As a mom committed to memory making and keeping, I take a lot of photos of our family and get a lot of photos taken – snapshots and formal portraits. I love Mamarazzi pictures like Mandi’s or Kathryn’s Mommy Swap photo shoot. I buy all the school pictures, send them out to relatives, and even get them on our walls – canvases (I especially like the CanvasOnDemand groupon) and frames litter our house.
But nothing has ever thrilled me like our photography sessions with Shelby Resler.
She spends about an hour at our house documenting our story. As she puts it, “I choose to capture whatever I want, when I want or when you want me to. My goal for myself during each session and my hope for you is to help you see those real and pure moments that you never want to forget, those that you may look past on a daily basis and may already be taking for granted.”
And that’s when all the feels start. The ones I don’t notice until she helps me see them. And I’m crying at the beauty that is my life.
A photo of myself with our son as I want to look: not fat and messy and tired (and all the unflattering reasons I don’t like my own picture), but pretty and happy and in love. The magic of Shelby is that she helps me see me for what I really am – this mom here, not that one I picture from my self-deprecating inside voice. She finds the true me and then offers this gift so I can remind myself for years to come of how I truly was because that inside voice can be loud and I need this photo to push her away.
Shelby captures the everyday things I’m desperately afraid I might forget – the tumble of stuffed animals and blankets and bunk beds or the way our kids “touch noses.”
As I run from cleaning toothpaste out of the sink to breakfast prep, I don’t know if I even see the boys playing with the baby in the mirror. Without this photo to tug at my thoughts, will I remember we called collared shirts “handsome shirts?”
Shelby sees that soon my other boys will be reading to themselves. Often we don’t know when that last day will come and I’ll have missed capturing story time. But she didn’t — you can even see how much they love this book.
Years from now, will I be able to bring our messy kitchen art wall into focus?
Even Shelby’s “portraits” see my boys for who they truly are. We have a keepsake journal for each of our kids. One of the yearly questions is for the parent to write exactly how they remember the child at a certain age. How do I describe Oliver’s lifted eyebrows? Or Charles’ intense concentration? What about Bennett’s absolutely joyous laugh, or little Simon’s willingness to take it all in stride?
And, do you see Charles’ eyebrow here in this bottom left photo? Shelby photographed something she doesn’t even know. My mom was my best friend and she died from Leukemia about 10 years ago and I miss her unbelievably. Charles has her eyes – and more specifically – her eyebrows. Shelby gave me an incomparable gift – a reminder that my mom is still here. She is present in these sweet boys she would have loved so very much.
One of the reasons I am so touched by Shelby’s work is because it echos the message the pastor gave at our wedding, that often the most important things are the “in between.” Sure, Disney vacations, baseball championships and promotions are big, flashy and important, but the every day moments are where life happens. She captures those important moments. Shelby writes, “There is so much more to life if you just look a little deeper. I would love to help you see and remember that from a different perspective.” Shelby understands in between times for what they really are: the true magic of our daily lives. Shelby’s photography helps us see that magic more vividly.
And the great news? We’re giving away a FREE mini-photo session with Shelby Resler!
*One entry per person per method of entry. Be sure to enter a separate comment for each method of entry (one comment for Facebook, one comment for Twitter, etc.).
1. COMMENT: Leave a comment below telling us the moment you’re most afraid you won’t get captured on film. It can be specific (my son’s cowlick), general (dinner time), or just because (I want some great photos like these)!
2. VOTE: Have your family and friends leave a comment with your first & last name! Every “vote” comment will earn you an extra entry!
3. TWITTER: Tweet about this giveaway!
Giveaway ends Friday, May 5, 2017. Winner is chosen randomly and will be announced as soon as they’ve accepted the prize by email. Good luck, everyone!
Quad City Moms Blog partners with local business to bring you these awesome giveaways! As part of the partnership, we received cash payment, a gift, or something else of value to write it.