Why Documentary Family Photography?
I started my photography journey the same way so many women have. Brian bought me an entry-level DSLR when our first daughter was born. I quickly became obsessed with documenting her every move. Can you say over 2000 photos in less than 12 months?! Who needs 14 pictures of her drooling on her play mat? I do!
Needless to say, after our second daughter was born, I realized I wasn’t creating the same types of images I admired so very much from other photographer moms. I had a lot of images of my children, which is wonderful, but they weren’t always in focus or even containing their entire head. Very important to include all important body parts. With my “spare” time, I started soaking in as much as I could about photography. It didn’t take long to realize I had a lot to learn and would never stop learning – right up my alley as a person who hated school but spent over 8 years getting several degrees.
All of that changed when I started my first 365 project. How do I force myself to grow? Put a perfectionist on a task and dare her not to finish it. I’m now on my 3rd year and make it a priority to pick up my camera every. single. day. Ok, at least 358 days a year. I may cheat every once in a while and use a picture from a few days ago, but you get the idea. I learned a long time ago that if I wanted to get better at something, I had to do it a lot. That’s why I no longer play the clarinet. Or soccer. But yet I keep attempting to cook. I haven’t gotten that hint, yet.
I realized, very quickly, that I didn’t have to pose/threaten/convince my kids to get great images. I just needed to follow them around and wait for them to be… them. Booger pickers, mess makers, creators, grinners, fighters and the loves of my life. God’s greatest gift to me, besides giving Himself through Christ (duh), are these people and I want to remember everything about their childhood and how Brian loves them through his stay-at-home Dadhood. I love them so deeply that I can’t help but document them.
I felt God leading me to start doing that for others. That I really could do some good showing others how truly beautiful their every day life is. Mostly, I think, because that’s where we can sense Him and His true, deep, grace-giving love for us so regularly. Through our people. Through chores, good night kisses, morning hair-doing, sharing the frustration of “new” math (do not get me started) and giving of ourselves to make our families our God-given priority.
I don’t know where this will take me or who I’ll meet, but I know I’ll do it as long as He keeps opening doors and shutting windows. So is the door of having your family life documented opening for you? If so, walk on through and I’ll be waiting in my “kid friendly” living room with a cup of coffee, ready for us to chat. I can’t wait to make your memories a permanent reality.