In today’s fast moving society, where information flow to the public is often about what story is bigger, faster and easier to relate to, sometimes it pays to slow down. When I take portraits, and a session is finished, I like to stop and take photos of the small details of family interaction when the subjects don’t feel like they are “on stage,” or posing. Real moments are my very favorite. Portraits are wonderful and I love them, but a documentary photograph tugs at the heart.
Photojournalism is the art or practice of communicating news by photographs. We are inundated by images of natural disasters, war, celebrities and so much more. Image files are processed quickly and are posted almost instantaneously posted on social media, in print or broadcast around the world more quickly every day. According to Kirsten Lewis, “Documentary photography is really and an art, it is a type of photojournalism where the photographer is aiming to create a series of pictures that will a complete story.” This is Documentary Family Photojournalism.
Last year I took a class online through Click Photo School, The Documentary Approach, and started following one of the other students, Francesca Russell, who is a photographer and filmmaker in New York City. Last month Francesca started a project that asks the question, “What is your legacy?” In the first week the prompts encourage the participant to look back on their birth story, and how their parents met. In doing that, and talking with my mom about my story, I found a new perspective to approach family photography. My goal has always been to produce unique, and personal images for my clients. The photographs are more than the digital negative. They are memories for a lifetime.
This photo of me taken soon after I was born is very special to me. It highlights the beginning of the relationship between mother and daughter and the connection between us even in those early months is obvious as you can see in the picture. It is very precious to me as a daughter, a mother and a grandmother. It is one of the many that tell the story of my life, and the journey through that life with my mother. It is important to look back, as well as looking forward.
Families with new babies, people on vacation, seniors in high school, and engaged couples all deserve to have their story told in photos. Please contact me to hear all about my documentary photography sessions.