Just add a Filter

For the past few years I have oogled over photographic images posted on blogs I follow.  Pictures capturing so much of a family in one still frame.  I have been an avid blog  devour-er and began to see a common denominator on many….the work of Wendy and Tyler of Blue Lily Photography.  Some of my favorites are linked below:

Meg Duerksen (1, 2 and 3)

Nie Nie Dialogues (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5)

Design Mom (1 and 2)

Wendy and Tyler work as a team, but “double book” for most sessions so they are each capturing a separate family at the same time.  Shortly after our move to Oregon, I started noticing lots of blog posts saying that the Blue Lily calendar/schedule was up.  Wendy and Tyler travel the world, year round, with their two kids, photographing as they go.  From Hong Kong to Australia to Spain to most states across the U.S….they travel spreading immense joy and clicking picture after picture.

For our session, we worked with Wendy and man alive, she earned her money with our boys.  Drew was like a little puppy, running off down various paths and after every distractable option possible.  Alex was climbing trees and rock walls and going a mile a minute.  Just an hour prior to the session we had been sitting in horrendous traffic, trying to grab a quick dinner and checking into our hotel.  Matt dared to suggest we just call and cancel.  I exploded like a volcano, this session being something I had wanted for my 40th birthday—-photographs with me in them with our family since I am usually the one behind the camera.

After apologizing and deep breaths, we drove along the unparalleled Columbia River Gorge towards Multnomah Falls.  It was raining on and off and my Burgerville dinner in a bag was threatening to drip all over my clothes.  But we made it in time and Wendy put us at ease right away, joking, keeping the kids on their toes and taking the time and energy to learn and know our names and part of our story.  She is truly a master at her craft, oozing out love and joy.

All this to say….photographs are only a moment in time.  They may tell or give off a story that isn’t quite accurate.  You can’t hear what was going on prior, during or after these pictures.  The bargaining for ice cream.  The gritting of teeth.  The hole Alex put in the knee of his pants earlier in the day.  Sometimes the images we put up for others to see are filtered.  We shield eyes, even our own, from the truth.  Make it appear perfect.  And yet, despite the imperfections—-the pounds I wish I’d shed, the discipline and frustrations uttered to the boys, the difficulty figuring out the clothing, etc—I feel like every single cent was worth it.

For me, photography is a deep passion.  I feel completely off kilter when I find myself without a camera in hand.  Capturing life through my lens, even my phone, is like breathing.  It helps me look for, see, and document beauty in the world.  And while I may add a filter to soften, tone down or even amp up an image, it is more about a sharing beauty than perfection.

In an attempt to set the record straight…if you think our family is perfect.  Docile.  Calm.  Pulled together.  Loving 24/7.  You are dead wrong.  No matter what the photos might suggest or the filters might hide, rest assured, underneath it all—it’s a bit of a circus.  So grateful that we were able to have some still frames of our family in July of 2014, though, as it might be the only STILL we experience for the next 15 years.

Thanks so much, Wendy, for working with us.  We truly had a blast!

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