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“My daughter Sofia turned four this week, and we surprised her on her birthday with lots and lots of purple and white (and a couple of pink) balloons. Seeing her excitement for her birthday, presents, cake and a party with all her friends makes me so happy. She’s growing into such a smart, creative, strong girl and I couldn’t be prouder.”

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My poor Sofia. She puts up with a lot from me. We spent a good half an hour on the morning of her birthday “playing” in the balloons. I tried to get her to just play and have fun, but after just a few minutes she was over it and each shot became less and less natural-looking.

That’s the problem with having a photographer for a mom. I am always trying to get the “perfect” shot. It’s hard for me to just let go and accept that sometimes that is not going to happen. But in my mind, all I hear is a voice telling me if I don’t get it I will look back on her birthday and wish I had a perfect photo to remember it by.

Then, when I finally put the camera down and got down on the floor with her, and watched her open her presents without a camera up to my face, I actually enjoyed myself and made memories. And the photos I did get ARE perfect. Maybe not technically, but they show her when she turned four and her spunky personality, her squinty smile and her joy.

A few days later at her birthday party, I took photos of the important things, but then I stopped. I put the camera down and I enjoyed the moment. I was part of her day too and I want her to remember that.

Happy Birthday to my big girl. I’m so proud of you xo

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