Parikha Mehta: Wherever I'm With You

Wherever I’m With You is a project that was born when I a) realized, very sadly, that I had almost no everyday images of myself with my own family last year, and b) found myself really itching for a personal project.  It was clear that I could solve both problems by embarking on a monthly challenge of everyday self-portraits with my children, but I also know that I couldn’t be the only on struggling with this, so, instead of going it alone, I reached out to a handful of photographers whose work I already loved, and I asked if they would join me in making the commitment together.  My goal was for each of us to be able to support and encourage each other to keep it going, and to ultimately be able to walk away with a minimum of twelve images at the end of the year to serve as evidence of our existence IN our children’s lives this year, not behind them.  It was important to me that the images be shared in one place, as one overarching story of our lives beyond our cameras.  Each member’s monthly image always stands alone beautifully, but I think something pretty profound happens when the all come together visually as a cohesive collection.  The only main guidelines for the project are 1) at least part of us has to appear in the frame, and 2) have fun!  Nobody’s measuring skin tones or docking points for limb chops.  It’s not only OK to let someone else push the shutter, it’s an encouraged exercise in relinquishing control.  When you stop obsessing over control and perfection, you might be amazed at what turns out!

Make no mistake, this isn’t always easy for us.  There are times we struggle to get our images in between all the other things on our to-do lists.  We often criticize our own work and worry it isn’t good enough to show next to everyone else’s.  But, for all our excuses and self-doubt, when those gorgeous images come together in a single post every month, all I ever see is overwhelming love, and the beauty of parenthood spilling out in spades.  I am incredibly lucky to be in the company of such talented photographers for this project, and their work and support always inspires me to keep going the next month.

As photographers-slash-parents, we make it our mission to nail perfect images of all the big and small moments of your own families, but we easily forget that sometimes the “perfect” images is the one that includes us.  You’re an important part of your family’s story too.  To that end, I’m incredibly excited to invite each of you photographer-moms AND dads to take a page from our book and get in the frame more often as well – your image could be shown in a new regular feature right here on Little Bellows!  Just send in your submissions on a rolling basis, and, each month, I’ll share a handful of the most extraordinary ones here.  Be sure to keep tabs on our main site for inspiration, and don’t forget to have fun – I can’t wait to see you you come up with!

Submission guidelines: email images to whereverwearewithyou@gmail.com (jpg format, 900 px wide/72dpi, diptychs for vertical images), with the subject line “Little Bellows”.  Please limit submissions to 3 images per month per person.

Thank you!

 

Thank you!

Parikha

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