I'll let you in on a secret. There is ONE major factor that every single one of my clients shares -- one thing that draws them in to documentary family photography and makes them realize they MUST have this for themselves.
Something is changing, quick as a blink.
We've all heard the old adage, "the days are long, but the years are short" and truth be told, that simple saying gets me a little weepy at times. When my children were demanding to be carried from the house to the car, needing to be fed with a spoon, having a constant stream of soggy diapers needing changing, I remember thinking: will they EVER be actual humans?
And here we are. Just seemingly minutes later, traveling solo cross-country.
Even a year ago, this wouldn't have seemed possible. Me, alone, with both kids, at two airports and a three-hour flight? Navigating escalators (that my daughter has just finally learned to hop on and off of without panic), mid-flight poop breaks, NOT eating the fuzzy m&ms that always seem to be under our seat at the gate. A year ago, I would've told you NO WAY.
When did my children become so capable, so self-sufficient? How long will my son's obsession with his fireman boots last? How old will they be when they stop ripping off their shoes an socks the second they sit down, regardless of where we are? When we travel together next summer, will they still cling to each other's hands for comfort on the plane during the "scary" parts of Moana? I'm not sure -- but at least I'll always remember how it was.
Thank you, documentary family photography.
When a client contacts me, we almost always kick our relationship off with a quick phone call. Within minutes, we can tell if it's a fit or not. More often than not, we start talking about the fleeting nature of childhood, the unexpected loneliness of mothering at times, the ridiculous, enraging, adorable things our children do. Yes, yes, and yes.
Time is slipping by.
This is what led you to my website, and what helped you identify yourself and your family in these photos of strangers: the desire to remember the ephemeral nature of this chapter of life. Not just the goofy grins. There's so much more than that, and it's hard to wrap your brain around, and the fear of forgetting it all can leave you kind of breathless. I know.
For me, I know there will only ever be one first time I flew solo with the kids. Is it a huge life milestone? Of course not. But it's a piece of the greater whole, and it's worth remembering.
Tell me friend, what is it about right now that you fear might slip away before you took time to memorize it? How can you record it for posterity? What can you create to ensure that, 30 years from now on a rainy Sunday as you sit around with your now-grown child telling stories about what it was like when they were little, you have some kind of triggers to help the memories come?
Quick. Print your favorite photos from the past year. Grab that dusty old journal and jot down the funniest, sweetest, weirdest, most irritating things about your life. Make a home video. Hire a professional (me, obviously) to make a story book of right now.
They ain't always pretty, but real life's true stories are always worth preserving.