Documentary Family photography - sounds inundating - right? After all, who wants their family DOCUMENTED!! We all do that's who. We hire photographers for weddings, bar and bat mitzvahs, birth-days, almost every major milestone and occasion. Hold on, we're forgetting all the milestones in between, all the sweetness and emotion in our daily lives. Our children not yet being able to see over the countertops and tables.
(I wish I had images/ hard copies of my memories of when my children used to fit under the kitchen table while standing tall. They hear me reminisce about that time in their lives, but they don't have a visual or a "hard copy of my memory."), our little boys holding a trusted hand, freshly self-cut bangs, the possibilities are endless as to all the milestones our families experience.
Flipping through the pages of photo albums with my grandmothers, learning the history of my family, seeing my parents at a time in their lives before I was even a thought or possibility are truly some of my most favorite memories. I can still hear the pages turn and feel the love of spending those moments with my grandmothers. Through those images I have learned of relatives that I might never meet. Death, distance, time, even divorce changes that, but they are still a part of where I came from - where we all come from. Having photographs of our children with our parents is priceless.
Wikipedia refers to the style of documentary photography as a way to, "chronicle events or environments both significant and relevant to history and historical events as well as everyday life," The history of our families is what gives us a the information of our foundation and the documentation of the foundation for generations to come. We no longer have to sit still, holding emotionless stares for minutes on end showing no connection with other people, our family and friends, because the camera needs all that time to expose for the image. We can capture life in action
- real life - real memories in hard copy - images.
I know - it seems scary to welcome a photographer into our daily lives. Especially in a day in age when people seem to be only sharing the gorgeous and beautiful stuff that shouts, "Look at me! or Look how awesome I am." That get's boring and quickly too. Honestly, if anyone tells you their life is perfect, they are either lying to you or themselves. Life is messy. It's a mixture of the good, the bad and the ugly.
We all have dishes, we all have laundry and we all have arguments - without them we aren't living. I'll take it - all of it - and photograph it too. Milk - spills, Kids - misbehave and people - argue, but we clean up, make - up, move on and laugh about it later on. That laughter is what makes it all worth while. Give me a teen-age scowl and I'm all over it.
Telling the story of you, of your family, that's the heart of documentary family photography. A loving embrace and that's perfection. It's the stuff our families are made of - all of it. The wonder and amazement of it ALL.
In this journey called life (cue Prince singing in my head here) creating hard copies of your memories to share now and in the future is what makes my heart sing.
P.S. Moms - get in the photos too - we want to know who you are.
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