This one is for all my fellow moms who work from home. If you just want to see pictures of some great people, go ahead and scroll down. If you want to see a glimpse of my heart and journey with photography through lots of awkward writing and run-on sentences, read on my friend.
I met Claudia last week (when I showed up at her front door with my camera). I had a great time with her and her sweet sons, but the conversation she and I shared was what really nourished my soul. Honest questions and feelings about how hard it is to find that ever-elusive balance between motherhood and entrepreneurship. It's crazy for me to realize that I'm coming down the home stretch on what I believe (read hope and pray) will be the trickiest part of this journey, since our oldest starts kindergarten next year and I won't have two kids at home full-time. Having done this for five years hasn't made it any easier for me, and I have finally come to believe that whatever perfect balance I thought existed isn't reality for me. And that's OK. It's a journey that has challenged me immensely, forced me to find strength I didn't realize I had, made me face fears head on and slowly let go of the perfectionism that has driven me for as long as I can remember. It's been extremely hard but extremely rewarding too.
I'm moving into a different season with my family life and my business life, cutting back significantly on how much work I take on and shifting gears to focus on documentary sessions like this one. As I make this change, I find myself reflecting on the past few years. As hard as they have been, I want to remember them. They were years spent split between sitting at my computer and playing with my kids. As much as I tried to keep work and home life separate, that line was blurred on a daily basis. I have countless memories of editing with a baby on my lap or playing beside me on the floor, sitting at the table with my kids and emailing while they ate lunch, or working on album designs late at night while my husband and I binge-watched something on Netflix. Those lines blurred but we all survived it. I was able to work with lots of amazing clients and my husband and kids know that I love them fiercely, and to me that's a success.
As I have reflected on this season, I am aware of a deep desire to tell these stories for other moms. To celebrate the chaos and the beauty of juggling a career from home and raising young kids. To give them visual evidence of the superstars they are, when the years go by and these days turn into a blur.
This session with Claudia allowed me to do that and it was so sweet. Claudia and her husband have a real estate and design business - The Chris & Claude Co. - you're going to want to go to their website and drool over their work. I felt like I walked into a magazine when I showed up at their house. With two small boys, her days consist of a lot of hands-on time with them, reading books, snuggling, playing. But she also has design work to do, and when everything works out just right, she gets to sit and sketch out room designs while her infant lays contently on the floor and her toddler colors beside her. It means her sons get to look at paint swatches with her, her meeting notes might have crayon scribbles on them, and sometimes she has a kid (or two) on her lap and a sketch book beside her. She's in the midst of that lovely chaos I remember well, and it is really beautiful to me.
The day I was there, her oldest son had woken up much earlier than usual so it wasn't a morning when Claudia was able to do a lot of work, and that was just fine. I was able to document a cozy morning at home with Canon and Creed taking center stage and Claudia's design and sketch books making appearances here and there. To me that's the beauty of these sessions, it truly is all about celebrating real life, whatever that looks like in the moment. And I promise, those moments are worth remembering.