In my bio pages and conversations over the years, I’ve given different reasons for becoming a photographer. But what it all boils down to is that I started photographing my own life because I wanted to make some time stop moving so fast.
Sometimes, I photographed things that made my heart feel so full it was bursting. Sometimes, I felt like photographing the moments that had me curled in a ball on the floor, sobbing my eyes out. And then I started photographing other people’s lives because moments are important, and we should remember the small moments and the big moments, and hey, I’m a visual learner.
Ever since becoming a mom, I’ve struggled to find a balance between this job that is an art and a calling and a passion, and the equally strong passion of being present with my child and parenting her. I never felt like I was giving enough to either one, and I felt like I needed to give 100% to both.
Hey, math was never my best subject, but even I know that you can’t give 200% of yourself to two things, especially when you need to save some for yourself, your spouse, your falling apart house (maybe just me…), and a hobby or two. It’s a recipe for disaster.
The early months of this year were a disaster. I was in a spot where I wasn’t happy. Where I was struggling. I was failing left and right at so many things. I wasn’t motivated, I was in a rough spot. One day in May, I was rewriting my to do list 30 minutes before my husband was supposed to come home with our kid. ‘New Head Shots’ had been on there for months. Probably since Christmas. I looked in the mirror, my hair was cooperating. So, I shoved some furniture out of the way in my office, threw up my white backdrop, grabbed a stool, a tripod, and my cameras. I tossed on a new favorite shirt and go to lipstick and set up the timer.
In retrospect, these head shots were healing. They were a sign to myself that I don’t have to do it all at the same time, but that I can come up with something and create art and be a parent. That I can be more than one kind of person, and sometimes it’s hard. But sometimes, it’s amazing what you can create in 20 minutes, even when your kid comes in at the very end and gives you side eye for wearing lipstick. That underneath the mom label, I’m still me. I’m still Emily. That even when I was struggling to see myself in the mirror, I could still see just fine through the lens of a camera.
If you’re struggling, know you’re not alone. And hey, if you want head shots like the ones below or more like these outdoor head shots, you know who to call.