I've been thinking about something lately that kind of melds parenting and photography together.
It started with thinking about how differently I've approached the "little" years of kid #3 versus kid #1. With kid #1, I was always amazed at how BIG he was. All the new things he was constantly learning to do. I would take his photo and think, "How did you get so BIG?"
Then of course when I look back at those photos, I think how LITTLE he was. But I didn't know it then. He was only always the biggest he'd ever been.
When kid #3 came along, I knew a couple things:
I knew he was the final baby
And I knew that at least for a while he would be little even while he was getting bigger.
I feel like I've been able to see him better in his "little-ness" (is that a word?). Some of that is because he has two bigger brothers that make him seem little in comparison. But a lot of it is perspective.
I take photos of him because I KNOW he's little. And while, just like his brothers, he's the biggest he's ever been, I am choosing to see him as little. It's the last go-around for this for me, and he won't be THIS little for long. That isn't to say that I don't teach him new "big kid" things all the time, or celebrate his growing up. I just want to SEE him being little, instead of just looking back and realizing he was.
How many Facebook memories do you see re-shared with the caption "Where did our babies go?" They're right here. Even if they're 11 or 14, they're still smaller than they will be years from now. It's just hard to see it. Like what if I could go back for a day and have a 3-year-old version of kid #1? I'd think how little and adorable he was because now he's a big 11-year-old. So I'm trying to see it while it's happening in front of me. (Some days are easier to do this with than others, depending on tantrum levels, homework battles, and attitude choices.)
So I take photos of my little little kid, my medium little kid, and my big little kid. I do it to capture and remember how little they were. But I also do it to see it right now--because they're so big and so little.
Some photos of my littlest little kid. ;)
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