Tree Farm Family Photos, Holiday Portraits with Jamie Lucido
Every season has its bright spots, and so does every year. 2020 was definitely unlike any other, I was eager for so many things to finally come to fruition…. January started with a bang- excited to see my billboards up with ArtPop, it was a fantastic privilege to plug in with that enormously talented family. I had collaborations in mind with other amazing photographers, so many plans made… and then most of my calendar was suddenly put on hold when we went into lockdown in Spring.
I waited and wondered, just like you- not knowing what the year might become, as Covid raced through every city in the world. I held my breath. I commiserated with Brides who had to cancel or postpone their dream weddings, I sympathized with families who became ill, people laid off and furloughed. I worried about our vulnerable populations, about home schooling the kids, and about the ripple effects this year will have. I became more flexible and accommodating than ever. But also, my roots grew deeper and I found strength in visualizing a different future. I was the reed that bent with strong winds. I was picking dandelions with the kids every day on our neighborhood walks, and sincerely hoping their wishes came true.
I smiled when I helped document small weddings with just immediate family– I didn’t post a single wedding or engagement image online, not knowing how it might be taken by some- so many different opinions about Covid, and what weddings should or shouldn’t look like these days.. each family finding their own way in uncharted territory. I realized I hadn’t been to the hospital for a newborn session since winter, and I hadn’t been inside any client’s home since Spring (no welcome home or milk bath sessions, *sigh*). I (re)learned how to distinguish when we were all smiling, behind our masks. I speculated quietly, I hoped fiercely, I hugged my children more. I worried about my family in California, and politics, and home school, and so many other things.. at times it felt lonely, even though I know we’re ‘all in this together’. More accurately, we’re in a storm together, but riding it out in entirely different ships, as someone pointed out. So true.
I came to accept that everything in life has its season.. even dreams. When I watched so many talented friends and peers in the wedding and family portrait business begin to pivot into other industries, as all of our small businesses struggled. Cracks appeared in what we all though was solid. I saw it as yet another moment for kintsugi repair. I wondered… will I go back to the corporate world, too? I began to formulate ideas about what this next season in life might hold.
“It is the empty space in the bowl that is the most useful” Lao Tzu said… what else is empty and therefore useful, in your heart and beliefs and actual life? What is that emptiness that I find in the world and my own life? And to reframe that emptiness as the most useful hint about where our path should go from here. I began to plant little seeds of hope, and was sure to water and shine on them brightly each day. I started taking classes online and researching topics I’ve always wondered about. I began an indoor garden, a reverse-shrine of sorts, a shrine to the future (I’m looking at a riot of purple petunias and orange sunrise tulips as we speak- hydroponic for the win!). To remind myself and my children that whatever dreams may come, it has never been by accident. We’ve always worked hard for them, careful caretakers, and will continue to do so. With determination and thankfulness, and an everlong curiosity of heart and mind.
Each time I had a session in 2020, it felt even more meaningful than before. I’m empathetic by nature, but it was doubled. Something had shifted in my paradigm, about how precious your family moments really are. I mean, I’ve always felt passionate about family photography, and preserving photographic memories… but my heart truly swelled each time I met up with a Milestone Family. You all are so special to me. Having been mostly in isolation with just my own children, seeing familiar faces felt like such an enormous joy… a shining star each time. Reminding me of how thankful I am to have watched your children grow, your births and weddings and everything in-between, your lives bloom, season by season.
It is New Year’s Eve, quiet at home, and I thought I’d finish up the year with a blog to express my sincere thanks. A love letter is the best way to end, or begin, any chapter, in my opinion. Thank you so much to all the families who allowed me to capture their joy, their love, their milestone moments, their everyday lives- this year, and for the past decade. I am deeply, truly thankful — it has meant so much, to walk these years with you.
For this last blog of the year, I’m sharing time spent with the Cearley family at one of my favorite Christmas Tree Farms, Penland, on a sunny Saturday back in November. They were all decked out in their holiday best, and it was a delight to see how much the kiddos had grown – and their sweet dance moves 😉 You might recall seeing this family in another blog I posted two years ago <3 *how are these babies getting so big!!!* <3 <3
As I write this, I hear fireworks in the neighborhood. Its a chilly New Year’s Eve, and all is quiet here on the home front. Somehow this turned out to be half-diary, half blog, forgive my musings. I think back on years spent traveling, and years spent at home on this night. And remind myself again: everything has its season. The trick is keeping your light, your curiosity, and your love strong, through it all. I wish for all of you, the same thing I wish for myself: to follow your heart, and not be afraid when that path has to change. To carefully repair when cracks appear, to see the emptiness as the most useful thing (everytime you use a cup, drive a car, start up a new conversation or a new document…), to recognize what you have become numb to, and what you burn for, to move fluidly through life with all senses firing, and with compassion and random acts of service for each other. To experience life with the bravery and lack of self consciousness reserved mostly for children, always open to creating meaningful bonds with each other and connected to keystones within our own lives. Keep playing, keep dancing in the livingroom, keep curious, keep useful.
Much love to you, friends. I SEE how beautiful you are, and I hope you do, too. Wishing you a healthy and happy 2021.
Tree Farm Family Photos | Jamie Lucido Photography
Jamie Lucido is a family and wedding photographer based in Charlotte, NC. serving the Carolinas and vacation destinations worldwide.
Jamie offers family, wedding, engagement, and documentary photography. Serving the Charlotte, Belmont, and Lake Norman areas including: South Park, Myers Park, Midwood, Berewick, Madison Park, Stonehaven, Dilworth, Starmount, Kingsbridge, Cameron Wood, NoDa, Commonwealth, Barclay Downs, Ballantyne, Highland Creek, Eastover, Foxcroft, Montibello, Wendover-Sedgewood, Hembstead, Park Crossing, Mountainbrook, Freedom Park, Providence Crossing, Denver, Davidson, Matthews, Ft. Mill, Waxhaw, Tega Cay.
Jamie is available for travel and destination photography outside of the Carolinas, and is a native of the California coast. She offers family photography year-round in Charlotte, and twice yearly in Monterey, Carmel, and Big Sur, California. Please inquire for details!
Jamie Lucido Photography, LLC | www.jamielucidophotography.com