Christmas this year was extra special because the entire Cudzilo family got to be together. When you have 5 boys, 3 wives, 3 different cities, babies, jobs and more it’s incredibly difficult to all be together. This is especially true when one of the brothers (the one I’m married to) works most holidays. But, not this year! He was not only able to get the weekend off, but Friday and Monday, too. It was such a treat! Last Christmas was also special since it was our first Christmas as a family of three, but we didn’t see him on Christmas until almost 5 o’clock. This Christmas I loved being woken up by a kiss and a “Merry Christmas, Babe.”
The chaos was in full-force and, although all of us experienced some level of over-stimulation at some point, in the end it was a perfect way to wrap up a very busy and beautiful year (more on that later).
One of my father-in-law’s greatest loves is to document our lives with his cameras. Most of all of our lives in his presence is documented either in pictures or video. As you can imagine this role that he plays in our lives is one we all are so incredibly grateful for. There’s nothing as special as revisiting dear moments from your past by looking through pictures and watching videos. Truly, you cannot even begin to imagine the amount of time he spends preserving our pasts in the most beautiful of ways. And, because of this I take my role as our immediate family’s photographer much more serious. I want my own children (their future spouses and children, too!) to be able to be as blessed by old pictures and videos as we have been by my father-in-law’s diligence in freezing moments in time.
Typically, when I know my father-in-law is going to be the same place I am I leave my camera at home. This time I brought it along and took a few random snapshots. I’ve become sort of obsessed lately with not killing the clutter. You know how when you learn basic principles of composing a picture one of the things you learn is “killing the clutter?” Meaning, move in close, eliminate all that distracts, strive for simplicity in your photo, etc. I definitely think there’s beauty in those types of photos, but recently I’ve become more focused on capturing rooms as a whole. Even if this includes the laundry basket in the corner or the toys on the floor. Even if this means taking a picture of the stockings hung with a diaper bag on the floor and a bunch of computer wires. Yes, even if this means the dog’s head who walked right in front of your camera as the shutter snapped. I’m just wanting to – more than ever before – capture moments without manipulating them. Whatever happens happens and is captured as is. Mess, clutter, chaos, poor lighting and all. It may not be everyone’s cup of tea, but for now it’s totally mine.