Part of my goals for 2019 is to embrace what is and not worry about making sure everything is coordinated and perfect. A perfect example of this presented itself while editing photos of my kids sledding on some pillow hills behind our home. Previously I would have simply tinted them all to hues of grayscale so no one had to know a sometimes hidden truth about parenting: Your kid's outdoor gear is usually a hodgepodge.
This image is as much of a chromatic hodgepodge as I could ever produce, even if I tried. That's the perfect thing. I didn't even have to do a thing.
What is the story behind all of these clashing hues?
No one ever gets this kind of clash without many factors conspiring against one another.
My husband bought the sled, he wanted to take the kids sledding so he bought a sled. Such a dad response to a situation. I, on the other hand, would have gone to a handful of stores trying to find a neutral color, one that would coordinate with the snowgear that we had for the kids.
Her usual mittens (which match her coat) were in a bit of a crisis, we were missing one of them. I saved her older brother's set (you can never have enough mittens in the house). Her hands were warm, we were outside, all was well.
This hat, without anyone even trying to, became a bit of a family heirloom. A friend of mine made it for my son when he was born, he wore it till his little head wouldn't fit in it anymore. He LOVED that hat. Fast forward to the first cold day when I was scrambling to find a hat to fit his sister. We put it on her head and now she refuses to wear anything else. That little hat was really knitted with something special and will have to go into the memory box for the two of them to fight over later when they get older.
On the first truly cold day of fall we were set to go with the grandparents to an apple orchard. I thought I had a few more weeks till I had to outfit the kids with their winter coats. Instead, I found myself at our nearest Target, looking over their available selection. I was thankful that they had their items out. I was able to get my son a coat that was seasonally toned and would work with any shot taken in a fall scene. His sister though, that was hard. This was the least 'girly' coat I could find that could hold up and take her into Spring. When a mom is in a pinch, this is how decisions are made.
A half hour later they were cold and asking to go back inside. They had fun in the meantime, despite being chromatically challenged. For any parent, being purposeful about taking the photos is what is most important. As they get older they will only see the simple fact that they were having fun in this moment. One can manufacture and stage what they are wearing but it is almost impossible to pose those smiles. Therefore, they may be a hodgepodge, but get them outside and take some photos, anyway.