So, here’s the thing that I’ve kind of always known way deep down and I’m quickly finding out through experience: being a lifestyle/documentary photographer is about grace. It takes a ton of grace to immerse yourself in a family, especially one that isn’t your own, and become so ingrained that your subjects forget you are there. Even with your own family, because Photographer’s Kid Syndrome is real, y’all. It takes an awful lot of grace to kiss perfection goodbye, both behind the lens and in front of it. It doesn’t take much grace to allow your house to be messy and your floors to be sticky and let your kids have dirty faces. That’s just life around here, but it does take an awful lot to allow yourself to be vulnerable, and not only photograph those moments, but then share those photographs with the world, because you know that your imperfection is beautiful. And lastly, when you’re supposed to be doing a 365 Project, which means picking up your camera every single day and just shooting, even if you don’t know what you’re shooting at, you have to give yourself some grace. You won’t always pick up your camera every single day. Some days you’ll be moving, some days you’ll be cleaning, someday you’ll be running errands until you want to drive straight home and slash your own tires so you can’t leave again. And that’s okay. Because some days, not picking up your camera means being entirely present in your child’s life that day.
That being said, this was supposed to be closer to Week 3/52. I’ve accepted that my 365 Project may be closer to a 425-ish Project. I’ve accepted that weekends are my friend, but the enemy of my 365 Project. I’m working on that. I think there are so many special moments to be captured when I don’t have deadlines and Daddy isn’t at work and the possibilities are endless. More on that later.
Here’s the story of our week:
Day 8: Basically, moving sucks. Moving and then having surgery 3 days later also sucks. Ezra is a trooper. We rigged up an entertainment center and brought a couple of boxes of his toys in and he’s set.
Day 9: Did I mention moving sucks? Did I also mention Ezra is a trooper?
Day 10: Every morning, he raids my purse (no matter how many times I tell him to stay out of it) and gathers up all the loose change floating in the abyss that is the bottom of my purse so that he can “feed his Thomas pig.” After every coin, he says, “Yum!” or “Is it good? That’s really, really good!” I die.
Day 11: So, real talk. Here’s how I roll. Straight bribery. Walmart sets me on edge enough as it is, so the deal is that if he will stay in the cart the whole time I’m shopping and let me get our stuff in peace without having to fight him to stay still or chase him up and down the aisles, then I get him an Icee and a soft pretzel as soon as we walk in. It helps keep him occupied so that the deal sticks, and I get to shop in as much peace as Walmart offers. Win win.
Day 12: Very concerned that his cat is outside in the rain.
Day 13: Rainy day trains. Y’all are gonna get so sick of seeing him play with his trains.
Day 14: I wanted to revisit a shopping/aisle photo. The one earlier in the week felt a little unbalanced to me for several reasons. A.) one whole side of the aisle is stuffed and the other side is practically empty, and B.) everything in Walmart is SO WHITE. Including Ezra, pretty little porcelain baby that he is. Our little bustling metropolis (population 1200) just recently got a Dollar General, so you know. We’re big time now. I had to run early one morning where I didn’t feel like schlepping all the way into town for just a couple of things I needed, and I figured that our little country store would be close enough to empty that I could get some practice in. No Icees or pretzels were available for bribery, so he got to wander at leisure. Which was fun for him, because every time I tried to put the Poptarts back on the shelf behind his back, he would come back with two more boxes. Also, he thinks its hilarious to hide behind displays and pop out at me. Moms, you can feel me on exactly how hilarious this is.
See you next week!
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Jo Truncali is a family photographer specializing in lifestyle and documentary imagery, located in Beaumont, Texas. Serving all of Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, including but not limited to Lumberton, Nederland, Port Neches, China, Sour Lake, Lake Charles, and Liberty. Available for travel worldwide.