Revealing the Beautiful Reality of Family | Sham of the Perfect

For the last three months I have been taking part of a wonderful project that I hold very dear to my heart:

Sham of the Perfect

The quick and dirty of it is we are an international group of 15 photographers who are taking part in a weekly photo project of honestly documenting our own families.

Maybe you are already following along? If not, well, you should. Below is chronologically the first 3 months of 2015 at the Monroe household. Keep scrolling to find out more about the project.

Oh, heeey. You're still here! I appreciate you sticking around to read this bit after the photos (not everyone will do so, you know? So that makes you pretty damn rad).

The Backstory

Sham of the Perfect was started by myself, Erika of Little Fish Photo in Poulsbo, and Natasha of Natasha Kelley Photography in Melbourne. All the members of our collective are alumni of Molly Flanagan's Visual Storytelling Class through The Define School. It's been pretty fantastic to connect with all these photographers who I otherwise wouldn't know (well except one who I knew in real life from my teaching days in Tacoma. Shout out to Jessica Uhler!).  It's pretty neat seeing the seasons unfold all over the world at the same time.

Because of Sham of the Perfect I know count Erika and Natasha as real friends, even if we have never met in real life. It is rare for a day to go by without us messaging (sometimes it's even related to the project! haha). And woe be it if one of us is away from messaging for the day, because then there can sometimes be hundreds of messages to catch up on.

Our name is derived from a poem (that you can read on our about page) by Sarah Dunning Park. Go read the poem. She does such a great job writing about the frustration so many of us moms (dads/people) feel about the picture perfect life that is presented to us all day every day in magazines/blogs/pinterest/social media/tv/movies/and on and on and on. The perfection we are constantly presented with is totally overwhelming. It can make you feel like shit and that there is no way your real life can ever measure up. You really have to make a conscious decision to just throw that magazine in the garbage and embrace your real life. It's so hard not to compare what you have to the picture perfect ideal that it always thrown in your face.

Trust me. I know. All too well.

So, yeah, we decided to start a blog to document the reality of our families. Sometimes that messy, sometimes it is loud, but it can also be quiet & peaceful, and on the rare occasion it can even be clean (haha). Above all else, it is beautiful. Not in the unattainable perfection that advertisers shove down our throats, but beautiful in the way that real life is beautiful, even if that type of beauty all too often is unappreciated.

It's also the type of beauty I want to photograph for you and your family.

Give me your real

Give me your messy

Give me kids with dirty faces and messy hair

and I will show you how beautiful your life really is