I am so inspired by a Facebook Page I am part of that focuses on self portraits of Motherhood. Most of the ladies on this group are doing a 365 or 52 project where they are stepping in front of the camera (gasp!) every day or every week to be IN images with their children.
It's so easy to fall behind, and get lost in the stresses of life, that we forget to see how precious and beautiful life really is.
Here is a bit of a back story, should you wish to read, why this project is important to me:
After the tragic loss of my sister in law before Christmas (at the age of 31) I have really been struggling to make sense of the world.
I hate to admit this, but having a history of depression, I am very aware when the darkness starts to creep into my life and show it's ugly face.
Without getting into too much personal detail, I know a large percentage of the population suffers from mental illness, and we are socially taught to "sweep it under the rug" so to speak.
Once I had my first baby, I was scared. I was afraid that postpartum depression was going to swallow me up.
I waited. For months I waited, anticipating PPD to strike. It never did. In fact, I found myself feeling the opposite- this tiny, fragile, beautiful little human was my saviour. He somehow managed to pull me up out of the darkest times, and gave me so much hope- he filled my world with so much light. Of course, I still had times of sadness... but not like before.
Fast forward 15 months later, and my second baby was born. A sweet little girl.
After Aryanna was born, I waited again for PPD to show up. It never did.
These two, beautiful gifts from God, had somehow miraculously reshaped my life. They gave my life meaning. Everything changed, and suddenly I wasn't a selfish person anymore. I couldn't be. I was a Mom.
I have found a joy in these two children that I never knew existed. A love that I never knew was possible.
On September 1st, our family went through the most horrific ordeal, leaving our lives shattered. My beautiful, charismatic, life-loving sister in law Rachel had a horrible accident, and ended up passing away. There are no words to describe this loss. Tremendous sadness, anger and the question '"why" still haunts me every day. I heard from someone once, (when asking how you move on from something like this) that "it doesn't get easier...it just get's different".
Well, life is so different. My kids no longer have their auntie, my husband no longer has his sister, and I no longer have the best fun loving sister in law I could have asked for. There is a darkness that has entered our lives and I don't feel like it will ever leave.
If there's one thing I learned from Rachel's passing, it's that life is truly a blessing. You don't know when you are going to be called Home, and only you are in charge of your today.
I made a promise to myself- and I encourage you to do the same. LIVE each day- BREATHE in each moment, and always tell those around you that you LOVE them!
I will be inviting you into my 'perfectly imperfect' life, and sharing some images from my every day life with my kids. From doing laundry to dishes, to making dinner and bath time... I will not let a moment go to waste!
This past year has given me so much to reflect on: both personally, as well as professionally.
I feel that I have grown so much as both an artist and a photographer, that I can take the step towards doing what I love full time.
This also means revisiting my pricing structure and packages, to better suit my clients. It's time that I truly value the art that I create.
I don't think people realize what a photographer goes through (or the costs involved) to create these galleries of artful images. From equipment costs to classes, and the time spent away from my family every night editing images... it can all add up real quick!
I have fallen in love with Maternity and Newborn photography, and wish to 'specialize' in these types of sessions. I want to offer my clients timeless, one of a kind images that portray these oh so fleeting moments in time. From the growing belly nurturing a life, to those tiny feet, fingernails and wisps of hair. What a glorious miracle life is.
I am also starting a new project (amongst many other photographers/moms out there) to focus on my own growing babies, to better preserve the memories of our simple everyday life. I'm calling it "Portraits of the Imperfect" a journey through motherhood. I haven't decided whether or not this will be a daily or weekly challenge, but either way, keep an eye out on my blog for the beginning of this journey! I encourage you to join me as well- regardless of if you have a DSLR or just an iPhone, to get in pictures with your kids just doing everyday things.
Well, that's it for tonight! To all my clients over the past few years who have helped me grow, I want to thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I will leave you with a collage of some of the newborns I had the pleasure of meeting in 2015.
Alicia Nicole Wopereis
Dedicated to both creating and capturing the beautiful moments in life. The moments that shape us, move us, and allow us to never forget.