Posts tagged FAQ
It's Not For Everyone

It’s not for everyone, this documentary family photography thing.

I thought it was, initially.

I thought, This style is so meaningful, so beautiful, so magical – anyone would be thrilled to have these sorts of photographs in their home.

But I’ve slowly come to see, it takes a very special kind of person to see the value in documentary photos and family films – and choose that gift for their own family.

I’ve noticed, over the years, that those that do, all share these three defining characteristics.

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My Family's In-Home Documentary Photo Session: 3 Things I Learned

I’ve been photographing real families in their homes for almost two years now, and photographing my own for even longer. But last month was the first time I’ve been on the other side of the lens in this format, and I have to tell you, it was a little different than I’d expected.

Logically, I knew what this was all about, inside and out. But there is something different about being the family photographed, in a documentary-style photo session. It was a learning experience I couldn’t have gained any other way, and I want to share my top 3 take-aways with you.

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Why I'm Dedicated to Documentary-Style Family Photography

The best questions often come from children, don’t they?

Their honest curiosity gives them the ability to phrase things in a way that adult never would, and we’re so surprised by their bluntness, we’re encouraged to think about things in a new way.

A couple of weeks ago, I got one of those great questions from a client’s son. Right in the middle of painting a star, he turned to me and asked, “So, why do you like taking photos?”

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Gift Yourself

I have a confession.

When I look at myself in photos, I see that my nose is too long.

That my eyes are too close together, and that they always have dark circles under them, no matter how much sleep I get.

I see how I STILL struggle with acne and scars well into my 30s.

And that my belly always sticks out a little from 3 full-term pregnancies (or maybe from the amount of burritos I eat. Who knows, really.)

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My grandfather was the photographer in our family. He shot with a Canon - a T70 with a 35-105mm 3.5 lens (for my fellow photo geeks). It was huge and heavy, with a patterned strap that reminded me of snakeskin. 

But what I remember him using most, was his Polaroid. He loved its instant developing film – partly, I’m sure, because he loved watching my sister and me laugh joyously at the miracle of their development. He would bring it - and about a hundred extra film packs, it seemed - every visit. 

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