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GETTING IN THE FRAME WITH YOUR KIDS!
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Let’s just discuss the elephant in the room, shall we?
Once in a blue moon, you might have an extraordinary moment in which you pick your kid up at preschool, and upon returning to your car you realize that your other kid left the back door wide open and a pygmy goat hopped right up into your SUV and began eating stale cheerios from the floor. <—TRUE DAMN STORY
THAT is not boring.
But honest to god, everyday family life? It’s just not that interesting.
Let me explain what I mean.
We all wake up, have breakfast. Do deep breathing exercises while attempting patience during our preschooler’s fourth outfit change before 9am. We all rush out the door, running late as usual. We all comfort kids through tantrums and spills. We all laugh, tickle, hug, hold hands. Eat lunch, read books, nap. Reluctantly sneak some screen time. Go for adventures to the park, the greenbelt, TacoDeli, Target. We all cook or order dinner. We bathe our children, put them to bed, pack lunches, drink wine, and start all over the next day.
None of these acts are extraordinary. But they’re all part of the fiber of being human — and the tiny variations in how these everyday acts are done is what sets us apart and makes us ourselves.
Of the moments in your day, how many are truly unique, truly individually important and unforgettable?
In my case, probably none on most days. AND THAT’S OKAY! Just because the individual moments aren’t earth-shattering or ground-breaking or spectacular in their own right, doesn’t make them unworthy of being celebrated and remembered.
The most memorable photos are not ones where something amazing is happening.
Usually, they’re just beautiful ones where not much is happening at all.
A well-made photograph contains a richness and depth that allows us to read it like a book. It stops us first with its striking beauty, but it keeps us looking because it reveals so much about that moment in time.
As an example, let’s take this photograph I made of my children at the airport this summer.
HEADLINE: two children drinking smoothies on a window ledge.
Action-wise, this is textbook boring, right? But the photos is striking and well made – the symmetry, the contrast, the framing.
And so we linger and reflect, and the photo begins to reveal so much more. To me, this photo marks the stage in which we traveled A TON as a family, and my children actually became fun to travel with.
Plane trips no longer make me break out into a cold sweat, because the little ones are able-bodied and independent enough to be able to handle it without constant drama.
It also reminds me that at ages 5 and 3.5, they almost look like twins. Their silhouettes are near identical. My son has long hair like his big sister, and mimics everything that she does – right down to the way he holds his smoothie cup and the way he sits on a window ledge, wanting to be close to his idol/sister, but with enough distance to not crowd her, ever-concerned about her attitude toward him.
They’re sweet little compadres and mirror images of each other in so many ways, both in life and in this specific frame.
But here’s the thing: most of us would never hire a photographer for a one-hour shoot at the airport. The only way in which photos like these are made is in long-format documentary sessions.
In Day in the Life photo sessions, we are able to relax fully into the experience and allow ourselves to live and act authentically.
We also surrender to the rhythm of the day in all its truths and realities, and allow opportunities for subtle microstories to reveal themselves, and to string together to tell the important tiny tales about our family’s life – the individual characters, the relationships we share, the habits and rituals that make us who we are. And these truths and micro-stories are both tremendously valuable and impossible to capture during a short session.
Granted: if you’re like me, you will wish SO BADLY that you’d had a photographer with you on the day a goat hopped in to your car. Because who doesn’t want that photo on their Instagram? But I’ll also ask you: how much does that super-random instance reflect on your overall family story? Probably not too much.
The photos that embody this life and all its quiet beauty are the ones you never could have anticipated.
Now more than ever, I invite you to come along on a full day journey with me, and see what cosmic truths we can reveal together.