Why it's important to sometimes get in front of the camera (as a photographer)

This family session was a collaboration between my littlest sister, Liz and me. For my birthday, I made my family get in front of the camera with me. It's a good tradition that I hope to continue with. I had been buying a tree and planting it in my yard to celebrate my birthday up to this point and my yard was getting a little crowded. So this is a good space-saving option.

I learn so much getting in front of the camera. It can be a little scary to see what the camera sees. I'm not young anymore and I can see all my imperfections. Do others notice as well? And it is truly difficult to know how your body appears without standing in front of a mirror. I have learned how important real-time feedback for my clients is during a photo shoot.

After I notice my imperfections, I speak these words over my vulnerable self: these photos are documenting our family, not just me. We are celebrating us. We got through a very difficult year and came out with a stronger bond. We worked hard to adapt and grow. This is not something I take for granted.

Getting in front of the camera is hard for most of us. It can be hard to accept our visible imperfections. To put those images on our walls, show our friends and neighbors. It's truly an act of bravery for those that struggle with self-acceptance. Looking back, I never regret any photo session I ever did with my family. My only regret is that I didn't do them more often. I am glad that I at least took enough photos of my children. But it is important for our children to have Mom and Dad in there too. They may not express appreciation now, but I know as an adult, I cherish every family photo we have from my own childhood. A family can be a fragile thing. We do not know what our future holds. We must celebrate today and embrace our imperfections -- schedule that photo session you've been waiting on -- the time we have with our families is precious.