Happy New Year!
It's officially 2016! I have no idea what day it is any more and my vacation ends tomorrow. I don't know about you guys, but 2015 was pretty sweet for me (mostly thanks to the support from you guys). And it's support like that, that helped me with this latest project, which was very personal for me. I'm used to shooting random strangers or even close friends, but when it's family and potential family, it's an entirely different feeling. I want to share that experience with you.
Parenting is never easy, but when you have a blended family—with bio-kids and step-kids, your spouse’s ex, and other extended family members thrown into the mix—things can get very difficult very quickly.It can be extremely hard to find the right balance when you’re a stepparent or stepsister. When I was first asked to photograph my potential new step-family, I had a lot of conflicting feelings but I never hesitated in saying yes to it. I've gotten to a point in my life where I want what's best for my dad and I know that I have to show him support. I wasn't so supportive of my mother re-marrying and while my dad isn't at that point yet, I knew it is best to lend my support from the beginning. Of course there were times when I wasn't sure if I should've been in the photos or not and the fact that I wasn't did leave me feeling a little misplaced. But I never dwelt on these feelings. My main goal was to make them happy and I'm so glad they liked the photos!
What I learned from this: Every family is different and everyone adjusts to new family members at their own pace. When working with younger people, they tend to have mood shifts, especially if they're still adjusting to a new parental figure. So some poses you may have had in mind won't necessarily work and you're going to have to shoot around the awkwardness without letting them know it affects you too. This may effect how well they take directions, which means you may have to physically step in and fix their pose. At the end of the day, it's about getting the shot. You want everyone to be happy and you want that to show as well. But don't be afraid to capture a frown because it could be used as a learning experience in the future.
New Years bring new things. For me, that could mean a new family. I'm really hoping it means the start and completion of my internship signalling the end of my post-graduate studies. And somehow closing the physical gap in my relationship. There's really no way of knowing what will happen. And I'm ready for it.