I am a minimalist at heart. I believe in time spent nurturing deep connections with friends and family and only owning things that serve a purpose or that honour memories. My own family albums are something I treasure deeply. I gathered all the photos I had from 4 generations, handpicked them and carefully placed them in what is now the first thing I will save from my apartment if there was a fire. I look at these portraits of myself as a child or the men and women that are my parents, grandparents and great grandparents and I try to remember how my life was when I was a kid and to understand how their life was back then. And though I truly cherish these portraits I am left wondering and imagining who they actually were as people or how life actually felt like back then.
What is documentary family photography?
The goal of a family photographer specialising in documentary is to offer you slices of real life – who you are, what you do, how you connect to each other. He will photograph the way your life feels, not just how it looks. Family life is a beautiful mess and that is the honest truth. So why should a family portrait be perfect when we are amazing just in our imperfections? Our homes might be a mess, our children might have a total tantrum one minute and laugh and hug us the next and we probably don’t live each day in magical light and matching sweaters, and that’s fine because it’s part of the story. The true, authentic, beautiful, raw story. It might feel uninteresting to you, but I promise you you’re special. All you need to do is be yourselves. Don’t worry about the photographer, don’t prepare, don’t overthink it. Just trust him enough to let him in and trust in this way of photographing that talks about who you really are.
Why we should change how we look at family photography
In the digital era we have received this incredible gift of being able to take more than only a couple of pictures with our family in a lifetime. Our cameras can now capture all the time spent caring and nurturing for our tiny humans that now feels like never ending busyness, all the laughing while playing in the backyard, then crying cause they scraped their knee and smiling again cause mom put a bandaid with little puppies over it and dad made those silly faces. We have the gift to revisit those small moments that seem so insignificant…until they’re gone. We can use this gift to take more than perfectly posed images of our families wearing matching sweaters in perfect light, we can give ourselves meaningful memories to sustain us in those moments when we wonder what we were thinking when we signed up for parenthood, and we can give our kids the childhood memories that we ourselves can only try to piece together from our own.