Straight out of my mind.
I have had more than one friend tell me that I had likely lost my mind when I posted this picture after the most EPIC pillow fight between my kids on Facebook the other day:
This picture conjured up thoughts of horror in the minds of so many of my friends, I really couldn’t stop laughing. You see I am not a “take it all in” type of person. I have always seen “clumps” of anything that has been messy – all my life actually. I don’t see the one big mess – I see little messes all moving into each other. My husband DOESN’T see things my way and while the poor man enjoyed watching them make this epic mess through that epic pillow fight, he left me to the cleanup and get the kids ready for bed because his anxiety over the catastrophic ending to 4 feather pillows was too much to comprehend. This makes sense as the sun was at the EXACT location at about 6:30 pm…about an hour before bedtime. EEEEK. So maybe that part of the shoot planning slipped my mind – do you think?
Why on Earth…?
No joke this is a question that I am asked still at least 3x a day by the FEW people who saw and early take of the finished product or that single picture I only posted in a group or two. This style of mess goes far beyond most people’s level of thinking – even when creativity is the name of the game.
Well…the first reason is burn out. No joke – the Alberta winter this year was VERY cold, dark and long. We were spoiled the last two years and had very mild winters. This winter was cold, windy and dark and to be honest I am so done with it my brain hurts. This project came out of one of those days where I begged for just a few minutes of “golden hour” so that I could photograph this amazing pillow fight just outside of Red Deer, AB where we live. I had a vision of back lit feathers, pillows and four kids having the most fun they could imagine and didn’t really think much about the mess…except that there was a great patio door that I could exit some of the feathers through. I also didn’t think the feathers would be so small…lol. No kidding – I had craft feathers in my head for some reason (yah…roll your eyes…I deserve it). Memories though…
The second reason though is the quest all of us Momtogaraphers have in common – to capture the everyday magic of childhood. The dark, cold and dreary winter is not terribly inspiring when you have young kids and really – it inspires daily thoughts of all the things you wish you were doing. Think like when a good friend tells you about a vacation when its -35C outside and after the feelings of rageful jealously subside, you begin day dreaming about white sand beaches, warmth and cool drinks beside that never ending happiness you only feel on vacation.
Photographers are like that too. We see an image that we love and start thinking about ways to make it our own. No one wants to see the same picture re-shot exactly by 50 of your friends over social media. So we all quest to create an image we have never seen before and that takes a lot of planning sometimes. We are totally saturated by visual images every day and the race is on when you finally think of a fairly original idea. Now – I am not taking credit for the pillow fight idea…that has been around as long as dirt I am sure. However, I have not seen it ever done with kids on social media and I wanted to claim it as soon as I could. Now that we actually have some sunlight into the evenings I waited as long as I could and voila – here we are. I have at least 10x more pictures I would have loved to share with you all, but time is of the essence and I just couldn’t go through the process of editing all of them – but if you follow me on Instagram (click HERE) you will likely see images from this shoot for months to come. I promise to not beat it to death though – I hate when photographers can’t move on and milk the same 4 shoots forever.
The last reason was because the professional organization I am part of, the National Association of Professional Child Photographers is having their very first print competition and I decided that it was worth a try and that while I had images that easily fit into the categories of 1) Wonder 2) Motion and 3) Light that something new would be awesome to submit. We are all only as good as our last photograph and new ones are addictive to create and take. When I take picture of my kids, the effort is always worth it and to be honest I have no regrets. At least it wasn’t glitter.
The Main Event.
So no joke. This is the best thing I have EVER done with my kids. Even if you are not a photographer you can easily enjoy watching your kids knock around some pillows against each other. Adding the feathers though makes it something extraordinary and something I hope they remember forever. Let me clarify…they better remember this – lol.
They had the time of their lives making the most epic of mess’ and to see the joy on their faces was something even my husband enjoyed watching (while trying to stay cool about the mess – like I said – at least it wasn’t glitter). The kids would have NEVER thought they would have ever been able to get away with something like this and we all know how good it feels to do something you’re not allowed to do. It is exciting, lively and one of the best photographic experiences I have ever had. My new Nikon D750 camera and my 24-70mm lens worked overtime to create some of the best up close memories we have created to date. That room is fairly small and without the 24mm option, so many elements would have been lost.
Some Advice if YOU want to host your own Epic Pillow Fight in Red Deer, Calgary or Wherever.
If you are reading this blog post and thought to yourself “that lady is such a whiner – I could do this” and you really want to try to host your own Epic Pillow Fight – maybe in your home within Red Deer or Calgary, Alberta…here are some thoughts.
- Use an empty room. I didn’t use an empty room and this slowed down the cleaning process of all those feathers a lot. I planned to empty it but the opportunity to get it all together and shoot the session in a timely manner prevented those fine details to be completed. Make sure nothing is on the floor and
- Don’t underestimate the size and amount of feathers. Really – I thought they were much larger. Enough said.
- Clean Up will SUCK. Seriously. It has been two full days since we did The Epic Pillow Fight photography shoot and feathers are showing up everywhere in my upper floor. We still have a ton of clothes and blankets that need to be ‘defeathered’ before I will bring them back in the house. If you have people that will help you, get them to bring a vacuum with them to help you and know where you will put all those feathers afterward. Ideally, use a room with a door so you can just sweep them outside when you are done.
- Seal up any drawers, closets and anywhere else you won’t want to find feathers in after the fact.
- Just enjoy the moment. The only time I had the kids stop was when the camera had to catch up, someone got bopped on the head or if they breathed in a feather.
- Make sure no one is allergic to feathers. The chance they will breath one or two in is 100% in this environment. It is also a little dusty as you can see from the images. Don’t do this if you have asthma or you think you shouldn’t for any other reason.
The Main Goal of Suzanne Taylor Photography
The goal of Suzanne Taylor Photography is to capture the beauty of life as it happens. While I specialize in Child Photography, I also have a thriving Newborn business as well as Family Photography opportunities. To be able to capture the emotion in the images is what set’s Suzanne Taylor Photography apart from a lot of photographers available in the Alberta area. This 10-year journey I have been on is more than just a part-time hobby – this is a love, a passion, and a drive. Thank you so much for visiting and please leave me a comment below! It means a lot to know people read and follow my work.