It's a boy!

No, I'm not having a baby. But I do have exciting news. I had a great photography opportunity the other day. My dear friends, Mary and Brandon, are expecting a baby (in just a couple of weeks!) and wanted some maternity shots so they could remember this special time. They asked me to do it, and I was really happy to oblige. I have wanted to try my hand at portrait photography for a long, long time. Even longer than I've wanted to be a therapist, actually (that's my real job.) It always made me nervous, though. My normal photography routine involves being alone (usually) and wandering around aimlessly with no pressure, no deadlines, and no particular audience in mind... so taking pictures of PEOPLE who have expectations about the result and a particular purpose for the photos is quite a different story. What better way to experiment with that than with super nice people who I know and love and who constantly encourage me? It was perfect. I had SO much fun. I was sad when it was over and wish I could do it again and again. And that's a good thing to know about myself.

It was definitely a learning experience, too. Because these pictures had so much more purpose than any I've ever taken, I scrutinized them a LOT. I looked at each and every one very carefully and recognized about 25 things I wish I had done differently, or more, or less. That sounds kind of "duh," but it was new for me. I don't usually do that with my photos. I pick out the ones I like, edit them to make them better, and pretty much ignore the rest. I focus on the positive. I don't always take criticism well, even from myself, but I got a lot of good self-criticism practice this go 'round. It was uncomfortable, but it also sort of felt good. Like soreness after a good workout. No pain, no gain, right?  I don't know if or when I will be able to do something like this again, but I will be prepared with the knowledge that I couldn't have gotten without this experience, and I'm grateful for that. And excited about what might come of it.

But for now, what came of it is a bunch of pictures of Mary, Brandon, and (almost) Lawson. Here are a few of the ones I like. :)

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What do you think? (Remember, I'm practicing taking criticism--bring it on! ;))