Recently I have been thinking deeply about what I want from photography. Also what I want to gift my clients in ways of photography.
I love pretty much ALL aspects of photography. I think the ALL aspects of it comes from the time in university. Conceptual, fine arts, portraiture... the list goes on.
I do genuinely have a love for all genres one way or another. Yet I want to get to the roots of why my love for the medium of photography started.
Where did the birth of my love for photography come from?
It comes from the birth of my children. Like most mothers, we all want to document our children's and families lives. Right? Which with this day and age is made easily accessible with mobile phones. Back in my day, it wasn't as easy.
When my eldest was born,26 years ago. All we had was film cameras. Taking pictures wasn't as easy as it is now. Yet I still have quite a few printed out in what we call 'our memory box'. Which only last week we opened. Which also opened a lot of laughter and stories with my 2 girls. Making fun of their older brother. (Going through old photos does this.) That's the magic of it.
Anyhow, I carried on this love of documenting life with film for years after. Not realising back then, just how much it meant. When my youngest was born I purchased my first digital camera. By this time my curiosity and wanting to develop a more in-depth understanding of photography grew.
I enrolled in a photography course. That's where my journey really began.
Wading through my clients' work and my own personal photo's. I realised that what they and I feel most connected with is the 'real life' moments that I have captured. Yes, the portraits are good. Especially when I get the true personality or curiosity of a child. Yet it's the moments I have captured that provoke a memory which I and they can FEEL!
We can all become obsessed with 'wanting to look our best' when a camera is pointed at us. Yet my fondest and dearest memory of my nan wasn't of her being glamorous, it was baking cakes. Her on the sofa, I lay on the rug. Listening to vinyl and both singing along to the oldies. Just little things what probably seemed nothing then but everything now.
All these are sadly distant memories. Memories I actually tried to recreate on a project I did in university. I built sets and dressed them in 1970's furniture and tried to recreate certain memories I had of her. Trying to document something that had already been and gone.
This for me now is where I want to concentrate on for family and children photography. Documenting true life. I want to capture the little moments of peoples lives for them. That may seem frivolous now. Yet in years to come, they'll mean everything.
This means from the craziness at breakfast time or baking cakes on a Sunday. A new baby just coming into your life. Reading a book to your toddler... to that toddler then throwing a tantrum. What you do as a family on weekends. The little things that add up to times in our life that we all take for granted. Then only realise on reflection, what we thought were little things. Are literally the most important.
Close your eyes. Ask yourself this. Is there a moment in your life, anytime where you wish you had a photograph of? I pretty much guarantee it wasn't a moment where you were dressed and staged ready for a picture. It was with a loved one. That moment was a slice of your precious life.
A small slideshow of what a documentary style shoot can be like. Obviously not all we are the same. We are all unique in ourselves and how our families are. That's the beauty of it.