Thursday, May 16, 2013

Freeze Frame

Ive been sitting on these photos for a month because I didn't want our mothers to see them before Mother's Day. You can imagine that the proud mother in me was freeeeeeaking the hell out. I was stifling the urge to post them on Facebook for friends and distant family members to see. After all, I'm like every other mother who thinks you want to see pictures of my kid, regardless of whether you give a shit or not.

BUT considering that my recent quest for info about getting a Kindle for Mom's birthday resulted in her being informed that she would be getting one, I figured there were many on Facebook who were not to be trusted with the Mother's Day gift photos. Facebook was not my friend at that time.

(Note to self: Never expect people to understand that "its a gift" means they shouldn't mention it to the recipient. Serves me right for using Social Media to get some guidance from my peers. Very naive, Vicki. tsk! tsk!)

Looking back, the whole picture-taking session was a great experience, but I should probably be banned from actively participating in things like this. I should be forced to sit in the sidelines with wine and xanax and just the hell shut up. I was barely one step up from those anxious, crazed moms on those dreadful beauty pageant shows. I most likely annoyed everyone involved, although they were all kind enough to smile reassuringly and say, "It's going to be fine. Don't get yourself so stressed out."

Justin and I are taking classes from this wonderful photographer who is a customer of mine (Diane Bollen from Dragonfly Studios... Click HERE to see Diane and Joe's incredible photography) . Every time I go into their home, I spend extra time staring at their work. Amazing stuff. So, when she heard I was interested in photography, she offered to barter. I jumped right at that.

One day she called to tell me that there was a photography workshop near the city and an international photographer, Judy Host, was looking for a child Allie's age to participate. Of course I said SURE right away! I was flattered that she thought of Allie and it was a new experience that sounded exciting. We will be there! And then I hung up.....

Enter Anxiety Mom.

Here's how my brain started messing with me. 'Allie is shy. What if she attaches herself to my leg and wont let go? What if she starts crying and they can't get any pictures? Allie is shy. How will she do around a LOT of strangers? What if she freaks out? What if they cant get her to stand alone? Shit! Allie is SHY!'

Then the obsessive worrying began the minute I heard that Judy had this one outfit that she really wanted to use for the shoot and that's why she needed Allie. 'OMG this lady is counting on getting a photo of this dress! How disappointed will she be if it just doesnt happen? She's a somebody in this photography world. Will she be upset? Are we going to disappoint a Somebody?? Breathe, Vicki, breathe! How many people are going to be there? THIRTY?! We might disappoint 30 people with cameras??? OMG. This is bad. ALLIE IS SHY!!!"

Diane reassured me it was going to be just fine numerous times. Judy met us the night before and she reassured me Allie would be fine (although I think she was worried about whether I would be ok) (I promised to self medicate and chill). Justin reassured me that everything would work out perfectly.

Those three are typically very calm people so I went to a fellow worrier....The Ninja Worrier.....my mother. And SHE reassured me. "They all know she's shy, Vicki. What's the worst thing that could happen? What are you so worried about?" If my mother was all easy-breezy and thought I should chill out, then I was going to try really hard to do just that. After all, by this point my face was broken out, I had more alcohol that week than the entire previous year, and I wasn't sleeping from the stress. I needed to stop being a freak.

I worried right up until the minute allllllll of those professional photographers walked in wielding cameras to photograph my peanut. And there sat Allie, off to the side, in that adorable outfit, eating pretzels and ignoring the people filtering in.....until we walked her to the staging area.

Something changed in the atmosphere and BAM! She was ON. Who was this child?? She thought she was the sixth Kardashian sister or something!

Looking at the photos you would never guess that there was this large crowd around her. It's like she knew she should ignore them all and be as cute as possible. She was very focused on Judy, who I think has something magical going on with humans. Judy wasn't looking for a smiling child, and our little princess never busted out the cheesy smile she gives me when I point a camera at her. Just a little sly grin here and there.

And here is the end result......

Photo by Judy Host
Photo by Judy Host
Photo by Judy Host
Photo by Patti Hale

Photo by Patti Hale
Guess what? It was all fine.

I left there with a complete adrenaline rush for some weird reason, and thought, 'Oh, I'd like to do that again!' I scooped her up and walked out of that place, so relieved that she performed exactly as she was needed to. She went right back to being my shy little girl once that dress was peeled off of her (she didn't want to take it off.) I suppose it really was a magical dress!


(Note: There are also photos credited to Patti Hale from Chosen Moments studio. Click HERE for her website. She was at the workshop and she reached out to us a few days later thru Facebook. (Oh, look at Facebook trying to be all helpful again! I forgive you FB) Patti was kind enough to send the photos she took. She was a lovely, talented person and her work is a reflection of that.)