Gradually, then Suddenly

Repeat customers are a gift for any business but a blessing for photographers. Being able to capture a single milestone is an honor, but there is something special about helping to chronicle a person’s life over the years. It’s an opportunity to contribute to their history and preserve their memories before they slip into the past. To borrow a notion from Hemingway, life happens two ways: “gradually, then suddenly.”


This week I had the privilege of shooting a family session for a client whose family portraits I had taken two years ago. In just the two short years since I had last seen them, their cute kids had grown into beautiful young adults. Seeing someone’s kids after some time has passed can be a shock to the system! I have three children, so I know how fast they grow, especially during the, “eating us out of house and home” years.


But time passes differently when we see our kids every day. The change is softer and less obvious when we watch it unfold in real time. I notice it more when I stop during a rare quiet moment to reflect, or when I come across a snapshot from an earlier moment in time, or (more commonly) when someone else points out how much they’ve grown since they last saw them.


Paus-10Paus MD Mini - Client-7

It’s that change, the transformation that happens in between, that is much more defined and dramatic. It happens in leaps and bounds, almost all at once, and it’s made up of countless moments and memories that are too easy to miss, if you’re not paying attention.


One day you’re tearing your hair out over diapers and suddenly it’s tee ball and then Kindergarten. It’s science fair projects and recitals and then, before you know it, it’s driving permits and then graduation. It’s the aunt at the family reunion exclaiming, “The last time I saw you, you were only this big!” and it’s the out of town friends who are mystified as to how and when the kids became so grown up.


Let’s capture these memories now, while they are still gradually unfolding – before the time has flown by and the chance to preserve them is suddenly gone.

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