Front Porch Memories

One of the bright spots throughout this pandemic has been the growing number of families taking to their front porches to capture pictures of their family. It’s hard not to find several posts a day from friends and family members while scrolling Instagram and Facebook. I’ve loved seeing everyone’s take on the quarantine life; some funny, some themed and some just everyday.

In the midst of all the chaos, confusion and uncertainty there has arisen this need for us to chronicle this increible time in our nation and world’s history – and to remember where (and what) our family looked like during it all. Our families are living in uncharted waters. We’re navigating this sea of uncertainty while trying to stay afloat, propped up by homeschool schedules, Zoom calls, work from home stress, the quarantine twenty and copious amounts of wine. Really. All the wine.

I’m a bit of a neurotic planner when it comes to family pictures. Planning takes a couple of months, the vision for the shoot another couple of weeks and figuring out what everyone will wear requires it’s very own creative marketing board. Needless to say – I labor over our family pictures – and this is precisely the reason we take them every two years as opposed to every six months like a lot of families I know.

Yet, seeing all of these beautiful, unscripted, unplanned and genuinely fun looking pictures of sweet families I know made my heart swell and reminded me that perfection isn’t necessary to create magic and a moment you’ll remember forever. Coincidentally around this time of realization a sweet local photographer followed me on IG and reached out to me about her Mother’s Day Front Porch sessions to see if I might be interested. {I was} Life so often provides us what we need as long as we’re willing to listen. As I read Katy’s note and looked through the pictures on her page I found myself decisively making plans to create a little magic of our own and some memorable moments in honor of the upcoming celebration of being a mom.

Empowering and supporting women is also something I feel very strongly about so reading Katy’s story; her passion for photography, the beach and life – I knew these would end up being so fun for our Smith Party of five. Add on the fact that during a delicious Taco Tuesday a few weeks prior to this time, filled with solid libations by my husband, I’d tipsy-ordered us all sombreros for Cinco de Mayo off Amazon. We were set. And so was this photoshoot. Katy and I exchanged information, set a date and time and we gave her our address.

Hurriedly I scanned our closets for items that would coordinate and mix well together all the while thinking to myself, ‘this is actually coming together rather easily’ and simultaneously giving validation to my husband’s words that I really shouldn’t take these things too seriously. Maybe he was right? Maybe he was wrong. Or maybe I was just so excited that we were going to have some family pictures hanging on the wall reflecting a three-and-a-half year old Jude compared to the pictures of seventh month old Jude, that I didn’t think – I just decided. Regardless, I pulled it all together in record time. My very own Smith Family Photo session PR. {personal record}

The day arrived and we were ready. All of us except…Jude. He was not in the mood to have his picture taken – at all. We all powered through and kept reminding each other that these would end up being the pictures and moments we’d remember most about this entire experience. Oh how right we were. When we got the proofs back – we sat and oohed and aahed and – laughed so hard at our Baby Jude’s expressions – or lack thereof. Our little front porch session was exactly what we needed. I got to celebrate being a mom to this motley crew of wild and fun kids while also honoring my mother-in-law who is a fixture in our lives and the glue that holds this family together.

There have been many silver linings like this throughout these COVID times for which I have been especially grateful. Our front porch pictures will forever be treasured and looked back upon. They will remind us of the time in our family’s life when grace, not perfection, snap decisions compared to months of planning, and laughter through the wild antics of a threenager – can be something to celebrate and honor – in the midst of a pandemic.

-Confessions of a Corporate Mom

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