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"I hate being in front of the camera!"
was the answer to my question about why not have a family session. I know, me too! And so do most people I know who are not paid to pose on regular basis.
I was sitting across a mom I recently met and we were candidly discussing the experience of family photography. So I rephrased. "What would force you to do a documentary family session?" She thought about it. "The realization how fast the time goes and all the changes that take place. I just found a video of my daughter when she was three, and she is seven now. It felt like yesterday. And to see her doing her usual things is much more important to me than portraits of her in pretty dresses". This is the important bit.
The time with our kids flies and we mostly don't feel it.
Day by day and week by week. And then there may be a moment of realization that quite a lot of time went by and our kids are taller, bigger, and a bit different. Yes, we take many pictures of them along the way, group selfies, and sometimes even catch them in the act of doing something. But what about preserving more - details like favorite things and places in our homes, intimate moments, funny, happy, sad, routine stuff our lives together are made up of? And how about you being a part of those pictures, share that rectangular or square space so that you become part of the moments that are so important to preserve?
I bet your kids would love to see the younger version of you alongside of them later, being present, involved in the medley of the everyday.
I bet creating this heirloom of memories could beat being uncomfortable in front of the camera for one day.
And now back to hating to be in front of the lens. If this is you, documentary family session is the way to do it. No one will be expected to do anything for the camera. No posing, trying to look a certain way, or behaving according to someone's expectations . The photo session lasts several hours and hopefully the discomfort will gradually dissipate simply because you will stop paying attention while being busy doing a million things you usually do. I can't promise to turn off the "uncomfortable " button inside you, but i hope that that you will simply stop caring what the camera is thinking.
There are some pictures that make us stop and take a second look. We can relate to them in some intimate way.
And then create a story. And ask questions. And feel connected, unsettled, moved, reminded. These are the best pictures. Not in a sense of being the most beautiful, cute, warm, (insert whatever adjective u want). Just most memorable. Just like there are moments in our lives that we remember most clearly. These pictures are hard to get, because you need to be there, at that moment, when it may not even feel important and press the shutter. The picture may not have anything to do with an actual important event. But it may remind us of a quick, fleeting moment. Our everyday consistst of so many transitory episodes, there is no way to remember all of it.
One look and it brings us to a concrete time and place in our mind's eye.
It helps our mind to travel. It takes us to long forgotten places and days.
Nothing is ever lost to us as long as we remember it. (author unknown)
Yesterday I sat down next to another mom as our exercise class was starting, who turned to me and quickly whispered, "I want those pictures, how it really is!" A second later the music started blasting and our workout has begun.
She hit the nail on the head. Family Snapshot is all about how it really is. No dressing up, no well-behaving, smiling, and waiting for the photographer to leave. No taking turns to be in front of the camera or waiting to be finished with another picture. No following directions or worrying if your dress or face or kids, or husband or dog don't look right. No husband hating the mandatory picture taking for the holidays. Just documenting how all the elements that make up your day come together and compose your life in that moment.
Family Snapshot is a visual diary of your family with all the imperfections that make it perfect.
Who is it for? Families. Traditional and nontraditional, with pets and without, single parent or multiparent, one child or many. Grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, if they are a big part of your family, include them. People with whom you enjoy spending time and who are important to you.
Family Snapshot experience is for you to remember moments that go too fast and you want to remember long after. Not the polished, happy world as seen through Instagram or Facebook. It's the world as seen through your eyes, where you are a participant, a caregiver, and a vulnerable human being, as your are in real life.
What do you get at the end? Pictures of course. There is no real limit on the number. There is only a limit on the time the camera is capturing what's happening. Your family story is thoroughly curated and edited to invoke the feel of the day, people, and moments. In the end this collection of photographs will be the one you look at when you want to see real faces, expressions, and emotions.
On my end, this is the most meaningful work I have ever done. And I love it. Have questions? Reach out. Ill be happy to talk.
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