This is a blog post I have wanted to write for awhile. Being a mother is so much apart of who I am, and so much a part of my photography that I have often thought about writing about the two as if they are one because for me they are. Many of my favorite images my children have been apart of in some way. In fact all but one of my favorite images for 2018 were taken on camping trips with my children, and on over half they were right next to me playing. So what does this mean for them and for me? For me it's not always easy. I have to parent and create simultaneously. Sometimes that's means setting up a shot, quickly changing the camera to time lapse the fast fading light hoping I have everything correct, then comforting a child while fishing out a bandaid for a skinned knee. It means often times they end up filthy, soak and wet, stomping through creeks, jumping waves, or trying to out do each other in how much mud they can trudge through on the way back to the car and come home in their underwear while I contemplate leaving their clothes behind. It means I have missed moments of incredible light because someone had to go to the bathroom. It means I have dealt with tantrums when all I really wanted was a few quiet moments with nature. It means that maybe I have not produced the best shot possible because I was distracted. So why?!?! Why do I do it? Because I have walked away with so much more than a pretty picture! I not only get to experience stunning light, create inspiring images, and spend soul feeding time in nature I get to share those experiences with people I love most in the world enriching their lives in much the same way. Research tells us that experiences are amplified when shared. These shared positive experiences make us happier, more content, and view life as more meaningful. Research is also starting to focus on the health benefits children receive from nature. "Children's stress levels fall within minutes of seeing green spaces. Play protects children's emotional development...Nature makes children nicer, enhancing social interactions, value for community, and close relationships." (NWF.org) It's a win for me and a win for them. Though having my children with me may distract me at some level from what I am trying to create, the experience of sharing this incredible scene with them leaves me overall more content. In the end I think those feelings of contentment allow me to feel more secure with my skills ultimately fueling my confidence and creativity. It also has taught my children to feel confident outdoors, to learn the rhythm of nature, and to see the value of the outside world. The benefits of this journey we have embarked together far outweigh any inconvenience I have to overcome. Really I don't view those moments as inconveniences either. To me it's just parenting. As for what my children think about the whole situation? Well if I ask them if they want to stay home I am met with jeers and a few very vocal, "Absolutely not!" I am a mom and I am a landscape photographer. And for me the two go together perfectly.