I would like to introduce a long-time client, and now friend, Michelle Seelig. Michelle and I met when she came to me pregnant with her twins for maternity photography. She has come back every year for family photography. I love working with her and her family. Every year I think, “how can I top what I did last year?” So I ask Michelle what she wants and she just shakes her head and says just do your thing. And I do. There is always something magic that happens during our photography session. Take a look. We have put together images from the past ten years.
1. Tell me a little bit about yourself, your twins and Alex. What are your hobbies, what you do in your free time, etc.
Alex excels in mathematics and expresses interest in science and technology. The rig he built in science class this year traveled 40 feet propelled only with a single rubber band. When we are together as a family, Alex organizes games to play with his twin younger brothers, Theo and Miles, orchestrates Lego construction projects, and leads his brothers in fort building. With his grandfather, other and adults, and me, he enjoys in-line skating, playing board games (e.g. Quoridor and Pylos), and conducting various edible science experiments.
Theo is agile and coordinated, a naturally gifted athlete. He demonstrates remarkable skills rock climbing; he gracefully, fearlessly scales the walls like a gecko. This fall he joined his first soccer team, Little Sounders. Theo also likes swimming and gymnastics. Additionally, he enjoys helping me in the kitchen.
Miles demonstrates a dramatic flare: he likes to pick out necklaces, earrings, and purses for me to wear as well as what color lipstick to apply. Recently, he decided that he likes to have his fingernails painted – he often asks for each of the nails to be a different color. Miles also enjoys coloring, painting, and creating sculpture using materials and objects that he scrounges from the garage.
2. Tell me about why you have me take photos, and why you trusted me to take these special photos.
I connected with Jennifer when I was pregnant with the twins; the images that she shot of me with Alex captured the essence of our relationship in a way that I treasure. Since then, every year, we have returned for a session, sometimes with my parents. Her photojournalism style and artistic eye produce family photos that speak to everyone regardless of whether they are not related to the subjects; the images offer a visual story.
3.Please feel free to include anything else you like that is interesting about you. I am particularly interested in your philosophy on motherhood because I find it inspiring and would like others to be inspired too.
Do Unto Otters as You Would Have Otters Do Unto You
- This book teaches the Golden Rule in a silly, fun way. From the time that the boys were sitting in high chairs, I insisted that they sign “please” before getting them down. I insisted that they act respectively towards me and I endeavor to do the same when interacting with them. Sometime in my early adult years, my dad described that when it came to parenting me, he figured that being mindful of how he treated me was important because someday he might be dependent on me; if he were lucky to live long enough, he might be on the receiving end of the care giver relationship. I try to keep this lesson in mind in the simplest of interactions with my children.
1.Sit Down and Listen
- When I was twelve years old, my dad sat down and read Seventeen Magazine with me. As an engineer from the Naval Academy, I cannot imagine that there was any magazine that would have inherently had less draw then one targeted to pre-teen and teenage girls. I learned from him that showing an interest in your children’s interest builds bridges and strengthens connections. As a girl, I never vroomed matchbox cars, played with Legos, or watched the Star Wars series, now I relish the chance to engage in these activities because I get to see them through the eyes of my boys.
2.Be A Role Model for Persistence
- When I speak to the boys, I speak about my successes and my struggles. This week, when I could not figure out how to make the F2 key work on my iMac, I asked Alex if he knew how to fix it. He did not. I continued to search for the secret to getting this function to work. Eventually, when I did figure it out, I explained the process that I used to solve the issue.
- I watch my children struggle with various challenges. I rarely feel equipped with the skills that I need to help them. However, usually, if I approach them with curiosity and love, I am able to help them weather their storms.