Marj Merges Beautiful. Honest. You. {and me}

Intimate Connections

This weekend I had the privilege of photographing my dear friends Mary and Phil and their sweet little baby, Hazel.  Hazel was born while I was off in Atlanta doing my internship so I just got to meet her this week and I think she’s already stolen my heart.  Perhaps she’ll steal yours digitally.  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

This shoot is the first in a series we’ll be doing over the next year.  Every three months we’ll get together for some family portraits and chronicle the rapid changes in Hazel over that time (and in my skill and style as a photographer).  I’m excited for it.

Today (the day I’m writing this) I’ve officially been home two weeks.  Seriously, only two weeks.  It seems rather crazy and I can hardly remember not being here except that I have to struggle to remember certain things.  Like where the capers are in the grocery store (gave up on that one, decided they were extraneous).  But I had been gone for four months and sometimes I have to stop and realize an awful lot probably happened in Colorado while I was gone.  Eric spent four months in this house sleeping with only the cats.  And well, Hazel was born and gained six pounds.

I went to APW bookclub yesterday which was awesome by the way.  If you don’t read that site I’d like you to tell me why not.  Because really it’s not about weddings.  We were discussing our most recent book, For Better by Tara Parker-Pope and one of the discussion questions reminded me how new my current situation was.  We were talking about power dynamics in our relationships.  Thinking about that I realized that Eric and I are just at the point where we’re trying to negotiate this again.  Like two weeks into it.  Sure, nearly all of our relationship Eric has had the power in the traditional sense.  He makes the money.  I sometimes make a little and sometimes I just spend it.  Part of that is that I’m six years younger, part of that is that we’ve been together six years and I’ve had the security of our relationship since I was relatively young (23 to be exact), and part of it is because I just don’t care about making a lot of money.  I care a little bit more now.  I’m a little less idealistic than I was at 23.  But still, I like to believe that we can make whatever we have work and we don’t need to sacrifice happiness for money.  So I guess that’s why I’m doing this photography thing.  I really want to be happy.  I really want to do create something I can be proud of.  And I want to make people happy.  People beyond myself just by doing something I love.  And I hope someday I’ll be contributing more than grocery shopping, cooking, cleaning, laundry, litter scooping, cuddling, an ear, and you know, that other stuff.

I’m working on it.  But it’s slow.  Which is what I’d expected.  It’s just hard to live the slow.  The celebration of each individual inquiry.  The celebration each time I hear someone LOVES my pictures.  Everytime a picture I took becomes a profile picture.  Everytime I open up Lightroom and see a picture that nailed the shoot.  Everytime I take out my camera.  I hope I never stop celebrating these moments.  But I hope some day I’ll stop needing these celebrations as much as I do now.  I need them to bolster me.  To steel me to the challenge and know that a year or two from now I’ll come out from this struggle with a heck of a lot to celebrate.  And maybe somewhere in there the power dynamics will equalize a bit in our house.  Not that I’m unhappy being a housewife.  I love it.  I just feel a little guilty.  And I actually want to be a photographer (and a housewife).

Thank you, Hazel, Mary, and Phil.  I hope you LOVE your pictures.

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