fiddle leaf photography
Jul 3, 2020
It was the last week of June 2011 and I was approximately 8 million weeks pregnant. (Or 37 weeks…but, I swear her head felt like a 10 lb bowling ball that was seconds away from dropping out of my body, so it felt like 8 million weeks.). It was a sweltering day and I’d been sitting in my car outside of a photography studio waiting to go in for my ‘viewing’ of our maternity photos. I didn’t want to go in and pretend I wasn’t sweating while sitting in an overstuffed leather love seat and view anything.
A few weeks before, we’d arrived at that same photo studio in Edmonton that I’d never heard of with our GROUPON (oh my God, if I could 🙄 at that!) in hand, our matching shirts on (yes, really!), our bigger-than-life dog, and our smiles plastered on.
We used an entire baggie of dog treats trying to get our Great Dane, Diefenbaker, up the stairs (a whole other story, that is!), we sat smiling on an asymmetrical white sofa that was so far out of our style wheelhouse that it was laughable, and we folded ourselves on the floor while we smiled way up at a photographer standing on a huge ladder (who incidentally, didn’t know our names!).
It was weird, and slightly painful, and didn’t leave me feeling very beautiful or jazzed about the experience at all. We went home and not-so-eagerly waited for the email that the photos were ready for viewing.
So, now, let’s go back to that day a few weeks later when I arrived at the studio for the ‘viewing’.
I enter the studio and nobody is there. I wait. Nothing. I ring the little silver bell sitting on the front desk (does anyone else get SO DAMN NERVOUS about ringing those bells??? Just me?). A totally new person, whom I’ve never met comes down and says hello. Introduces himself and asks me how far along I am. We chit chat a bit about how I’m very ready to have this baby and how hot it is outside.
And then, he very casually says, “Well, at least you still have your cheekbones. So many women lose their cheekbones when pregnant.”
Was that a compliment? Or a comment on the fact that I only had my cheekbones left?
I wish I’d turned around and walked out right then, but, I didn’t. (I got so much bolder once I was a mother in my 30s!) I felt I just had to have those maternity photos that I already knew weren’t going to be very good. So, I followed him up to the ‘viewing’ room where I was forced to choose the 5 photos that I wanted, which were included in my Groupon purchase.
Did I want extras? All of them? A 30×40 canvas where I could admire my very existent cheekbones in great detail?
No. I didn’t want any of it.
I took my included photos (on a CD that I can no longer insert into any frigging computer!) and left.
I’d love to tell you that it’s this experience drove me into photography.
It would be a another year before I picked up a camera and a few more years after that until I figured out the power of feeling your best in front of a camera.
But, in the 3000 or so days since that moment, here’s what I HAVE learned:
• Nobody has the right to comment on which body parts you (or I) have or don’t have – ever. And, hello, making a baby requires a metamorphosis of sorts and that’s beauty enough, cheekbones or no cheekbones!
• A photographer can’t accurately capture your life in a way that represents you if he/she doesn’t know you or can’t remember your names. (As in, if you don’t know names, then what else are you missing about your clients?)
• Being told to smile at the camera will not get you the results you want.
• As Ansel Adams says, “the single most important part of a camera is the 12 inches behind it”. Gear is great, but what’s more important is the person behind the gear.
• The experience of having your photos should be just as exciting as seeing those final photos.
•Photos that capture relationships, moments and stories will be the ones that will hold a place in your heart years from now….not the ones where you sat on a floor and looked at a guy on a ladder.
And, now, I am stepping down off that soapbox.
Until I step back up again,
P.S. In case you didn’t gather from that story, I don’t recommend using a Groupon for anything that really matters to you. But, it was 2011 and it was the height of Groupon craziness.
So, tell me…..what the most ridiculous thing you ever bought a Groupon for? Leave a comment and spill the beans, k?
Me? I didn’t learn my lesson with just photography. I also figured bikini waxing would be a great group deal. (***shakes head***)
P.P.S. I’ll be 100% honest in that I can’t remember the name of the photographer who took those maternity photos, but in any case, even though I know you totally want to see them, I’m not sharing any photos here in order to maintain the photographer’s privacy.
What I will share is this photo that I took myself when pregnant with my second daughter. It’s my absolute favourite maternity photo of myself. If you look hard enough, I bet you can find my cheekbones. 😉
© fiddle leaf photography 2019 • site created by three fifteen design
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Lifestyle family & newborn photographer based in Edmonton, Alberta
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