Grace: (n) Courteous goodwill, (v) do honor or credit to by one's presence
Why is a Wedding Photographer talking about giving grace? Because no matter how hard we think someone or something is hard on us, we are always hardest on ourselves (and our own children!). I see it all the time. Parents want the perfect picture with Santa but are unsure how their child is going to react or get upset/try bribery, apologize for behavior. I promise you. Santa and I? We have seen it all. It doesn't bother us and we have the patience to deal with the situation. Child is nervous and doesn't give a true smile in every photo? It's okay. It's a moment in time and children have moods, emotions, moments as they learn to adapt to their environments, react to situations and pressures. Are we as parents giving our children grace when needed or expecting too much of them in the situations we put them in? Are they upset about an outcome or are you? It's okay to expect or want but we need to know when to apply grace to others and ourselves.
Mother-in-law, grandmother, bridesmaid, whoever causing issues or being difficult on your wedding day? It's okay. Do not apologize to us for their behavior. We have seen it all and we know how to deal with difficult family and friends. We will do our best to diffuse and create moments of happiness for photos so you don't look back and see sour faces. The thing is, we are accustomed to dealing with these situations and its okay, I promise. Breathe and give grace. Don't let others affect your moment.
People get so caught up in perfection. The perfect wedding, the perfect portrait, the instagram worthy/ pinterest perfect event and moment to share and remember. The definition of Perfect: (adjective) conforming absolutely to the description or definition of an ideal type. So really what is perfection? It is OUR own preconceived notions of what we think we want. Where do we get those notions? From other peoples weddings? Other people's portraits? Are we measuring our own moments against an entirely different set of personalities, situations, and moments that have nothing to do with us? Has social media done more harm than good when it comes to the idea of what our life moments SHOULD BE? If you look at the definition of Perfect when used as a verb: to bring to completion; finish/ make flawless or faultless, then we know that each of our moments are technically by definition perfect. No need to compare them to something else that we think should be the ideal. Each wedding, each portrait session, each recorded moment is brought to completion and can be considered flawless or faultless if we do not focus on those aspects we wish to believe are flaws.
As photographers, we think we have to take perfect pictures on vacation, keep up with social media, show these picture perfect photos all the time, but when I am not at work, I am just a mom. I do not take our camera's on vacation. I use my cell phone at birthday parties. I do not post a blog post for a month because I get busy editing and working with clients, and going to my kids' soccer games. LIFE HAPPENS and LIFE is NOT PERFECT. Give yourself the same grace that you would bestow on someone else or that you wish someone would give to you. Life does not have to be overwhelming or meet someone else's standards. Sometimes it just needs to be full of flaws and grace to be a PERFECT moment.
7 But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it.
This week, I am giving myself grace. Grace for not keeping up on my blog, for choosing time with my family and taking a short vacation, and grace for actually enjoying it. What are you giving yourself grace for this week?