wedding day / by Carey

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My Little Lady was asked to be a flower girl in a wedding last October.  I cannot put into adequate words what it was like for Shawn and me to see her dressed like a little fairy tale princess for the wedding.  She was just stunning.  I wanted to photograph it, and capture it... but I fought against actually being there and being present and experiencing it (AND not overstepping my bounds to the real hired professional photographer there).

Finally after the ceremony and the meal at the reception, we took her over to the field where the ceremony took place, and I tried to photograph her.  I confess, I lost my temper big time then.  First, by the time we'd made it over there, the sun was gone way behind the treelike.  The ideal light I'd been looking forward to for twenty four hours was gone, and I had missed my only opportunity.  That little bit of disappointment was just the tip of the iceberg.  I know about myself that when little expectations like this aren't met, my fuse becomes quite short.

She just would not cooperate for the images.  She was being so completely ridiculous and silly.  I was introvert exhausted from the two days and I had no emotional capacity left to handle this bump in the road.  I had in my head all these expectations of what I'd get - these beautiful golden light backlit images of her in her princess dress with her miraculous curls with the beautiful flower crown... and she was having none of it.  She wasn't being ugly and defiant, refusing to partake.  She was just not taking the dreamy, ethereal images I'd had in mind.  She wasn't feeling that.  She was feeling giddy and silly.  Trying to make her brother laugh at her.  She kept falling on the grass (with her WHITE dress!!!) on purpose.  It was just a lllllll wrong.

She'd been SO good ALLLL day.  She'd had to sit ALL day.  Seriously, hours and hours and hours and she was SO good.  She had such a wonderful attitude through it all.  (dude, weddings were NOT made for kids - so. much. waiting.)

I lost it.  I lost it (mostly internally) because she wouldn't perform on my command.

I don't remember now, these months later, just what I said.  It probably included "I am done"  said in a hateful, exasperated tone.  She knew I was angry.  And this made her really upset.  She wants to please me so much.  But she's five.

Five, Carey.  Five.

I could feel the irrational anger bubbling away inside of me and decided to just quit. I cannot force my creativity, and certainly not when I'm mad or frustrated.  Yet now, when I look back at the handful of images I shot that day, I love them.  They aren't at ALL what I had in mind.  Not at all.  But they are real.  They are her.  And that is really what my goal is through all of it, anyway.

I wish I could go back in time and set myself up for the right expectations.  Take away my frustration, take away my lack of self control that showed her how mad I was, take away my childish display of temper when I didn't get my way.  But I can't.

I could only ask for her forgiveness.

I shot these with my Nikon D800
Nikon 85mm f1.8
Nikon 50mm 1.4D
Sigma 30mm f1.4