FEAR... / by Nico Nordström

Congratulations! If you're reading this, you're thinking of having photos of yourself taken. Either gorgeous portraits of yourself, or of you and your beautiful family. If you're having a moment of thinking, I'm not ready yet, or we’re not ready yet, keep reading. If you're ready, you can still read this, it's a good reminder of why we do this. Not only why Nico and Michi take the photos, but why we all get in front of the camera. Why it's important.

My grandfather loved cameras, loved taking photos from a young age. Because of that, my family and I have an amazing amount of photos of my grandparents at all ages. My aunts and uncles, cousins, my mom, me, my brother, etc. All of these people in these old photos probably thought, don't take my photo, I'm not at my best today. Whether it was because of weight, or a break out (back before photoshop and filters), or maybe they hated the outfit they were wearing, or their hair. But, decades later, I have no idea what was on my 25 year old grandfathers mind in some of my favorite photos of him, or how my grandmother felt about my grandfather incessantly taking pics of her with my mom when she was a baby. My family looked young, happy, and full of life. I just know I love those photos, and that I'm grateful we have them.

“I hate being in front of the camera”
Unfortunately, our absolute only view of ourselves is in a mirror and in photographs. In most cases those photographs are taken by friends and family, with no regard to angles or to portraying your true self and true beauty. We fixate on our flaws. But not the captivating way we throw ourselves into a roar of laughter during a shoot? Or that cute thing we do? Everyone's got a cute thing they do. Everyone.

Getting in front of the camera can sound scary at first, but I promise you that the camera isn’t some mean grotesque monster that wants to show us all of our perceived “flaws”. Especially when in the hands of a professional - it creates something that in the coming years and generations is more important and special than anything else that money can buy.

“I need to lose X amount of pounds before I do that fearless session.”
When you’re 80 years old you’re not going to care (and chances are – no one cares now) because you're going to look amazing. Your husband wants pictures with or of his beautiful wife. Your kids will want pics with or of their mother. Always waiting for this moment where you’ll be thin or pretty enough? Don’t. If this magical day does come when you’re acceptably thin/pretty you’ll STILL regret not having any pictures of you from now. We change and we grow older and you can never have that time back.

Isn’t it amazing we can see the beauty in our best friends, sisters, mothers, and aunts without the slightest thought to their flaws . . . but can obsess for hours on our own imperfections? You’re the only one who notices. The rest of us are too caught up in loving you, just like you're loving them. We don’t get to see the way our eyes are filled with wonder and passion when we talk about something that we love, or the way our smiles light up an entire room, we don’t get to truly see just how killer we look in our favorite outfits - we never get to see just how truly beautiful we are... Which is why hiring a professional is so incredibly important, professional photographers are trained to see all the beauty in you as soon as you walk through the door, and know how to capture it. We know exactly how to pose you, exactly how to talk to you, and exactly how to set up the technicals so that you can see how your eyes light up, and how gorgeous your 1000 watt smile is, so that you can see exactly how killer you look in that outfit. Having professional photos taken by someone who is passionate and trained in photography is giving yourself, and others, the gift of capturing, saving, and portraying your true beautiful self.

“I am waiting for my hair to grow out and this zit to go away before I get in front of a camera.” We have extensions, concealer, and a Photoshop wizard, Nico. If you have a concern or a flaw, we have a solution. Talk to us - our favorite thing is making people feel beautiful.

“Our house is a mess right now and I want to wait until we paint our walls a different color.”
“There’s no way you could get our kids to behave or smile … let’s wait until they are older.”
Your kids or life is too crazy right now to take photos? I doubt it. Invite us into your home to document the craziness. Or, we'll take you somewhere else, or build you a set, or do it at one of the homes we use. Don't let your space be the reason, because when your kids are off to college – it’s going to be too late, and be sad you didn't. Your children want pictures with their mom, dad, siblings, grandparents, etc. They want photos of themselves acting crazy. Pictures to show how we LOVE, how we laugh, how we are treasured by our families, we all wants these. Document the life. All the messy, beautiful, crazy, real moments. We promise, you’ll thank yourself later.

Do you know anyone who left this earth with no physical evidence of the goofy, wide open and loud love for life, family and friends? Are you sad you don't have more photos of them? With them?

The thing about photos – is that they are powerful. They have the ability to stop time and capture who you are at a certain point in time. Because you know what? Time doesn’t stop. It moves on.

“I can’t afford it right now”
One day, years and years from now, all that will be left for the world to remember each and every one of us by will be photographs and stories - and you’re gonna want to hope that both of those will be wonderful and last for forever. As someone that has lost a lot of loved ones, there’s nothing worse than having no quality photos of someone once they’ve passed on. Please don’t do your loved ones a disservice by only leaving behind snapshots taken on your phone - you are worth so much more than that. The money will be spent regardless, so it might as well be on something that will last. There is always a way to make it work - whether by saving up, by doing a custom payment plan, or putting it on a credit card. There are two ways in which things are taxing, one is montary, and one is taxing on your life - and there’s nothing more expensive than a lost photograph or a lost era in time.

“I don’t need prints, just give everything to me on a disc”
During the early 2000’s when digital became really prominent, no one knew how to backup files. We knew nothing about computers, digital cameras, or just how easy it was to lose all of our information on aging devices such as floppy discs, CD’s, and failing hard drives.
Because of all of this, I barely have any pictures of my childhood - that time my sister and I dyed our hair pink, my (now) 15 year old dog as a puppy, or super soaker wars between my friends and I - all of those photos are gone. If only I had printed even some of those photos out, I would have been able to hold on to memories from past eras of mine and my family’s lives. We’ve thought of digital as foolproof because of it’s lack of physicality - when in reality digital is the most fragile form of storing information.

I'm so happy, now, for nearly every photo I have of myself. Even the ones with the bad hair and skin of my teen years, my post baby weight, now weight. Ha, my skin hasn’t cleared up, I'm 35. I went for a decade, hiding from the camera. I have almost no photos from my 20’s. What was I thinking? I'll never be 20 something again, I'll never have pics of me and my son when he was little, that opportunity is gone. I still don't like being in front of the camera, but I'll never hide from it again. It's too important. When my grandfather neared the end of his life, all he wanted to do was look at photos and talk about all the great times we had, and the great things that happened before my mom, brother, or I were born. And you know, we take photos of places we go, food we eat, things that make us happy, why not of us happy, with those that make us happy?