For Jen Burgess…

I don’t know what’s gotten into me. I know exactly what has gotten into me. When God puts something on my heart…I have to let it out. If I hold it in, I become an emotional wreck! I have to let THIS out.

When I have photo shoots with parents I have to literally convince them to get in pictures with their kids. In no way is this an attack. I completely understand not having the confidence to step in front of a camera…especially a camera that you are not controlling. We know our best angles, best lighting for us, and so many ways to mask our insecurities. When you allow someone else to control all of that it can be daunting, I get it ladies and gents!

I got into photography because I wanted to document my life and family, my god kids’ lives, and someday my own children’s lives. I was interested in lifestyle photography because I wanted to genuinely capture moments in time for people. I wanted parents to have a way to look back and see exactly who their child was at a particular time. To be honest, I have not reached a point where I am comfortable calling myself a lifestyle photographer. People just aren’t comfortable with inviting someone over, letting go of their reservations, and allowing me to catch them as they are. I’ve spent countless hours behind my computer looking at other lifestyle photographer’s work and just crying. The images they capture when people are just themselves are quite amazing and raw. It’s almost understandable if you’re never in pictures because you are the one taking them and you haven’t mastered your timer, but there is no excuse if you have someone else taking these pictures. Yes, your baby is the cutest thing ever and you want me to focus on that, but you as a new mom or dad with that baby is just as precious.

Well, this morning I happened to stumble across Jen Burgess story. See the video of her story here, read her story here, and see just how her story has made a difference here. If you never follow another link from me…PLEASE follow up on this. In short, Jen Burgess was a BEAUTIFUL photographer with 2 boys. She took the most amazing pictures of other people, but for some reason or another she didn’t have many photos of her with her kids…until she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer…at the young age of 36. She decided to share her battle and try to encourage photographers and parents around the world to GET IN PICTURES with their kids and make the most of every single day. Those are the pictures they will cherish forever. Forget about how your hair looks or the fact that you haven’t hit your weight goal. Time is so precious, and you just never know when your time is up. Last week Jen lost her battle with cancer, :'( but so many women are now making conscious decisions to get in pictures so their children will have something tangible to remember them by when they are gone. I have never lost a parent, but I know of so many people that have, and their pictures WITH their parent is their most prized possession. Don’t just get in a picture here and there…continue to get in pictures with them. Beyond pictures…make the most of the time you have with your loved ones. I know it’s cliche and we hear it so often but you really never know when it’ll be time for you to leave.

I ALWAYS ALWAYS try to encourage moms to get in pictures, and I wanted to put it out there why I am so passionate about that. I didn’t know Jen’s story, but now I will share it with clients and push harder for those reluctant moms. I have a few shoots coming up so I hope that if you’re on the schedule or you plan to be on the schedule in the future that you see this and you start preparing yourself, but this is SO much deeper than a plug for my business. If you take several pictures with your baby using your iPhone. Get those Instagram pictures printed, get your memory card backed up, and get your rolls of film developed. It is not enough to take pictures just for the sake of social networks because they come and go.

I have spent the morning looking at Jen’s IG pics, the influence she has had on the photography community, and just crying . Normally when I see someone’s battle with cancer and am moved to tears, I feel so down and out for them. This time, it was a different feeling. Jen might be THE most courageous woman. She took her battle and changed the lives of soooo many people. I believe in practicing what I preach so I am going to make more of an effort to stop wasting time on trivial things and get a little better with getting in pictures in-spite of feeling incredibly insecure after gaining a little weight.

Thank you, Jen.

Leaving you all with a few shots with mothers and their kids. They happen to be some of my favs! 😉

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