I’ve always been interested in photography. Maybe it has something to do with the romantic, idealistic, dreamer of a girl I was, wanting to hold on to every aspect of those epoch moments, when the sun, streaming through the trees hits the mountain brook just right and it feels magical. When a brand new baby looks up into momma’s eyes for the very first time and everything stands still. When the oldest child skips down the sidewalk on the very first day of Kindergarten and all the little moments of that child’s life flashes before you, from that first moment of meeting to the first steps, the first word, first day of school, then skips forward in time to the first dance, first love, and in your mind you see the day that baby of yours walks down the aisle.
These moments are so fleeting, so quick that if you blink…they’re gone. No amount of wishing can bring them back.
But a photograph, like a scent, a song, a taste, can transport you back to the memory in a way that’s hard to describe. Sometimes it’s the outfit someone is wearing in a photograph that reminds you of the memories made while your daughter wore a size 3T. Sometimes it’s the height of each person (Wow, remember when my boy was shorter than me still?). Sometimes it’s the little details, like the watch, the earrings, the things in the background that spark memories you’d otherwise forgotten.
Sometimes, you realize too late that some very important moments have passed by without being captured, and the dear people you want to talk to, hold on to, or spend one more day with are no longer with you. In that moment, do you hope to have more than just snapshots to look back on? I know I do!
(above image of my husband and I ©Sarah Schultz – Beginnings Lifestyle Photography 2012)
I do want more than just snapshots to look back on. And, more importantly, I want my children to have something other than snapshots to look back on me. I realized, after a bunch of years of hiding behind children and inanimate objects in every picture taken of me, that I was existing in pictures very poorly for my kids. There were all these great pictures of them, but it looked like I wasn’t even a real participant in the story of their lives. I know I’m not alone in that realization, feeling like you want desperately to be part of the memories your kids look back on in years to come, but that no picture is ever flattering, no selfie taken without wondering if your facebook friends will shame you for it, and no money for a wardrobe other than the “Mommy Uniform” (comes complete with spit-up! Only $4.99 at most thrift stores near you!). Feeling that way is so miserable. I thought back through the years to pictures I remember that were taken of my mother when she was my age. Oh, how I loved them! They were so lovely, portraits of someone dear to my heart. She wasn’t a big fan of those pictures. But I was. I still am! When I looked at those pictures I saw the beautiful woman who is my mother, any flaws that made her uncomfortable didn’t even register for me. A picture is just….an image. An image of a woman. And no picture can capture all of the facets of a woman. Her touch that soothes her sick child, her laugh that shows her wrinkles and ripples through the memories of happy times. Her skin that her husband so desperately loves to touch. Her hair that her babies tugged at while nursing at her breast. Her figure, changed maybe by age and by carrying and caring for those she loves most. Those things, captured in a picture, are just representations of all of those good feelings and precious memories of LIFE to the people that love you for more than the way you look in a snapshot.
When I came in contact with the world of Modern Women’s Portraiture, I was astounded by the thought that maybe someone could capture every woman in a way where she could see for herself all of those amazing attributes. What a concept! I want in. I want to make portraits of every woman that allow her to see herself with the same love as those that surround her and appreciate her. I am so very drawn to that pursuit that I find myself seeking constantly to better my understanding of every aspect of my trade in order to provide that experience for every woman that I meet. Because EVERY woman I meet is more than beautiful.
*Lisa Jenkins is a natural light photographer located in the northern lower peninsula of Michigan. Being a homeschooling mother of four young children she naturally has a passion for capturing the sweet, special moments of every day life and the essence of childhood joy.