Today I accomplished a personal goal of mine.
When I first got into newborn photography, I had no idea what I was really getting myself into. I held my tiny newborn daughter in my hands and subconsciously tried to commit every eyelash, chub roll and dimple to memory. I couldn't get enough of her. Everything she did was amazing to me. I created that. I did. I was also immediately met with the fear that she was changing. Fattening, lengthening, stretching, walking, talking, learning, growing. It was horrible. Why do they have to do that? I decided to document everything with photographs, so that I couldn't one day, forget.
I bought a beanbag. an oversized, white, pleather beanbag off of eBay. After all, it was what all the "pros" used, right?
But I tried. And I captured. I posed her in angel wings, headbands, outfits, hats, sunglasses, you name it. We tried it.
Those images will never see the light of day. At least not anywhere with the name Seed & Sage Photography attached to it (I of course kept every single one and love them.) But they were proof that I tried. I had also failed to capture what I wanted to capture the most. Her. She was so bogged down by props and outfits that I forgot to capture the rolls, and dimples. I decided to hunker down and commit to creating beautiful imagery. Images that people can cling to and remember. I made it my goal to be a successful newborn and family photographer. Someone that people would appreciate and want capturing their loved ones. I've spent the last, almost decade, perfecting my craft. During this time, I stumbled upon these two, wonderful ladies, who had only recently decided to offer their education on newborn photography to other like-minded artists. I had been following them for quite some time, drooling over their work. Their unachievable lighting, their dreamy colors, their perfect posing. These couldn't possibly be REAL babies. Everything looked far too perfect. But of course they were, and these women were just that good. When my opportunity came to learn their ways, and from them to boot, I pounced! Years later and hundreds upon thousands of hours spent learning and practicing, I have finally gained confidence in my work. It's not where I want to be YET, I don't think it will ever be, but it is dang close.
My mentors and idols, who have become quite famous themselves at this point, recently decided to do a "Feature Friday" where they feature the images that they deem to be "the best". When I heard about this opportunity, I immediately submitted a few of my images that I felt the most proud of. Surely I wouldn't be chosen for their very first week of features... But guess what? I WAS. You can read their own announcement on the topic here. I felt such a pride in myself and my work that I used to lack (and still do to some extent, like every artist does). In a world where everyone and their mother is a "photographer", I have been deemed one of the "best", by the literal "bests" (these women have been featured on Ellen, themselves!). It is the greatest compliment I have received of my work to date. The hours spent learning, the days spent perfecting, the nights spent editing, and re-editing... and re-editing to find my "style", finally feels like it has all made a difference. My love for this genre of photography is finally starting to show through in my images. What I failed to capture in the past, is finally beginning to translate and appear in camera. I didn't want to come off as bragging as I typed and re-typed the announcement of my accomplishment to my social media pages.
But you know what? This is a big deal. And I am dang proud.