Beignets and ugly crying - my trip to NOLA for The Family Narrative

Almost a year ago, late at night and enjoying the quiet stillness of the house while cruising the Internet (like ya do) I stumbled across an ad for a family photography workshop that caught my attention. I applied immediately and then refreshed my email every ten minutes until I got notice I was accepted. I mean, it was going to be in New Orleans, and they had me at beignet.

The workshop, called The Family Narrative, had an all-star lineup of teachers from around the country and would be focused on education, demonstration, and the creation of a vibrant and supportive community of family photographers around the globe.  As someone in a competitive industry who often struggles with doubts around my ability to run my business well, balance work and being a stay-at-home momma to my three little girls, and feelings of isolation as I manage the pressure of constant editing deadlines, this workshop sounded like a perfect fit. 

A couple of weeks ago, with the fridge stocked, babysitters secured, and the pediatrician’s cell number taped to the refrigerator; it was time to say goodbye to the kids, good luck to my husband, and hop on the plane headed to NOLA.

I have taken my time to reflect on and process my time in New Orleans, and now, two weeks later, I don’t think it is an exaggeration to say that I got off of the plane back in Seattle a changed person.

The time that I spent there exploring the city, eating delicious food, learning from amazing creatives, and getting to know the other attendees was incredible. It was amazing and valuable, challenging and affirming. I remember at the meet and greet on the first day, one of the attendees from 2017 she told me she was in tears almost the entire time last year. I laughed and asked her why?! And then proceeded to be on the verge of tears for the next four days, even ugly crying in public several times.

Why?

Because I was in a room full of strangers who knew parts of my HEART without me saying a word. They reminded me that the work I do as a family photographer is SO IMPORTANT. Taking pictures of families, highlighting their connections, showing them the beauty in their everyday lives, these are things that REALLY MATTER.  

How many times have you heard someone say that if their house is on fire the one thing they’ll grab on their way out is their photo album? I mean, hello This Is Us fans (spoiler alert!), remember how Jack died?

As a photographer, I stop time for my clients, recording a second for them to look back on forever.  The way they look at their partner with that crinkle-nosed smile, the way their infant son fits into their arms, the way their kids chase each other around the house, or the way their daughter stands on her tippy toes to look out the second-floor window. 

When the season is over and the time has passed, they will rely on these split-second captures to help them remember. To help them retell their family’s stories for generations.

And now I’m crying all over again.

All of this to say, I am changed, I am inspired, I have a ton of work to do, and I am so excited to continue making beautiful memories for your families. If it has been a while since you took family photos, don’t hesitate to get in touch and schedule a session. Write yourself back into your family’s history. It really is SO important.

After you send me an email to book your family session (hello@kelseymoll.com), you can come back to enjoy these pics from the colorful streets of NOLA.