I adore this work I'm intrusted with. I have small glimpses into the lives of other families, the way they live, the way they love each other - and my work is to show that back to them in the photographs I make with them.
Though, I can't say that I come across many people that feel comfortable with the notion of getting in front of a camera, there is always an excuse at the ready. But those excuses rob you of preserving and existing in your family's history. However you choose to preserve it - via the camera on your phone, another photographer who takes your fancy, or with me - I can't emphasise the importance of this enough.
This is why, and how, I do what I do...
Too often we seek out the so-called 'picture perfect photos' of our family - matching clothes, clean faces and happy smiles looking down the barrel of a camera lens. With that comes the pressure of perfection - everyone reminded to be on their best behaviour, no running around until we've finished and please smile nicely. I want to challenge that so-called perfection with documenting the real stuff that our 'every day' is filled up with, which is rarely picture perfect in the traditional sense, but much more important.
How often do you hear parents lament at how quickly time is passing? How quickly their children are growing from baby to toddler to child. We see it every day in their fierce determination for independence, their increased capabilities and comprehension of life, and the way their bodies grow and change so rapidly.
When we look back at the years that have passed so swiftly - be it fifty years or five - it probably won't be those picture perfect days of clean faces and a tidy home that we remember with joy in our hearts. More often than not it will be the day-long trips to the beach full of castle building, splashing in the ocean and fish and chips wrapped in paper. The back seat of the car filled with sand and happily-exhausted, sleeping kids on the drive home.
Or the weekend mornings in winter, everyone wearing flannel pyjamas piled into mum and dad's bed for cuddles and wrestling before getting up for the day.
Or the afternoons spent reading books, building towers taller than themselves, baking biscuits and the endless hours of drawing at the kitchen table.
I have been a parent for a relatively short time, but if I think back to the little moments that have already passed me by that I want to remember forever, I'm transported back to the foggy newborns days of endless hours rocking and feeding small babies, manoeuvring their tiny limbs through their teeny clothes. The sight of a round, nappied bottom of a confidently crawling baby escaping down the hall. Right now the moments that bring me joy are when I lift my increasingly heavier kids onto the kitchen bench to help crack eggs into the cake batter before the battle for the wooden spoon, and sleepy post-nap cuddles on the couch, little arms wrapped around my neck, warm faces snuggled into my chest.
THIS. All of this, and one million more moments unique to every family is what I adore photographing - families at any stage of life just living their lives. The families I photograph are thrilled to have a real moment in their family's history frozen in time.
WHY? Because it's easy - we chat about your family beforehand, we have a rough idea of how we'll spend our morning or afternoon together, we let the kids dress themselves and I show up with my gear while you just keep going on with your day. Easy. No one is acting out a part in a play, there are no expectations other than to 'be yourself' and I won't ask you to move into corny poses if it's not your thing. Mum, you will love it because you're in the photographs too. Mostly though, you will love it because it's real. When you look at your photographs you can hear the sounds of your children playing in your home, smell those biscuits baking in the kitchen of the house you've outgrown and remember how those little arms felt wrapped tightly around you. As time moves on, these photographs become more important, they become filled with more joy and are looked upon with so much fondness.
I'm writing this today because I want to convince you of the importance of existing in the photographs that will make up your family's history. I want to convince you that these photographs can be unique to your family, that they will be real, that they will document your life beautifully - they will preserve it and they will celebrate it. And I want to convince you that you can have a lot of fun having your photographs taken, you just have to be yourself and trust me with the rest. xx
If you're in the Brisbane area, let's chat some more about your session, click through to contact me, here.