The Souls Imagined Family | Destination Family Photographer
When I sit down to blog a session, I'm always aware of the fact that the words I'm about to write aren't about me. The stories I tell are my client's stories, and I'm just a witness to a moment of their lives. And so it is with the day in the life I did for the Souls Imagined family. Being invited - being trusted - to come into a home and capture a family's story is something that I have a hard time putting into words. It means so much to me. I think it's probably because the walls of my own home are my safe space. My family is who I can be 100% myself with, in a way that I can't always be with others. So I truly understand what it is to invite someone, with a camera no less, into that space.
And when I think of another mother, who likely feels the same way, welcoming me into her home to be with her family - to really BE with them - to eat meals together, to spend the night, to see the temper tantrums and the beautiful crazy, to see the deep, unabashed love they have for each other - and to be trusted to capture those emotions - I think about what I would have to do to allow someone into my space. How I would have to prepare myself mentally, how much TRUST it would take for me to do that. And I do my best to extend the respect I hope someone would extend me, to my clients.
To be someone they can trust.
As photographers, we talk a lot about the technicals. This lens or that, high ISO and low grain. Gorgeous light, and storytelling. We also talk about the emotions we want to capture, especially when it comes to documentary photography. The realness - the things we'll want to remember when we are 90 - the beautiful in betweens, where life and love and family happens. The clutter and commotion that will bring you right back to this moment when looking at your album 30 years from now. But I don't think we talk about the trust enough. Because it's trust that creates an atmosphere where real emotions can be captured.
I didn't decide to specialize in family photojournalism because it's just what I'm good at, or what I enjoy taking pictures of. I do it because I get to connect with another mother, on a deeper level. I'm allowed to get to know her in a place few do, in a way few do. I get to see how very deeply she loves her children and partner - but I also get to see how monumentally important she is to them.
And I photograph it.
So that she will always have that reminder that though she may sometimes feel like she isn't enough, to her family she is everything. She is the best thing about them, and the thing that makes them, them. And in order to capture those moments, you need to create trust.
So when I was warmly welcomed into the Souls Imagined family, whisked into the fold by the kids, invited to dine on east coast treats that were new to west coast me, given a rundown on a custom basketball shoes collection and Minecraft, it was an honor.
Another photographer may have hired me, but it was the mother in her that I worked for. And that trust is what allows for vulnerability, which allows for authenticity.
Within these four walls, these five people are one.
One loud, hilarious, loving, authentically wonderful family.
To the five who opened their home to me: thank you for trusting me, for making me laugh, and for showing me the beauty of your ordinary day. I cannot wait to do this for you again. <3
If you are interested in having me come document your story, please don't hesitate to reach out! I'm currently booking travel sessions for early 2017.