taxidermy or real family photos?

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"I just bathed them and put them in their pj's," said Anne. "They're in the trampoline."
My soul does a little dance. Okay, more like a choreographed number from a Much Music 90's video.
If you want to know the secret to real family photos.
There is no secret.
A few tips perhaps.
Leave the white shirts in the closet.
Don't get a haircut FOR the shoot.
Pass on tidying up the house.
Don't bribe the kids.
Or your husband! ...oh maybe keep this one if the fun factor dial turns up a bit :)

Leave things as they are...
BE who you are.

I don't know about you and when I look through the above images I feel like I know Anne and her family (besides the fact we stuff in A LOT of chatter while I lay on her massage table...weekly).
And perhaps that contributes to the above.
Knowing her = comfortable = trust.
She actually wanted 'typical' family portraits with her extended family. Ah the conformed older generation that love all of their heads in the photo along with smiling faces. Despite the fact that little Jimmy can't breath in his necktie.
Jimmy being the hypothetical poster boy, in all uncomfortable and typical family photos that will be rewarded with a sugar rush apres photos. Yay mom and dad. Awkward and unnatural + sugar = good luck with bedtime and now Jimmy's a little closer to diabetes.
And don't forget about the renewed family photo for the front hall that will remind you of that moment while you search for your soul in that forced smile. Right, you bribed it away.

I don't know why we want these images? It's like taxidermy. SO effn creepy no?
A deer head just sits there. Eyes always on me. What's the point? Who was this deer and why do I just want to keep his head?
Putting lifeless portraits up.
Oh come on, you know those classic portraits are the same. One man sitting in a chair and seriously. That's so unnatural and why not just stuff his head and preserve him on the wall?
Interesting...And you know we all love Game of Thrones...same same.

Regardless for her OWN family, Anne was open.
I was actually surprised at HOW open...
It's not rare...often communicating to potential clients what I do, and yet still show up to the family at attention in their white shirts. Where do you want us SIR! (I don't know what a drill Sargent is called if she's a woman?? anyone?)
Bottle of wine on the patio, kids in the trampoline in their pj's...Anne wearing her hat, jeans and tank top. This is how I know her...

Insert chaos. AKA their real life.
From swings, to cries...Daisy the dog is the trampoline...briefly.
Wrestling, more cries.
Someone's bonked their head.
Someone just came out of the house...hellooo Ninja! Okay, that's just a winter hat.
Attempting the hammock.
Climbing trees...Getting moms help out of the tree.
I think this is pretty par for what they do...
What they love and who they are...

Pure freedom for me, for them...and a place that is effortless for me to see...and create.
What's in front of me is real, so how could it not be easy. That doesn't mean the actual work isn't challenging but it's like that whole saying "do what you love and you won't work a day in your life".
THIS doesn't feel like work. THIS is what I love.
Shooting (ha ha the irony!) to put lifeless stuff heads on the walls, IS work for me.
A reminder for me to really move towards more of this soul filling, effortless work (admittedly I do put a few heads up on the wall).

Interesting that we conform to someone's idea of what our family photos should look like. Me, personally...I want what you see to align with who you are. So your photos come to life...
Don't you agree?

Thanks for reading and I would love to hear from you! 
How do the above images of Anne and her family make you feel?
If you've thought about having images of the same, what is a dream around this...what would your story say about you? How would you want them to make you feel?
Please share your thoughts on my Facebook Fanpage!

jodi renée

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