Someone recently told me you have to treat conversation like you are giving a tour of your house. You spend some time out on the "porch" with polite greetings and the how are yous. Then you move into the "kitchen" to chat about common interests (ya know, sports and stuff). Then the "living room" where you can start sharing more personal narratives....
This is about the point where I cut in and said, so when do we get to the basement stuff?
For me, we might as well skip the formalities because I already answered the question "how are you?" with way too many personal details.
As a photographer, this willingness to dive into conversation that cultivates deeper connection, serves me well. Over and over, I am reminded that much of this job is about being a good listener. So I am constantly trying to politely nudge an invite to hear people's stories.
With Lauren I skipped the sudtleties. My email went something like this; I want to take photos that honor you and your experience of becoming a mother. What parts have been the hardest? What parts have made it all worth it? What do you want your child to see in you? What do you never want to forget?
I am beyond thankful she accepted the invitation to be fully seen and heard. Her willingness to share so openly created the space to make images that speak wholeheartedly to her truth. Skipping all formalities, we were diving straight into the real, and hard, beautiful and painful parts of loving yourself through transitions, as if we had known each other for years.
To take these honest images for her and Estelle was an honor.
Thank you, for this reminder of what love looks like.