"It is the sweet simple things of life which are the real ones after all"
—Laura Ingalls Wilder
Beauty in the 'mundane'
But is it mundane? I actually don't think so...
I have been photographing families for twelve years now, and I have to confess something. Rarely, if ever, do I come home for a session, pour through the images eager to 'star' my favorite images to share a sneak peak and have my excitement brim over at the images of everyone perfectly posed and smiling at the camera. Sure, I get it, everyone wants that shot, it's good to share with the relatives. Those shots might even be nice on a holiday card, and they definitely have their place in our homes and in history in general. Heck, people have been taking, (or painting, etching, carving, etc) formal posed portraits for centuries.
But here the thing...formal posed portraits miss the spark and 'realness' of what life inside your family is really like. Do you and your spouse or partner and your kids stand in your home, straight as a whistle, all staring in the same direction, big smiles on on your face, if a camera isn't pointed at you? I'm betting not! (If you do, let's chat about some new hobbies, mmmk?
When I am doing a first pass through the results of a session, my favorite images always end up being the shared 'moments.' And sure, a lot time I have prompted them...I might have asked dad to kiss mom, or big brother to whisper something about farts in little brothers ear (yes that happens a lot) but it still elicits genuine moments and real smiles or tender hugs and kisses.
But I'd like to take it another step further. Totally unprompted by me, and just be a fly on the wall. What if I could help you document even just a small snippet of life, unscripted, in your home to help capture what at first glance might seem 'mundane' but in my humble opinion, ends up being some of the most beautiful moments of all. Grandparents sharing time with grandkids. You tucking your children into bed. Brothers and sisters playing without having to 'perform' for the camera. Cooking dinner as you would any night. Maybe there's even a few tears or a squabble here and there, this is life...it's real but it's your life and it's all beautiful!
The session below starts with a family very dear to me, and the children are having an afternoon visit with their great grandmother. I then went back home with them to capture their bedtime routine. The next day we did our normal family portrait session, which you can see pieces of in the previous post. I am now offering the opportunity to combine two back to back sessions to get the best of both worlds, a 50/50 session. Day 1 lifestyle/documentary for 1.5hrs, Day 2 traditional 1 hr sunset portrait session in my fun relaxed style. Perfect way to get all the photos you need plus some your didn't even know you wanted :)
The kids had made this book for her and gifted it to her on a previous occasion- she enjoyed pulling it back out and looking through it again.
After their visit with their great grandmother, it was time for bed. I loved watching their bedtime routine. These kids know me well and couldn't totally ignore me and my camera, but it was such a treat to be part of their nightly ritual!
After watching how much they loved Elmer and the Dragon, I went home and started reading the series to my boys!
It was so sweet how all the kids said goodnight to each other- tickles and kisses!