So, the best part of this job from a functional perspective is that I provide people with memories they can look back on forever. I think that's true of any photographer.
Unquestionably the best side effect of this job, however, is how many amazing people I get to meet in the process. At this point, I've worked with...I don't know. Hundreds of different people? Families, teenagers, weddings, babies and new parents. Name it and we've done it. And so many of the people I've met have been these incredibly strong and supportive women.
Today is International Women's Day, and like most of you reading this, I've spent some time today reflecting on the women in my life. Start with my wife and daughter, then to my moms (mom and mom-in-law), and sisters, and so forth - I have just been so ridiculously blessed. They're smart. They're strong. They're confident. They're beautiful. They are, in so many ways, blueprints of what I want to continue to raise Ellie to be, even as she adds her own input to the pile with each passing year.
And I see the same thing virtually every time I go on a shoot. It never fails to just impress the hell out of me. Moms riding herd on the kids and trying to keep them in the same geographical vicinity for family pics. Young women standing proudly as they take their marriage vows, laughing as they take their first dance, and shedding a tear or two as they hug their own mom once the night has settled down and they've had a chance to breathe. High school seniors who are on the cusp of figuring out who they are; she's confident but still searching for something, with her mom usually watching from off to the side, wondering how in the heck 18 years went by this quickly.
You learn a lot about people, as a photographer. I think you have to want to enjoy that part of it if you want to succeed. You can't be dispassionate in this business when the job is about emotion. And I have learned so much from the ladies who have appeared in front of my lens and those I've gotten to know off-camera. I've gotten to know them through joy and tragedy and seen them navigate both with unfailing grace.
Part of me still thinks it's a shame we need to make it a formal day to recognize your importance, ladies. It should be understood at this point. But then, the other part of me is glad for it. You deserve to have it shouted from the rooftops.
Wonder Women, one and all.