Oh you guys, I just wrote a million-word post on hair. HAIR. And what does it say about me that I can post million-word posts on anxiety and personality tests and churchy stuff, but cannot bring myself to publish the post that uses the word "inspired" about hair?
So I'm going to tell you about my photography consult instead, and maybe I will meander around to the word "inspired" because really, these were similar experiences. In my head. JUST GO WITH IT.
Last week? Two weeks ago? (WHO KNOWS? I am losing track of EVERYTHING.) I went for my photography consult (consult!) with the absolutely adorable Lindsay Kennedy. And I am not just calling her adorable because she is taking pictures of my family for free. Lindsay's short haircut? Pretty darn perfect if you ask me. (Go check out her website. She's in there somewhere, amongst all the other pretty people. Do you think she'll make me look pretty too?!)
Lindsay lives in this pretty fabulous downtown apartment, like, DOWNTOWN downtown, and here I am, dragging my baby into this fabulous apartment lobby and it's super hot and I'm super sweaty and Emma's kind of had it with me and WHATEVER. PICTURES. DOING IT.
We have done kid portraits at good ole JC Penney (I actually like those, so hush) and one time Phillip's dad got us a Groupon for Yuen Lui (is that just a local place?) and another time I bought a Groupon for a local photographer who took pictures of my kids in a park. That's about it for pictures. I've been pretty bad about portraits for Emma and, as you know, there's next to nothing of Phillip and me. No engagement pictures, hate our wedding pictures, one or two family studio portraits, that's it. Sad sad sad.
Except, I kind of hate having my picture taken. I'm just extremely aware of my un-photogenic-ness, like, NEGATIVE amounts of photogenic, and why bother? Also, in my head I look like a Disney princess and when I see my actual likeness in a picture I'm rudely awakened. I hate being rudely awakened.
But I should get over this, yes? And am I going to say no to an absolutely adorable local photographer offering to take pictures of my family? AWESOME pictures? (Have you looked at her website? My favorites are the mom and daughter at the library. SO SWEET.)
AAAAANYWAY, all this to say, I felt silly having a consult about pictures. The same way I feel silly writing about my hair. What difference will it make? So poor Lindsay is asking me all these questions: what does your family like to do together? What makes your family special? What kind of memory do you want to preserve? When you look at your pictures on the wall how do you want to feel? And I'm all, "Uhhhh, we like to... eat?"
But for Lindsay, clearly, expression through photography is REAL. A THING. It's beautiful and forever and it says something about you and your life and your world. And you know what? It was inspiring. The prints hanging in her living room, the crazy amount of care and time and precision in the materials I took home, the exquisite photo albums she creates... I just, it was super inspiring getting to participate in someone else's art. Someone else's GIFT. Really. That's what I felt like when I left. Well, that and some mortification over the fact that EJ dropped bits of cookie all over this nice lady's child-free apartment. GAH.
I left feeling like, "Okay! Maybe I won't feel like a total dork! Maybe I'll just hang out with the kids and this adorable little person will flit around in the background taking pictures of us and I just won't even notice!" And then, when it's over, I'll have something really beautiful for my home. Because that's what Lindsay was really concentrating on during the consult - not just the pictures, but the creation of something meaningful to hang in your space.
(And you guys know I have a lot of wall space.)
We're just going to do it at our house. We could go anywhere, but I chose our house with the brown carpet with the hole and the 1980s kitchen cabinets and the baskets of toys in every corner. Going somewhere else felt like acting. One of her questions was something like "what's the most important thing about your photos?" and "magazine quality" was one of the potential answers. And yeah, I would certainly not complain if Lindsay's magic produced magazine quality images, but mostly I wanted our pictures to be real. Playing with the kids. Making cookies. Shooting down the new slide. Watering the plants. Cutting and pasting and coloring. (All right, let's be honest: watching television.)
I don't know. I've been spending inordinate amounts of time thinking about how things LOOK lately. The kitchen, Emma's room, fitting into my clothes, whether or not I'm growing out my hair, getting a nose ring. I think Phillip wonders what is up with me. Is this my midlife crisis? What is this talk about dying my hair BLOND? Am I for SERIOUS?
But... I am. I think. Maybe it is a "gee, I'm getting older, let's switch things up!" or "let's do the things I didn't do when I was 20!" Maybe it is just boredom. But I think there could also be a piece of missing inspiration in there too. I want to be inspired by my space, I want to make art, and when I look the way I feel it's right somehow. I don't know if that makes sense. I was going to grow out my hair, but you know, I feel more like me when it's short. I don't know what that means either, but it's the reason I went to get it cut this weekend. And after a loooong conversation about going blond with my stylist and she said, "I think you'll be INSPIRED by it" I totally knew what she meant. I want to be me. I want to be inspired. I think I can do both of those things without feeling like a dork. MAYBE.