When I was six years old I had a really big birthday party. I still remember it to this day.

It was a sleepover and I had all my best friends from school there.

My mom's friend made me a cake that looked like a cabbage patch doll head. Ok, what do you expect?! It was 1986! 

One of my friends gave me a barbie doll that was some sort of Hawaiian theme and I loved it.

She had this pretty flower bathing suit on with really long and thick black hair. 

To my surprise, a second friend gifted me the exact same barbie doll.

I couldn't have been more thrilled. Or maybe I wasn't as happy as I remember. Because what six year old REALLY wants to get the same gift twice. Probably not many. 

So after my epic party ended I decided to make one of the dolls different.

So, I decided to cut her hair. A six year old with scissors is never good.

So naturally I *fracked* it up and I cut her hair at an angle. It wasn't what I wanted so I tried again, naturally, making it shorter this time. Several cuts later- she now looked like a boy. 

And I cried.

I cried because I messed up.  I cried because the doll was no longer perfect. I cried because I was disappointed that I didn't ask my mom to help me. But let's be honest, if I had she probably would have advised against it. But what did I do next? 

I got over it and moved on.

She was still an awesome barbie doll gift and she became a vital part to my imaginary play. 

We live and we learn right?

Well I am hear to tell you that not everything we do will always be perfect. 

When it comes down to photographing our lives, the need to be perfect needs to be forgotten.

Life is not perfect and we need to document that. Documenting perfect just seems unnatural and uncomfortable. 

Taking pictures is the same way. We can't hold on to this idea about being perfect and we can't fake our lives. Documenting true life is more interesting when you are doing it of the imperfect. Imperfect smiles, imperfect clothes, imperfect actions. 

But in the end- it really is perfect right? Perfect because it's you. Perfect because it's your memory. And lastly,  perfect because it wasn't forced or made up.

So this week, focus on the imperfections in your life. Like me and my doll, don't dwell on the fact that making mistakes is bad. Focus on documenting those things that you enjoy most because they are not perfect. Laugh a little, cry a little and share me your work. 

Visit my Facebook page and post your photos for me to see.  When you are ready go ahead and sign up for the next run of my beginner's photography class where I can teach you all about making the "perfect" photo. See what I did there? Huh? 

But until you get a chance to take the best class ever, go ahead and read these posts about composition and lighting to get you started. It really is fun to learn new things!

For the next and final blog post in this series read about what your friends aren't telling you and how you can be better than that.

Much love,

Heather  

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Member of National Association of Child Photographers 

Member of Red Thread Sessions

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