The past while, I've really been thinking and contemplating about what kind of photographer I am and what kind of photographer I want to be. After thinking for weeks about this- not counting the fact that I've been thinking about this since I started shooting seriously in the fall of 2011- I realized that I love to photograph life. When I first thought it, this answer seemed too silly and kind of "goes without saying" to me because I've always photographed life. I've carried a camera with me for nearly fifteen years and, for thirteen and a half of those years, I wasn't really interested in making art- I was just interested in taking photos and in recording everything I could about my life so that, in thirty years, there'd be something to look back on.
Joining the world of serious photographers is not an easy feat- there is so much talent out there right now- and, since I've only been taking on client work steadily for about sixteen months (nine of which I was pregnant, three of which I had a newborn), I'm not yet where I eventually want to be. That's okay with me because I hope I'm still taking photographs for the rest of my life. I have lots of room for growth and learning and improvement, but it can still be disheartening and, because of this, I inevitably became somewhat uncomfortable with who I was as a photographer. I wanted to be better than I was but I needed to define what I wanted to be and, in order to do so, I needed to define who I was when "photographer" wasn't attached to my name.
I am a night owl. I'm a mother to two gorgeous children. I'm a wife to a handsome husband and I stay up late with him talking about history and politics and photography and books and religion and about how, this weekend, he really needs to get that hair of his cut (update: his hair now fits in a ponytail!). I'm the girl with really unintentionally nerdy glasses who reads at least sixty book a year and I'm the girl who wants to see so many things and do so many things, but almost all of those things are rooted in a home life. I love peanut butter m&ms and dusty chalkboards and vintage quilts and I really like glitter. I can be shy but I can also be really talkative if the mood strikes me- which it sometimes does at sessions, but it doesn't always. I am an awesome picture book reader. I love art museums and I love making crafts and I love cooking and baking, too! I love when my son lays on my bed for two hours coloring with markers and I try to be the mom who laughs it off when that same son walks out of the room for thirty seconds and wrecks our entire home. I'm the person who cries because of books and movies and about the light streaming onto her baby's legs because everything just looks absolutely perfect (even if it really isn't). But most of all? I love the little things- all the little expressions and nuances that make a person a person and a couple a couple and a family a family and a home a home.
I love love. I love families. I love getting to know people. I love stories. I love art.
As I thought about all these things- all these things that meant nothing to most everyone but somehow meant everything to me, I kept thinking the words written above- I love to photograph life- but was afraid that those words would be laughed at if I said them out loud. They're such simple words, but they carry such a weight and after stewing over them for weeks, I finally said them out loud. And when I said those three words- I photograph life- I said one of the most true things I have ever said in my life. It felt wonderful.
My name is Lissa and I photograph life. It's nice to have you here.
And since I'm also that person who loves to overshare photographs of her beautiful kids, especially when they're sporting pajamas at two in the afternoon and are in serious need of baths, here's my two little cuties yesterday while we were all sporting colds so bad my husband stayed home to take care of us.
It really is a beautiful life. I'm so thankful I have my camera along for the ride.