One of my personal practices is called “Finding indulgent joy”. It’s the experience of noticing, finding, and indulging in things that make me happy in a very simple way.

Generally, for me, this is through creativity. When I can, I like to draw my daughter into the process as a way to learn about herself, which in turn helps me learn about how she views the world.

As the pandemic went through many iterations, indulgent joy became part of my mission as a mother. We were sick of hikes. We were tired of playgrounds. We were sick of all the “safe” activities. We wanted something new and indulgent, and this styled shoot became a way to do that.

Much of the joy of this shoot came in the planning. I found a couple dresses on sale at joyfolie and then turned my daughter and her friend lose. For a solid month, this became their point of conversation. How would they pose? What would this best friend day be like? I set a few parameters which allowed me to practice with a new film stock I hadn’t yet used, and then, the rest was about viewing the world through their eyes.

The photos we took that day are more than just snaps of the day. They are also the memories of two 8-year-olds letting me in on their vision for themselves, showing me what mattered to them, and sharing a very special bond. The beauty of these is as much in the planning as it is in the final result.