I’m a pretty bad blogger. I always forget to update – but today I feel like I have something to say. I believe one of the most important forces in the world is truth. I think it’s something that is intrinsic to our very beings. We know it when we see it – because we can feel it inside ourselves. When something is true – it hits you in the gut and you say – Yes! And it feels good – like part of a solid foundation that cannot be moved or changed. And that is a beautiful thing to feel in our uncertain world.
When I photograph something – I want it to speak truth. I get to be a fly on the wall of people’s lives – to save a bit of tangible evidence that they existed, that they loved, that they fought and they won. That they laughed and played. That life was good. This is why I shoot the way I do – I don’t like to pose people for family photography. I want to just photograph them as they are. Sure – smiling photos on a wall are great – I have some myself. But what I love and what speaks to my soul is documentary photography. Why? Because it speaks the truth of our lives – and that is something that sticks with us and reminds us who we are and WHY we are who we are.
Sure they are not posed and maybe our hair is a little off or you can see our extra chins….but guess what- THAT is what people see every day and that is what people LOVE about you.
That’s what I love about my kids – their little looks and that twinkle in their eye when they are about to be little stinkers, or the way my daughter’s hair blows in the wind like wisps of clouds.
That is what I want to remember and be reminded of when I am exhausted and fed up with them.
So no – I don’t use backgrounds or props. I admire that style of photography. But the style that speaks to my heart cannot be forced. Rather, like a butterfly – you have to wait and see if it lands on you. Every time I grab a shot that catches one of those moments it’s an amazing feeling. I feel like I just grabbed a little piece of eternity. Of who we are together and of love.
Sometimes I am drawn to photographing things that are not all sunshine and roses. For my clients, looking back on those images later can be so cathartic and healing. It validates our struggles and reminds us of who we are, and how far we came. It gives us back snippets of time, that although difficult, were important and remind us of our strength.
So – next time you think – man, we need a family picture taken, but I just don’t think I have it in me!! Think again. How about you just go to the park and we photograph it. Or we hang out in the living room or wander around in the back yard checking out bugs or cool sticks. How about you guys take a swim in your pool or go fishing and we photograph it? Be in the picture with your family, not the one behind the camera. Just let it happen. I promise that those images will speak to your heart. That you will have fun and that a piece of your history will be documented – so your kids will know where they came from.