Darrah Parker » Slice of Life Photography

easing into the new year

Lens Mama: Finding Beauty starts in a week and I am so glad. I’m not one for setting New Year’s resolutions, but I love the idea of pressing a reset button. So Lens Mama will be my reset button – my gentle way starting the new year with intention. How does that sound to you?

Around here, life feels at once easier and harder now that we have a three-year-old. On one hand, she is blowing our minds with her humor and sensitivity. We love her enthusiasm for cooking and bugs and all things Doc McStuffins. On the other hand, she is testing us (as all toddlers do) and is going through a new phase of separation anxiety. The biggest change is that she has stopped napping. (Hold me now.)

Growing up ain’t easy, especially for parents.

I work from home so the farewell to naps has come as a big blow to me. I’m still figuring out a new rhythm that works for both of us. I value that quiet time of day where everything gets still. Where I can stop and breathe and refuel for the next round of toddler mania. Sometimes that means getting in the car and driving for an hour so Sadie can chill out while I listen to music and savor a cup of coffee. Sometimes that means turning on a show (usually Doc McStuffins, of course). A mama’s gotta do what a mama’s gotta do.

My most favorite day since naps stopped was the day I told Sadie we were going to have “alone time”. I set out several quiet toys and told her I was going to rest in my room and that I would be back in an hour. When the hour was up, I came out and she was happily making a mess with scissors and paper, ignoring all the toys I had laid out for her. I was so worried about leaving her to her own devices, but when left to their own devices, children create magical worlds all their own.

Of course, I took a moment to capture the scene. It was a momentous day for both of us. We are both experiencing growing pains, but we are navigating this new territory together.

I’m looking forward to starting off this new year consciously looking for these quiet moments. Despite the ups and downs of life with a child, I am always searching for the beauty. I think I need this practice more than ever as I watch my girl grow and change at such a rapid pace.

Do you want to join me in this practice? The next session of Lens Mama: Finding Beauty starts next Monday, January 12, and runs for ten days. With the help of our cameras, we will explore what it means to be a mother, how to slow down and savor the good moments, and how to find beauty even in the messy moments. Let’s do it together. No prior photography experience required. All types of cameras welcome (yes, even smart phones!) Class details and registration info here.

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“I thought Lens Mama was going to be a photography class — something to help me hone my skills in capturing those sweet (and fleeting!) moments with my toddler. But I was wrong. LensMama was SO much more: a community of like-minded mamas, a lesson in finding beauty in the mundane, a pat on the back for doing our best, a gentle voice (love you, Darrah!) telling us that it’s OK to spend some time on ourselves. Sure, we learned how to be better photographers in the process. But, more importantly, we all learned how to be better, happier mothers as well.”
~ Chelsea

peter and his fan club | seattle family photographer

I love my job. Have I mentioned that lately? It’s true. I love my job. The main reason I love it is because I get to meet the most amazing people. I get to hang out in their homes and capture their love with my camera. And that’s exactly what I did when I went to 16-month-old Peter’s house a few weeks ago. Just one look at this family and I could feel the love. Peter is such a sweet kid and was surrounded by his adoring fans (a.k.a. Mom, Dad, and Grandpa) for our photo session.