Feb 26, 2024

Embracing imperfection as a mom isn’t easy. As moms we are programed to strive for perfection. Perfection in ourselves. Perfection in the house. Perfection at work. Perfection in parenting. It’s hard to switch your mentality to embrace the imperfection. It’s card to embrace Wabi-Sabi.

WABI-SABI DEFINED: In traditional Japanese aesthetics, wabi-sabi (侘び寂び) is a world view centered on the acceptance of transience and imperfection. The aesthetic is sometimes described as one of appreciating beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” in nature.

Right here, totally guilty, for years. But if you know me (through my blogs, our Instagram or have met me in-studio – and if not why?!), you know I totally prescribe to the philosophy of Wabi-Sabi.  But it hasn’t always been like that. Honestly, it’s exhausting to strive for perfection in all aspects of your life. And to be fair, totally unattainable. There is this huge drive to be perfect, to have it all. The only way to break that mentality is to decide you want to break that mentality. To decide that you don’t want to or need to be perfect, to decide to be on this journey of embracing imperfection.

For me, it started with design. I know that sounds crazy, but I bought my favorite table. It was reclaimed wood and I loved it. I babied it. And then I had babies, and their favorite thing was to try to fill in the cracks with crumbs. And that’s when I embraced the fact that my beloved table was beloved by all.

But that didn’t stop me from buying imperfection, I actually work really hard to find and surround myself with one-of-a-kind items, hand-thrown plates and pots, hand-knit sweaters. That’s where it all started for me. And if a pot that is not perfect can be more beautiful than one that is perfect, so can life. If you notice, anything with the Ivory Tree brand on it, is hand-made. Our branded mugs are hand-thrown, so you might get a different size or slightly different shape. Our candles, soy-wax, custom scent created by a small company that can deliver our signature scent. Our reusable grocery bags, full of texture and imperfections.

This kind of letting go has enabled me to let go of the idea of perfection and embrace imperfections as a mom. I’m not always going to get it right, but I am going to try to design a life that allows for me not to be perfect. My hope is that takes the pressure off my ladies to be perfect. It allows them to try new things and fail. It allows them to be perfectly themselves. Cracks and all.

It’s with this idea of imperfection that we developed our Wabi-Sabi sessions. Our Wabi-Sabi sessions are designed to capture emotions with a simple, organic, hand-made, earthly vibe. Our holiday sessions are designed to capture that iconic, perfectly curated family. And we couldn’t love them more. But these sessions are designed to capture a different vibe, a relaxed, connected and imperfectly real session.

Wabi-Sabi is living in tune with nature while embracing the beauty and authenticity that happens with the passage of time. What could be more authentic than capturing your kiddo at this moment in time, forever. We say it all the time, in the blink of an eye. It’s how fast they change. I remember when they were babies thinking, man it can’t get better than this stage. Then they became toddlers and started expressing themselves, and I thought, nope this is the best stage. Then they became little kids and I got to see their curiosity and how they thought about the world and that has to be the best stage. Now they are pre-teens and are their own individual people and are so much fun, this is the best stage. This passage of time, is kinda bitter sweet, but I wouldn’t change it for the world.

This background is totally unique, to ensure it has an organic, rustic, one-of-a-kind, earthy vibe. And posing is much more connected.

My hope with these sessions is that moms out there can let go (even a little) of this idea of perfection and embrace the joy of what’s right in front of them. Oh, and to get some stunning images of their kids, family and themselves. Hey, mama, I’m looking at you when I say embracing imperfection is the key to letting go of the stress and enjoying the moment.

Book here

Want to discover more, check out what wabi-sabi looks like within interior design.

About the Author

Lara Aman Mattey

Founder I Owner I Ivory Tree

Lara is the coolest person alive, according to her husband, Nick, & two little ladies, Caitie & Lorelai. But she thinks her time is limited on that statement as they continue to grow older. Lara comes from a large family, with whom she is still very close with & you’ll often see shared through the blog and on social media. She went to Penn State (We Are…) where she met Nick.

Ivory Tree's very own photographer, Marcy shot her newborn photography sessions & Lara was hooked! Lara is not a photographer, super weird, we know. But lives for the experience, creative direction, and meeting all the cool folks who come through the Ivory Tree Portraits studio!

In addition to studio awards, Lara was also recognized at a Women of Influence on the Main Line in 2023.

Follow along as she shares studio antics, personal antidotes, & fun stuff going on in the community.

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