From the day it began it was pure vulnerability.
I love him sooo much I could explode. What if we’re doing it wrong? What if we could be doing it better? I just want to see my family happy.
Sometimes wanting “happy” unknowingly shifts to wanting “perfect.” A picture with everyone looking in the same direction and smiling, only one discernible chin for me, our clothes don’t clash and there are no food particles on his face. Is that really so much to ask?
Everyone else seems to have it “together.” We’ve tried putting it together and that picture, even when beautifully lit and composed, never really looks like us. I’ve come to prefer the pictures that do. I’ve come to an honest place where I put who we are above what I assume others want to see. Crazy thing is: they might be one in the same! Honestly, I think everyone is sick to death of having to act so perfect all the time.
Its going by fast. I like that photography stops the joy for a moment and lets me hold it.
There are times when we know to pull out a camera. Vacations are the best!
And don’t forget holidays…
And birthdays, and big milestones.
Sometimes I’m lucky enough to be there for the really big moments for my clients. I’ve photographed weddings and birthdays, I’ve joined them at vacation homes. I’ve photographed three births and each one changed me profoundly.
Most of the time I’m called in for a date on the calendar with no special markings. If you think about it, its these days made of so-called ordinary moments and all lumped together that really make up our lives.
Its full of magic: the ordinary stuff isn’t actually ordinary at all! There are aspects so commonplace you might not even notice them until they’re gone, tossed to the side and outgrown, replaced by something new.
Don’t be sad though because childhood is still happening. Something unique and special is happening right now! Your love is the magic and your life is happening all the time, you don’t have to wait for something or some time. Its going on in every season, not just in the fall when we all start freaking out about our holiday card pictures.
…and it happens everywhere. In the most familiar places.
When we get together we’ll take some posed portraits because, let’s face it, you’re freakin’ adorable.
But if you give me your time and trust, and an opportunity comes about for me to capture something awkwardly endearing,
or a moment that feels heartbreakingly real,
… I think you know what I’ll do with that.
Its very brave, being seen. If you have a little courage, I have a camera. Your ordinary is more extraordinary than you realize. Until, of course, someone shows it to you and it takes your breath away.
Melissa Worthington, known as “Mel” most of the time, is a mom and freelance photographer based in the Washington, DC area. She earned her MFA in Design from Virginia Commonwealth University and her BA from Georgetown University, has exhibited her artwork nationally and is a Virginia Museum of Fine Arts Fellow. Her passions include spending time time outside with her son and husband, throwing a frisbee to their dog Arbus, knitting, advocating for clean beauty and better healthcare, eating dessert first on occasion and wearing bright lipstick as often as possible.
Photographs in the About Mel section were taken by myself; fellow photographer and my partner in all things, Sam Worthington, my doula Therese Hak-Kuhn (our son’s birth) and our friend Mosca Flint (our family pic). And an unknown family member who picked up our camera at Christmas and took the sippy cup photo bomb pic. Thank you, its the bomb.
And a very special thanks to family and friends depicted here for allowing me to share our life and love on the interwebs.