We visited the Andy Warhol exhibit at the Art Museum this weekend. It was fascinating to be able to study his work so closely. I came away with a perspective that I wouldn’t have guessed that I might have. Under the glass you could see dings and creases in the paper, smudges in the paint and on the paper, works of art slightly crooked in its framing, places where the paint didn’t take to the paper, and even hair pressed between the glass. These are the famed works of art from one of the most prolific and popular artists of his time. Much of his work could very well be recreated if it were not for these “flaws”. These little “imperfections” are what make his work his. It got me thinking about a sentiment from the late Bob Ross: “We don’t make mistakes, just happy little accidents.” This is true in your photo session as well. So many people have an idea in their head of that “perfect” image they want framed on their wall: the whole family in matching clothes in perfect form and posture, looking at the camera and smiling. Right? But that’s not real…at least not in my family! We have a tendency of thinking anything other than that is “flawed”. But that image has been recreated thousands of times with thousands of families by thousands of photographers. What’s real are those little imperfections: that messy living room where the family breaks into a dance party to cheer up the two year old, the kids just having a good time running through the sprinkler that’s watering the unkempt lawn because it’s been a long work week, an apple picking trip to the mountains where no one is looking at the camera because they are too busy enjoying time together as a family. That’s real. That’s what makes your session a work of art that will be cherished forever instead of a mass-produced image that will be forgotten about in a week. In five, ten, twenty years from now what will your kids be talking about when they are feeling nostalgic? “Remember how we use to [fill in the blank]!?” Let’s document that! Let’s make an Andy Warhol this Fall and embrace our flaws…because, let’s face it, they aren’t flaws—they’re memories.