What is more spring-inspired than a field of daisies and a sweet romper? Not much, right? Funny though, how photos just tell one piece of every story….
This shoot involved walking down the middle of a highway (yikes) and hiking in 5″ wedges down a steep grade filled with bushes and thorny thickets (and bees!) to reach the beautiful field of daisies that we shot in. It’s sort of an interesting metaphor for social media – what we see as the end product is not necessarily a great representation of what was going on behind the scenes. You guys see a field of pretty flowers and a striped romper, not the hike beforehand or the way the photog and I had to run out in the middle of the road and try to get a few shots off as safely as possible.
This is what I struggle with, when it comes to blogging, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook. What we see in photos is merely a moment captured in time, and the full story is often hidden. Social media has this way of making everything appear so perfect: gorgeous brunches, happy family outings, relaxing date nights and perfectly poured coffee shots. What we don’t see are the feelings behind the camera, the arguments, hardships and tears in between the photo snaps. We can’t tell whether someone is struggling simply by looking at their photo. We don’t really know the whole story…we just know what we see…and generally what we see if the best of the best.
Once a week, I put on makeup, put together a bunch of outfits, wash and curl my hair, and go shoot photos for the coming weeks. The rest of the week I live in jeans and t-shirts, yoga pants and hoodies, with my hair in a messy ponytail and not a trace of makeup. Some days I don’t want to shower. Some days I don’t even want to get out of bed, to be honest. Do I love fashion? Absolutely. But do I have it in me to get dressed up each day just to head to work and sit in my office for ten hours (much of which time is spent working by myself)? No. Not really. I wish I had it in me to make some effort. It’s not exactly a great self-esteem booster to glance in the mirror and see messy hair, tired eyes, and a rumpled t-shirt. But I just don’t have it in me. Weekdays are dedicated to work, trying to get a healthy dinner on the table, and get the little one off to bed. Weekends are spent trying to recover from the overwhelming exhaustion that is being a parent and a HUMAN BEING; being a human is hard enough without having to care for another. And some weeks (most weeks), the very thought of having to do ONE.MORE.THING. is so insanely overwhelming. My family has a history of depression and anxiety, and lucky for me my genetics have left me with the same struggles. There are periods of time where I am just so SO sad. Where I miss my dad, where I wish that my life looked and felt different than it does. Where I am so tired that even sitting down feels utterly draining. Where just having to BE, to exist, feels a bit devastating. Perhaps that sounds rather melodramatic, but it’s the truth…and a relatively sugar-coated truth at that…because people don’t really seem to like downers. No one wants to hear about the pain behind the picture, the struggle in the relationship, the parental guilt. I think that is why sometimes the hardest part for me when it comes to blogging is coming up with text that matches the sunny happiness of the photo. Sometimes I just don’t feel all that happy, and I don’t feel like writing about styling denim on denim or print-mixing or whatever. Some days I just want to be honest and vulnerable and open about the reality that is life. And today seems to be one of those days.
Photography by Stacie Hess