Sure, you can get all dressed up, stress everyone in your family out, threaten consequences for a bad picture day or bribe with rewards for a good one. You can go to the prettiest places with the loveliest backgrounds. And you can smile at the camera and pose.
Or you can wake up, be yourselves, and do your thing in the comfort of your own home while still in your pjs.
I get the draw of the first one. We like those smiling-at-the-camera pictures and we like things to look like our family is both happy and put together. We like those pictures for the walls because our parents and grandparents before us liked them, too. We’re used to seeing them. I mean, who doesn’t have a memory of getting all dressed up and heading to Sears or JCPenny’s for some studio pictures? But what if there was space for something more true? More real? Not staged or faked or bribed. Just you and the people you love. What if your photo session showed the best and sometimes the not-so-best little moments of your everyday? That’s what we call a Day in the Life session. This family is part of my Year in the Life, which is my very favorite of all the photography I do. The Year in the Life includes a Day in the Life session, which is my favorite of favorites. These sessions highlight who you really are – what your life really looks like right now. This family happens to be one of my very favorites (how many times can I use the word favorite in a few sentences?) that ever there were. The way they love is beautiful and good. They are always protecting their little man and also letting him be brave. He lives a pretty magical life, full of fun and silliness! They are all so playful together and just living life joyfully. Whenever I edit their images, I can hear his mom and mama calling him by his nicknames. And I can hear his laughter. Because this kid has a life that is SO FULL of laughter! And it’s just so fun to be there for and document these everyday moments – playing hide-and-seek in the tub… …brushing his teeth (he was super proud to do this by himself with no parents watching)… …jumping on the couch!
They painted a pumpkin, and he was so patient waiting for the first layer to dry! They have their wild moments and their sweet, snuggling moments. They busted out the mega blocks and the Parcheesi. There were arguments about whose turn it was, but they always ended in understanding.
A New Take on Family Photography
Elizabeth was kind enough to let me share her words with you: “I used to think getting family pictures done was about capturing us at our best – coordinated outfits, hair and makeup, healthy, put together. I always wanted to put them off until I lost five pounds (or 30). But that isn’t real life – or at least that’s not our life.
This year’s sessions included a swimming party, a roll-out-of-bed morning [this one!], the day after a wild wedding, and tree shopping when I had a cold. I invited Sarah to capture me at my worst time and time again. But when I get the proofs back – what I see isn’t me at my worst. What I see is fun, laughter, and love – and that is beautiful.”
Those words of hers made me tear up! I am so happy that they see the same thing I do when they look at their pictures. I feel so lucky to share so much time with you, R family! I learn about parenting and living and loving from you every single time. Thank you.
If you want to see their 2016 Day in the Life, you can check out their video right here!
If you’re interested in documentary home photography in Columbus, Ohio or anywhere else in the world, I have two ideas for you:
- A Year in the Life – four seasonal sessions and a Day in the Life session, plus your personal pictures all put into an album to remember the year (I have one spot left for 2018!)
- A Day in the Life session – a longer session full of your everyday
Head over here to let me know your ideas!