So... the check had been mailed. The date had been set.
And then the panic. OH THE PANIC had set in. I had twenty days to lose weight, grow my hair out, hide the grey hairs that sprouted since I hung up the phone with our newly hired photographer and magically find something to wear that would complement the scenery, make me look like a Size 4 and not cost an arm and a leg. Oh, right. The rest of my family... they needed to wear some clothes too.
I felt worry.
I started running again (for two days). I pretended to eat better. I practiced sucking in my gut.
I felt concern.
Would the kids cooperate? I have one kid who is my personal guinea pig. The other kid scowls every time I even SAY the word "camera". I started praying to the Goddess of Happy Children that they would behave and at least fake a smile for these pictures.
I felt more worry.
My hair. I hope it's not too humid so that my curly hair cooperates and doesn't transform into its usual mess of craziness and frizz. Oh and that gray...
Panic. What. The. Heck. Will. I. WEAR????
Panic. Can I lose 20 pounds in 20 days?
And then.... Surrender.
I do not need to nor am I able to panic over all these things (much). I needed to give in and let go.
When I lose weight, we can have family pictures taken again.
Unless Joe pulls out his macro lens, the odds of anyone noticing a few grey hairs are slim to none.
And as far as what to wear, well, as hard as that is, it is easy. I just had to stop overthinking it and pretending that suddenly we would be sporting formal hunting attire like the preppy families in Ralph Lauren ads.
Who are we? THAT is what we should wear. Heck, that's what I tell my own clients! Are we dressy people? No. Am I often out on the town wearing a dress and heels? No! Do I wear a lot of makeup? No. So why would I change for a photograph? This portrait will not be hung in the White House so I can just RELAX.
Once I broke through that concept - dress for you - it made things much easier. And once again, I reminded myself to follow the very advice I give to my own clients. Wear what you like, what makes you comfortable, what makes you happy.
So I checked out my What to Wear Board on Pinterest and the ideas started flowing...
The Big Day
The day of our session I was still a little worried about what to wear, but the truth is, I was halfway across the country from my closet, so all the worry in the world wouldn't change what I had brought with me to Colorado.
As for the weight, the hair and the kids?
I had hired a professional photographer. If he did his job, there would be nothing to worry about. As a family photographer, I have studied posing, grouping and camera angles to best flatter my subjects. Even the reluctant ones. So surely Joe, who was a talented and gifted photographer, would know what to do.
And the kids? Again, as a mom and a photographer, I knew this to be true: the moment I handed the authority over to Joe, my two beautiful children would shine. They would behave as though the Queen of England were visiting. But if I (mom) got too close? Game over. This happens time after time at my clients' sessions. Moms tell me their kids won't behave. I take charge. They are golden. Mom comes back into the picture, the end. I just had to convince my husband of this. He had taken on ALL THE WORRY about the kids.
And... I was right. Everything went flawlessly. We met in a beautiful little corner of Estes Park just before sunset. The children were excited (huh?). I could (sort of) relax. Pat was still a nervous wreck but he, too, chilled out eventually. Joe was fantastic.
And then it was over.
Later that night, in my email box (which I wasn't checking on vacation, cough cough) was the most beautiful Sneak Peek ever. Confirmation that all my worries were for naught.
Photo credit: 2015 Joe Pyle Photography
The moral of the story: Don't worry so much. Be yourself. When your kids are with other grownups, they behave like the angels. If you hire a professional, you can relax. They know what they're doing. After all, that IS why you hire a professional.
Come back next time... I have lots more photos to share! (Squeal!!)