I LOVE the Rock the Shot challenges each and every month, and entering is one of my favorite things to do. While bringing home a first place title would be incredible, the “challenge” aspect is ultimately why I keep entering. I love waiting to see what each month’s theme will be. Sometimes I know immediately that I have a photo that will be perfect, and other times I don’t. Those months? They might be my favorites.
Those are the months that I really challenge myself to see what I can come up with that will be unique yet still gorgeous. This month’s challenge was one of those months. I knew I had a couple of photos that would fit the theme, but none of them just felt special enough to me to enter. And frankly, when I took the photo I am entering this month, I did not actually take it with the challenge in mind. Actually, I didn’t know if I would enter this month. Rock the Shot had already shared the photos on their Facebook page that I knew were going to bring home the prizes this month, and knowing that this month would be the busiest since I made my photography a business, I did not think I would have time for any creative shoots for myself. However, I had set aside time on my calendar long ago to take my son Finley’s two-year photos, and this is one of those photos. After falling in love with it (to the point of sobbing at my computer desk), I realized the prominence of the water in the photo and remembered the theme for this month’s challenge. Perfect!
I didn’t plan on sharing the story behind this photo in this post, but after sharing it privately with my friends in a photography group, the reaction and support I received as a result was so positive that I decided to go ahead. Several people said that it reminded them of why they love photography, and sometimes, even I need a little reminder myself, so maybe my story will provide someone else with the reminder they need.
My husband and I found out that Finley is on the autism spectrum a little over a month ago, although we knew for quite some time that the diagnosis was probable. For Finley’s photos this year, instead of trying to get “perfect,” smiling photos (which is almost impossible with Finley, anyway, and which other parents of ASD kids will understand), I wanted to focus on all of his favorite things that tend to draw him into his own little world. At the top of his list of favorite things is a tie between drawing and being outside. So, I took Finley to an area he loves, set up the things he needed, and then left him alone while he did what he loves most.
This photo means more to me than I can explain. It might not be a “perfect” photo in the eyes of some, but it’s perfect to me because it is a perfect representation of my Finley–my intense, creative, unique, beautiful boy.
If you love my photo, you really should head over to www.rocktheshotforum.com to see all the other amazing entries this month. You won’t be sorry. Promise! 🙂
Also, keep your eye on the blog for upcoming posts about my weekend in Chicago for a workshop with the AMAZING duo of Travis and Jean Smith of Boka Studios and Jean Smith Photography, the final compilation of my special little project, a gorgeous high school senior, two fabulous couples, and more!