I recently had a friend who does photography ask if I knew any mother with two daughters that would be interested in modeling for a stylized Mother’s Day creative photo session (contemporary portraits). I don’t think at the time I even thought about what contemporary portraits looked like. I just thought how much fun the experience would be for my girls.
So I was quick to respond back: I am a mother of two teenage daughters.
This would be fun! I would make a day of it with the girls. My friend had told me her vision of colors were black, white and gray. As usual when I have something I think will be fun for the girls and just fun, I will make sure I have everything we need. If not, I am going out to get it.
I did just that. I went out and bought all three of us new shirts with all three different colors and different styles. The girls were excited when I told them what we were going to do. I could tell from the look on their faces that they thought it was so cool and going to be fun.
I had planned that we would get up early that morning. I would set out all their clothes, and I would do their makeup and hair and we would be making good memories. I couldn’t wait. Up until the day before the girls were asking me questions being excited about it
But then the morning of our photo shoot came, and I noticed a change in all of us!
It went from excitement to stress. We were all picking apart the clothes we had and how they fit and looked on us! And then to hair – This piece won’t curl right…I can’t get my mascara to look right…
I was sitting back watching and listening to my girls tear themselves apart all because they were out of their comfort zone. They had never had this experience in life before. I didn’t even consider this would occur.
I feel that way all the time (uncomfortable) and work on it and learn how to embrace it.
But to sit back and watch that unfold with my girls, I thought they are just to young to be feeling this way. Immediately, I wanted to protect them and take those feelings away. It was very difficult for me. I thought, “How do I teach them to turn that fear into courage?” The answer to that question comes at the end.
My friend came and set up, and I am thinking, “Here we go!”
When she was doing individual shots, I just sat back and watched my daughters’ faces and could see the difference between what felt comfortable to them and what was making them uncomfortable. I found myself again wanting to protect them from feeling that way and thinking, “What have I done???They are not enjoying this and this is not how it was suppose to be.”
Just when I thought it couldn’t get worse. My friend then showed us some of our pictures, and of course there were none that we liked! We spent so much time picking ourselves apart again!
My dear friend pointed out to us that it is because this is not how we are used to seeing ourselves.
When you take photos you see yourself laughing, and if you don’t like it, you delete it and keep taking pictures until you find the one that is good for you. We were trying to do that with her vision and creativity.
That was the defining moment for me….we were all out of our comfort zones feeling vulnerable and not realizing the great opportunity we were experiencing. I realized we are missing out on this experience, so I looked at my friend, and I said, “I trust you.” I let go of the control and the fear and let it just be.
My girls looked at me and took my lead. That entire afternoon I couldn’t stop thinking about how vulnerable I felt, but at the same time how good it felt to let it be… I also realized in those feelings I showed my girls how to let that fear go.
You let it go and don’t look back you just keep stretching!