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Summer Vacation Fails | Washington DC Wedding Photographer

A Wedding Photographer Who Takes a Camera Everywhere

Friends and family say it all the time, “Oh, I bet you take your camera everywhere!” And it’s true, I used to. Even up until a few years ago, I took my camera everywhere. It’s part of the daily uniform when you are both a professional wedding photographer and mom to a young child. You never want to miss capturing one of their “firsts” or major milestones. I even carried my gear to events with friends, just to have it handy. But over the years, I started carrying my camera less and less. My harddrives are bursting with tens of thousands of personal images a year from 2007, 2008, 2009; but after 2010, the number in each folder dwindles.

As a mom, I feel extremely guilty that I am no longer taking as many photographs as I used to of our little family. About this time last year, after dragging my camera along on our summer beach vacation and not using it even once, I made a promise to myself that while I wouldn’t take the camera everywhere, I would start taking more photographs of the “important” moments, such as holidays and vacations.

Oops, I did it again.

We just returned from our summer vacation in North Carolina. It was beautiful. Wide beaches with beautiful sunrises and sunsets, calm turquoise waters. We spent an entire evening learning about sea turtles and looking for their protected nests. I packed my beautiful House of Flynn camera bag (more on that in a future post!) and everything I would need to capture these important summer memories, much like my dad used to. Well, wouldn’t you know it. I took about 5 pictures the whole trip, not counting my phone’s camera, which leaves much to be desired.

Major. Mom-Photographer. Fail. 

I took a few photos of my daughter sleeping in on a rainy morning, and then about 5 minutes before we departed to come back home, I snapped these of the sunrise, and they’re not even great photos, as the air was so humid and full of sea water vapor, it was foggy and my lens kept getting salty condensation all over it, so I dashed back inside to protect my equipment.

Washington DC Wedding Photographer | Summer VacationWashington DC Wedding Photographer | Summer Vacation

So many memories lost forever. I’m actually extremely disappointed in myself. I must try harder, and do better. My daughter recently turned 7, and loves photographs, drawing, and telling stories. I bought her some scrapbooking supplies (another hobby I used to enjoy) and promised her that we would start an album this summer. I will continue to remind myself that photography is not just my career, it is her legacy. I should understand that so well, especially after losing my dad in 2004. He lives on in photographs, even after our memories dim, and details of the stories begin to erode.

My Promise. My Vow.

That’s the great thing about being human: when you make a mistake, you have the choice to not make the same mistake twice. So, starting now, I promise myself (and my family) these things:

  • I will take more photographs.
  • I will be in more photographs.
  • I will print more photographs.

Those three seemingly simple vows are my promise. I am so much more than a wedding photographer. I am a storyteller. I am a historian. I am an artist. And I must be a storyteller, a historian and an artist even when I’m “off the clock”. I see so many of my fellow wedding photographer friends posting their exquisite summer vacation photos, and yes, I enjoy them, but for now, I’ll start with taking photographs for my family first and foremost. And never again will this wedding photographer fail on Summer Vacation.

Do yourself a favor, and visit my friends who also participate in this blog circle – I promise they have tons of great summer photos! Start here, with my friend Alicia Q, Jacksonville NC Wedding Photographer


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  • Nicole Gulick07/29/2015 - 5:07 PM

    Oh my goodness seriously in tears! your words are beautiful and your images are equally gorgeous! I love that you and your daughter are going to create an album together, I still have mine from forever ago!

  • Kristy Gilmore07/29/2015 - 6:09 PM

    Amen sistah! I think so many pro photographers who are moms as well have broken the same promise (more than once). Thank you for being honest and open.

  • Alicia Countryman07/29/2015 - 7:50 PM

    Those are some beautiful colors! I know exactly what you mean about wanting to take more personal photographs, especially needing to be in more pictures. We lost my father-in-law in June, and you just don’t realize how important photos of family, friends, and yourself are until that person is no longer in your life. Thanks for sharing. I look forward to seeing more of your posts and pictures! 🙂