted to share with you, 2 photos from one of my sessions stuck out in my mind.
It was early morning. We had driven 30 minutes to the beach, with 7 kids including 2 sets of twins.
The kids were doing remarkably well.
The water was much higher than we expected– coming all the way up the the hill’s edges in most places.
And there was the body of a dead seal… fun times.
It was tricky from a photography sense because the beach was in the shade and the water was in the sun.
Cameras aren’t like your eyes– they can’t see both at once like your eyes can.
But I navigated the challenges fairly well. After shooting for a bit we put the kids out on the water’s edge facing the sun.
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It was fine when they were facing away from us, but turning them around was hard with the harsh sun in their eyes.
For the final family shot I decided to turn them so they wouldn’t be looking into the camera. I took a quick test shot of mom to check framing and lighting.
The hard thing about shooting in this exact spot is that you have 2 competing things that are incompatible.
You have the bright rising sun, and you have the shadow.
If you expose for the sun, the rest of her body will be almost black. If you expose for the shadow, half her face will glow pure white.
Sure, I could turn her head to the sun, expose for her face and let the shadows be harsh. But that wouldn’t work for a fun family shot with 9 heads.
I knew that I needed to change where I stood.
I’d shot this kind of thing before. Hundreds of times.
Not on this shore, not with these 9 people.
But I’ve navigated this challenge before in other shoots.
I only moved where I stood by about 10-15 feet.
But I knew where to stand to change the outcome.
By changing my perspective and approach, the image changed to this.
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I’m back home safe and sound. I was worried I wouldn’t make it with the winter storms. Bring back the sun and warm weather!! Loved all my sessions in Southern California 😍 I could shoot there every day. This family has 2 sets of twins 👯 👯 #beachphotoshoot #fifephotographyfamilies #fifephotography #twins
How often in life–in our struggles with our kids or our spouses, or anything else that is truly important — do we miss the chance of an exquisite alternate point of view?
I used to point fingers in directions as to blame my anxiety.
It’s so easy to get discouraged and think… I don’t have enough money. My husband doesn’t understand me enough. I’ll never have well-behaved children. I am a failure.
But guess what? I’m changing where I stand.
I’ve been working on changing the story in my head.
And it’s changed my family. My marriage. My motherhood.
I used to think I was a bad mom.
That was a lie.
I am a good mom, who loves her children. I am a devoted wife.
I have plenty of weakenesses.
But I don’t have to be perfect to love.
I don’t have to be perfect to grow.
Do you essentially feel stuck in the first picture but you want to be in the second?
Want change? Here’s what I suggest:
Take some deep breaths.
Ask your intuition, the universe, God, whatever you gravitate toward.
Ask “where should I step?”
You may have something come to mind, some small change. Or big.
If you get nothing, keep asking over time.
It may be you need to practice being still first.
You WILL be led.
As you let intuition/universe/god/goodness guide you, you WILL see a difference.
For me in the photo it was 10-15 feet and a camera adjustment.
For me in real life it’s about changing the story in my head.
Changing the negative self-talk.
Changing to love and accept myself.
Where are you standing? What will be your change?
I’d love to hear your desired or achieved changes. Comment below, or share with someone you think could hear this message.
Love you all!!