This past weekend my little family got together with an old friend and her camera.
The friend is Sabrina Norrie, and the camera is a new off shoot of the website she began as part of her little family’s adventure of living at their own pace – a pace that lets them really experience the world they are moving through.
I scheduled this “family photoshoot” on a bit of a whim… because it looked fun, and I love pictures, and because it was a chance to get some great post-able snaps of my kids while also getting to see Sabrina for the first time in close to a year. That time lapse in our friendship a reflection of the pace at which my family generally moves – a rushing momentum so full of activity that it often precludes moments to just stop and experience… or connect.
While not much thought went into the decision to meet Sabrina at the park that afternoon, some thinking has come out of it – in addition to some really beautiful photos. [editorial note – this endorsement is completely unsolicited, but if you live in the New Jersey area, I highly recommend Family + Footprints!].
For an hour, the task at hand was to slow down long enough for the camera to capture our connections. There is real beauty in that slowness – a beauty that is capture in the pictures, but more in the recognition is has brought to my soul.
Moving at Shutter Speed
The hurry of preparation layers on the daily pace of rush:
fights over clothes, and brushing teeth
attempts to corral childhood attention
to tune young minds and hands to tasks at hand
and set their expectations for the coming hour.
This extra step is meant to smooth over the wrinkles of a disconnected life,
to make it somehow shimmer with ephemeral beauty,
just like the colors that I layer on my face – a camera-ready mask.
Then we arrive
The sunset light is playing in the gently curving trees
a game that breaks the ice of shyness for my tinies
they understand these rules
without my adult explanations.
We’re here to play.
And so we are, although my instinct still is to direct:
“perhaps the posed shots first…
or we will never pull them back.”
So sweet young hearts comply with Mommy’s worry.
they bring the play along as well
and sing a bright duet of giggles mixed with camera clicks.
And as bright smiles and warm sunshine melt my cold perfectionists’ mask
I laugh as well.
The wrinkles might show through,
but so does Joy,
the joy that comes with slowing down enough to
in this moment
and let the laughter linger on my lips
for long enough
to let the camera
and my soul
join with my family’s song
played in the meter of
slow-motion shutter speed.