Slowing down and getting in the picture | Northern Virginia Family Photographer

I'm a recovering multitasker and wannabe perfectionist.  I am always making lists and always trying to squeeze in a task to check off my to do list. And though I hear the words "present" and "mindful" more than enough, I'm still learning to slow down and really understand what they mean to me. 

Mother reading to toddler son in bed by Northern Virginia Family Photographer Nicole Sanchez

I struggle often with finding a place between doing all the things that make life happen and slowing down to enjoy the moments that make life worth living. I question the necessity of tasks more often, but I still get caught up in the hamster wheel. 

I write this because even though the very act of setting my camera and remote up to take these images made me a little less present in the moment, I want these moments to be the ones I remember when my kids are grown and gone. I want to remember taking the time to stop and giggle even though there's piles of laundry that need to be put away. I want to remember welcoming my oldest son into bed with his younger brother, rather than losing my patience with him for interrupting naptime. 

Mom shushing child during naptime by Northern Virginia Family Photographer Nicole Sanchez
Children cuddling in bed at nap time by Family Photographer Nicole Sanchez

I fall short of my aspirations all the time. But I find the more of these moments that I have - moments where I'm not focused on all the things, just the people in front of me - the pressure and anxiety to be perfect slip away and I catch glimpses of those oft extolled benefits of presence and mindfulness and remember that none of those other things really matter. The things that really matter are the people right there in front of me and they need me more than neatly folded laundry. 

Kids snuggling in bed with mom by Northern Virginia Family Photographer Nicole Sanchez
Mom tickling laughing child by Northern Virginia Family Photographer Nicole Sanchez

I've found a lot of inspirations in audiobooks from the library recently.  One of the ones I've really enjoyed is Hands Free Mama.  If you're looking for inspiration to slow down, you'll find plenty here.

This post is part of a collaborative documentary photography blog circle called Around Our Clocks. We're documenting a day in our life over the course of one year.  This month was 11am. Continue the circle by visiting Heather Tully to see her June image.

Nicole Sanchez Photography works with busy parents in Northern Virginia, Washington, DC, and Maryland to create stress-free photo sessions that take all the loving, fun, and chaotic moments of family life to make beautiful photos and films that families will love looking at year after year. Contact me today to start planning a custom photography experience that's perfect for your family.