The morning Portland family photographer Ashley of Weeno Photography was scheduled to come to our house for a Mama Truth Session, I nearly called it off. Eric had been out of town for days. It took me two hours to get the girls to sleep the night before. And then they woke up at 5. But I didn’t cancel. Instead, I thought to myself, “Ashley is about to get more truth than she bargained for.”
Lately, the girls have been challenging. They’re chronically tired and we have been struggling to ensure they get more rest. They fight over ridiculous things (“I want the yellow bowl.” “No mine lellow!”). Kiwi cries and throws epic tantrums that we can do nothing to soothe.
So I’m not entirely sure why I thought I wanted a Mama Truth Session, where photographer Ashley LaMattino-Perlberg comes to your house to hang out for a few hours and captures whatever happens, from making a snack to soothing a booboo.
I think it was our initial contact. “The beauty in the everyday is always there,” she said. “And yet it’s so hard to see it ourselves. That’s why these sessions are so important!” Her words resonated deep within me. And it turns out she is so right.
I’m so grateful we did a Mama Truth photography session, which Ashley did for free for my family. The photos are beautiful, yes. Even more, though, the photographs showed me the beauty of my everyday life with my kids. And get this: Below, you can enter a giveaway for a chance to win half-off a Mama Truth Session with Weeno Photography. And anyone who mentions this blog post by the end of October will get $100 off a Mama Truth family photography session. Read on to find out more and enter!
We received a free family photography session in exchange for a blog post. As always, all opinions are my own.
Living just outside the photo frame
I’m the slightly annoying person who constantly pulls out her phone to capture random, sweet moments of the kids. I love the unposed snapshots of the girls playing with Nana, reading by themselves or wrestling with Dad.
Yet I am in very few of these shots, unless I ask someone to take one.
If photographs are evidence of a live lived, I’m more often just beyond the photo frame—and I know I’m not the only one.
In fact, that’s why Ashley LaMattino-Perlberg started doing Mama Truth family photography sessions.
Ashley’s mom died six years ago, and the Portland family photographer found that she connected most with the candid, everyday shots with her mom in them. Yet Ashley was mostly absent from photos with her own family, including her husband and two young sons.
“I realized I am always missing. I realized I am a ghost in our family photos,” she told me. “I also realized how quick the moments with my boys are going. So I wanted to take those days that seem like Groundhog Day and make them into photographs.”
Capturing mama truth in family photography
So Ashley’s premise, that we mothers should have photos of us with our children, too, hit home. I wanted her to capture what a regular day was like for us—well, maybe slightly more photogenic than “regular.” (My truthiest truth session would have a lot more junk on the floor and a lot more of me saying “just a second!” as I answered emails on my phone or washed the dishes.)
Yet I was wholly unprepared by the rush of emotion I felt when Ashley sent me the preview of our session.
My everyday crazy is beautiful.
I’m gonna say it again: My everyday crazy is beautiful.
Yes, Ashley’s talent as a photographer helps a whole lot (as does the fact that I parked the kids in front of Elmo so I could shower that morning). But the stuff that makes up our everyday—the make believe, the snuggles, even the fight to comb the tangles out of Peeper’s hair—is beautiful. It is tender. It is honest. It is real.
And that’s what Ashley’s Mama Truth Sessions are all about. “I am not here to take the next cool photo, or be the next cool photographer,” Ashley says. “I am here to make history—I am here to document truth.”
Photography captures what we’ll remember
It’s a funny fact of life that we end up remembering a lot of our childhood through photographs. I remember one day of playing with our stuffed animals out on the deck because of a snapshot of that day. I remember trick or treating with my siblings and mom, and the fairy dress with layers of warm clothes bundled underneath, because someone took that picture.
I want my kids to remember me through photos, too.
I hope they’ll remember all of it (well maybe not the yelling, but if they do, I guess they’ll know that everyone loses her temper sometimes).
Our Mama Truth Session will help them remember what was a regular morning in our house. Ashley didn’t pose us or encourage us to smile big. She spent about two hours with us, hanging out and joining us for the ride that is everyday motherhood.
Beauty in the everyday crazy
You see, I don’t need or want them to remember a perfect childhood. I don’t hope to be remembered as a perfect mother.
(That’s good because that’s not what Weeno Photography Mama Truth Sessions are about!)
These gorgeous images remind me—and will later remind my kids—that something doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.
Often I doubt that our everyday lives, filled as they are with unwashed hair and obstacle courses of foot-poking toys and all the missed sleep, are beautiful. But these Mama Truth photos from Weeno Photography showed me, well, the truth. They showed me that my imperfection is lovely. They showed me that motherhood doesn’t have to be Instagram-ready to be worthwhile. They showed me there is beauty in the everyday crazy.
Thank you, Ashley.
Now! Ashley is a crazy-generous spirit overall, and she’s offering readers of the Ten Thousand Hour Mama a $100 off promotion for a Mama Truth Session through the end of October!
Plus! You can enter below to get half-off a Mama Truth family photography session!
The photos in this post should be proof that you’ll love your family photography, too. Because I love mine, and working with Ashley of Weeno Photography has made me into somewhat of an evangelist for the need to capture the everyday beauty of motherhood.
Because you—and your everyday crazy—are beautiful.