Updated: May 18, 2021
So here's a story on how I converted my sister in law, Evi, to documentary family photography.
A while back, when I was new to the genre and new to photographing families, I told Evi that I'd pop by, hang out and make some pictures, just for practice.
Cool. No problem.
I get to the house, the kids are outside playing on their bikes. Their parents are doing their thing, knee deep in chores.
Evi is busy with a newborn at the time, her fourth child - so she has no time for me (thinking back, she was probably just hoping I'd keep some kids occupied for a while.)
Evi tells me: The boys are a mess, feel free to go upstairs, pick out some nice clothes.
"Of course", I say.
But, of course, I don't.
Nice clothes is not my thing.
Setting up a scene and staging kid cuteness isn't my thing either.
I work best when I hang out for a while, take it all in, and make photographs of what I see.
So, I photographed what I saw. The toys on the ground, the garden, the boys playing and fighting around their dad (my brother) who was working in his shop.
And she LOVED it.
the everyday moments.
She said the way I photographed the mess, made it look like a beautiful keepsake.
I photograph this family regularly, and it gets better every time.
So what is the change that I want to see in this world?
I want people to celebrate their family and their lives by photographing the truth.
I want us parents (moms in particular) to accept that we have imperfect families.
We are families who fight, and shout. We stumble and fall. We ask for forgiveness, and we try again.
We are not often found walking through tall grasses at golden hour, dressed in our finest, in the middle of a tickle laugh.
Houses with small children aren't usually clean,
not all moments of a day are filled with happy faces.
When I look to my childhood pictures, I don't look at my mothers wrinkles, or the wrinkles in her clothes. I look for us. How we used to be. What did our home look like? How did we spend our time? What was the look in my young dads eyes when he would look at my young mom?
My photographs are not flawless. They are real, with feeling and personality, just like you.
I just wonder what are the pictures you want of your family?