Posts tagged Personal Project
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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What Matters

This fall has been a tough one for my family. My husband and I have had busy work schedules, and between the boys’ school and after-school commitments, sometimes it’s felt as if I couldn’t catch my breath. Can you relate?

In all the running from place to place, reviewing spelling words and Spanish vocab, and making sure lunches are packed every day, the weeks have flown by, with weekends whipping even faster.

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Click Pro

I still remember my first visit to the Clickin’ Moms website.

It was four years ago, just after I finished my very first DSLR photography course.

I had learned all about the exposure triangle, and I was intent on using my Nikon – in manual mode! – to take a photo of my boys for our Christmas card.

The only problem was, I couldn’t figure out how to get all three of them in focus AND get the blurry background I wanted.

As I searched through the tutorials, finding the exact one to help me, I couldn’t help but notice the gorgeous photographs that filled the Clickin’ Moms website or that each article was written by women who were practicing professional photographers – Click Pros.

I remember sitting cross-legged on my living room couch that evening, and thinking, I cannot imagine ever being on their level.

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My Turn

My husband has a lot of wonderful qualities that make him a great provider for our family.

He’s practical.

He’s a saver.

He researches major purchases for months before investing.

And I can tell you for certain, he’s not hopping on any bandwagon, just for the ride.

It makes total sense that he’d think, “Hey! I love my wife’s photography! She should do all of our photos! We can save money by using her skills, and she’ll have photos in a style she knows she loves!”

The problem with that line of thinking circles back to one fact.

I’m missing from our family photos.

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Summer Days

I fell in love with Family Films from the first time I saw one, and I knew I had to learn how to create them. 

I know that the movement and sound captured in these videos will take our hearts back in time in a way that's totally different from photos, and just as valuable. 

Long after our boys are grown, we'll have their little voices, their foot steps, their hobbies, and their giggles in this time capsule. 

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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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