Emily Schultz : April 2016

25 April 2016

A Carefully Curated Life

These days everywhere you look there is this image of curated perfection. Perfectly decorated houses. Perfectly clothed children. Perfect relationships. Perfect motherhood. We live in an age of visual comparison. We see these perfect images of all the perfect things we wish we could have or be. It’s hard not to fall into the trap of self-judgement and feeling less than enough when we are inundated on a daily basis with the image of perfect.

I was listening to a group of moms talk the other day and almost every single one said that she felt not enough. That she felt she wasn’t doing enough, being enough, or giving enough. That stopped in my tracks. Why? Why were these kind, generous, loving women feeling like this? It hurt my heart and kind of made me want to shake them. That’s not to say I never feel like this. It’s just when someone else voices these feelings, it’s easier to see the error in this way of thought. I think as women and moms this has been a struggle from the beginning of time, but in a world of Pinterest-perfect posts it is becoming a rampant epidemic.

Life isn’t perfect. We make mistakes, we lose our tempers, the house is messy, the kids are dirty, and perfectly healthy snacks are nowhere be seen. This doesn’t mean we fail. It means we are living a real life. It’s not always perfect. It’s not always tidy, but in the midst of the crazy there is this beauty all its own.

My everyday life may not make the most gorgeous Instagram feed but guess what? I don't live a carefully curated life. It’s more like a random assortment of great moments that connect us to each other. It’s the daily act of being a family and finding joy in the everyday. That’s really what I want for my family. To curate these moments that matter. To focus less on the perfection and more on the living well.

How do I do that? There isn’t a one answer fits all, but I do know that when I take the focus off of doing everything right and work more on the relationships within my family things seem to fall into place. It’s not all the doing that makes relationships great. It’s the being. Being truly present. In these moments, I care a little less of the perfect state of my house and a little more about the moments that are truly important in this life. 

17 April 2016

The Power of Saying No

Do you ever have those parenting moments where there are words just falling out of your mouth and you’re thinking to yourself “I rock at this whole family/parenting thing?” That happened to me a couple months ago. It was right after Christmas, my kids and I were in the car coming home. There was a lot of snotty attitude coming from the back seat. My son was pretty angry over the fact that my husband and I had decided that we were not going to allow him to have the tablet that was sent as a present. I was wavering between losing my cool and using it as a teaching moment.

As a little background to this story we, as parents, decided that our kids would not have electronics of this kind. We have been fairly vocal about our decision to friends and family. When asked if they could have a tablet we have always said no, but we have never really had a reason to explain our decision to the kids. 

(Please know that if your kids have tablets I am totally not judging you or trying to shame you. This is just a decision that we have made and it works for our family)

Tablets were sent to us to give to our kids as a present, we had them in a box in our room, and the kids knew they were there. He really wanted it and I understand why. They are the norm these days and most kids have one. I was left trying to give a better answer to his “why can’t I have it, my friends do” question than “because your dad and I said so.” As much as I love that answer as a parent, it really wasn’t working here. Besides, I was trying really hard to have that teachable moment.

As I was giving him my answer and the words just kept coming, part of my brain was saying “are you listening to this? You need to hear this too.”

I was telling him that by saying no to the tablets, we are saying yes to something else. We are saying yes to you playing outside, we are saying yes to you having a horse, we are saying yes to junior rodeo, we are saying yes to a son who isn’t moody and grouchy when we say it’s time to turn it off (on the rare occasion he has had the opportunity to use one, he is a completely different kid when it is taken away). Every no is a bigger yes to something else…

Every no is a yes to something else. That hit me and got me thinking. What, as a family, are our no’s really saying? What yes is on the other side? We say no all the time, but do we ever stop to think about what we are really saying yes too? There is a power is saying no. That power is the ultimate yes on the other side of the no.

That yes is how we make our family strong. That yes shapes us and molds us into who we are. That yes is where our connections to each other are formed. That yes is how our family is made every day.  

What is your no saying a bigger yes too?

08 April 2016

A Walk in an Orchard

This family lights up any place with love and laughter. It was such a joy to spend an afternoon with them walking around this orchard and seeing the way they connect with one another. They have so many big and amazing plans for their family's future. I am excited to see where their everyday journey takes them, because I know it will be somewhere very awesome. They focus on creating lasting memories with their children and building relationships that make their family strong. Two things that make my heart very happy. We were so lucky that we planned this session when we did because their new little man made his appearance 18 days early. I can't wait to photograph their family with their newest addition and get a peek into their daily life.

04 April 2016

The Visible Mom Sessions

There is this thing that has been weighing heavy on my heart and mind for the last couple of weeks. I was looking through my images for pictures of me and my kids. Guess what I found. Not much. There are a few selfies on my phone and maybe a handful of images on my computer. In most pictures I’m hidden behind the camera or just out of the frame. I’m there, but I’m not visible. It makes me sad that I am missing from my children’s visual heritage and it is something I am making a conscious effort to change.

What got me looking for these pictures are the conversations I’ve been having with other moms about photography and life in general. Almost every one of these women said she wished she had more pictures with her mom or of her mom doing the things that made their relationship special and unique. I am guilty of creating this scenario for my children. If I don’t change this, they will grow up to say these things about me.  

You know what none of these women said? None of them said, I wish I had less pictures with my mom, I wish my mom had lost 10 pounds before we took that picture, I wish we all matched and had a perfect looking house. No one said those things about their moms. Our kids view us in much the same way as we view our moms. They love us just the way we are. They see what is special about us even when we can’t. Why are we hiding from the picture when the ones who will cherish these pictures the most want us in them?

Today I’m inviting you to step out from your hiding place and be part of your children’s pictures. Join me for a limited edition Visual Mom Session.
There are four sessions available, two on April 23 and two on May 14

The Visible Mom Session              $372
A quick phone call to get to the heart of the moments you love the most
A 20 minute session
An online gallery of 10 images
3 4x6 prints including a copy of the digital negative

Book your Visible Mom Session today, because your children deserve to have you in the picture.

Email me at info@emilyschultzphotography.com to reserve your session.

If you would like to gift this session to someone let me know in your email that it’s a gift and I’ll send you a gift certificate.

Because of the nature of the Visible Mom Sessions, they must take place in the greater Moses Lake area. However, if you do not live here and would like to have one of these sessions email me and I will send you the details of how to book me in your area.