It's not that I think Obama is the perfect president -- because there is no such thing. It's really about what he and Michelle brought to the White House. They opened it up to the people, celebrated culture, religion, diversity and a wide variety of talent. Mostly, though, they put a genuine, authentic focus on children.
It really wasn’t until the last few days that I’ve begun to realize how much their example has impacted me and my own work. After all, as a family photographer, I spend a lot of time with kids. Learning to navigate their wants and needs while capturing beautiful images hasn’t always been easy… but by watching the Obamas, I’ve learned a lot about love, patience and respect, and what that looks like to a kid.
I use those lessons anytime I’m working with children, and this session with little Martin (pictured above) was no different. This kid has a heart of gold, but he and I each had different ideas about what makes a good photo. He didn’t tell me this of course – just protested when I asked mom and dad to pick him up. So, we did things his way, and you know what? The photos turned out incredibly well.
The point in all of this is that everyone, no matter your age, race, gender, religious preference or sexual orientation, deserves respect, peace and a place to feel comfortable. I worry that our children and large segments of our nation’s population won’t find those things under the incoming administration. It’s a lot to think about and digest, and a lot to carry on my shoulders, but I know I’m not alone. I know there are many others out there who feel the way I do. It is now up to us to demonstrate what respect, peace and love look like, not only to our friends, but to our neighbors, our coworkers, passersby and, most importantly, our children.
I’m looking forward to sharing more photos from my session with Martin and his mom and dad soon. But until then, I’m taking a short weekend break with my husband. We're headed to the Shenandoah mountains to hang out with some llamas (for real!!) While there, I'm hoping we can both find peace and take a much-needed mental break from the madness.