This season, we partnered with some of our favorite parents who happen to be multi-talented artists, photographers, and designers. We asked them to capture their littles in their natural elements. The result has been a series of beautiful images from around the globe.
We were honored to chat with renowned photographer, fellow Angelino and father Max Wanger, who lives with his wife and son Dash. Max dishes on the joys of parenting, sleep deprivation, and how he got his start in photography.
B+G: What are the biggest gifts and challenges of being a father?
Max: It's hard not to be cliche here. But the biggest gifts are sort of what you'd expect. He makes every day special in it's own way. If i'm ever down or sad or stressed, I just have to think of Dash and I feel better. He inspires me to be my best. As far as challenges are concerned, sleep deprivation is definitely near the top. You hear it from everyone who has gone through it before, that sleep will be hard to come by, but you don't fully understand until you're in it. Let's just say it's been quite an adjustment.
B+G: What motto do you live by or try to instill in your son?
Max: My parents always told me to "follow your bliss" and I imagine I'll try to instill that same motto for Dash when he gets older.
B+G: Describe your ideal family day
Max: Pancake breakfast at home, farmer's market, beach, sleep.
B+G: What is your philosophy when it comes to parenting?
Max: To love wholeheartedly, to support, to listen, to nurture and to let your child be who they are, unabashedly.
B+G: What was the biggest surprise about becoming a father?Max: I knew I would love it, but maybe I didn't know that I would love it this much. Again with the cliches, but I never knew a love like this existed before. It's a different level and it's the best gift you can ever receive.
B+G: If you could go back 10 years, what would you tell yourself?Max: Let go, don't worry so much about things you can't control. Actually, I should tell myself that right now :)
B+G: What excites you most about being a father?
Max: Everything. I can't wait for every step along the way. As hard and challenging as it is, it just gets better and better and I'm so excited to see how Dash continues to grow and evolve.
B+G: You are a truly amazing photographer. How did you get started in the business? How do you balance your career with family life?
Max: Taking photographs has always been one of my outlets. From an early age, I felt like I could disappear behind the lens and observe the world. I’d imagine no one else was seeing what I was seeing. My photography career was built somewhat out of necessity but mostly out of the need to follow my bliss (there's that motto). I spent nearly 8 years working at a company (it was my first job out of college) and while many of those years were terrific, I was quite unhappy the last couple of years and knew I wasn't doing what I really wanted to do. So I decided to pursue photography and I was blessed that it all worked out. The hardest thing over the years has been trying to balance work and family and it's still an ongoing struggle, though it's gotten so much better. Really, you have to have separation and we didn't have that since we worked from home. So we had to find time for ourselves and that wasn't always easy. Now that we have Dash, we had to make even more of an effort to balance our lives. The best thing we could've done was getting an office space so we can get our work done when we need to and then come home and just be home and fully present.
B+G: Any upcoming work projects you are excited about?
Max: I love working with a company called ban.do and I have a shoot with them soon. I also may have a job with Nordstrom and they're wonderful to work with. The exciting thing about what I do is that you never know what the next day or week or month will hold because jobs come about so last minute.
B+G: What’s a typical work day like for you?
Max: If I'm not shooting, I spend the day at our office going through e-mails, processing photos, helping with our print shop orders and just getting organized. If I'm shooting, it could be in studio or on location and it's normally pretty crazy, but lots of fun.
B+G: How would you describe the aesthetic of your home?
Max: Hmmm, it's definitely changed over the years, but now I'd say it's a mix of cozy, modern, bohemian. We gravitate towards white, and clean, minimal design, but since having Dash we've tried to embrace the spills and the mess of having toys and books strewn about everywhere!
B+G: What do you love most about raising your son in Los Angeles?
Max: You have access to so many things, from museums to beaches to music, and there are so many wonderful communities and people. LA is so spread out and can be quite intimidating, but it's about finding the right pockets and meeting the right people. I love how diverse this city is and how you're exposed to so many cultures, food, languages, etc.
B+G: If you could choose another city to live in for a year, where would it be?
Max: I'd love to experience NYC for a year, though I'm not sure I could handle a winter there. The other city would be Honolulu, I lived there for 8 years as a kid and it's a pretty magical place to grow up. I'd love to go back now as an adult with a family and child and experience it for a year and let Dash run wild on the beaches.
B+G: What is your favorite room in your house and why?
Max: We just converted what used to be our office into Dash's playroom and I love it. It's the perfect space now (the office never felt right) and the light in the morning is so nice. Watching dash play and get lost in his world of trucks and trains and books is the best thing in the world.
To see more of Max's wonderful photography, visit his website and follow him on Instagram!