It's that time of year in the mid-west, when everyone wants that perfect family photo with the fall colors, chunky sweaters and left over glow from the summer tan. A recipe for the perfect Christmas card. Don't worry, I do the same! Even though I'm more in love with documentary style family photos - I still want a nice, smiling, family portrait.
I'm currently in the process of revamping (again) my family portfolio. I want to 100% do documentary family sessions. I want to photograph the memories that mean the most to people. I've wanted to do this for a really long time, and I keep trying, but by default and popular demand, I end up back to doing regular family sessions. Which are great! I do love giving people what they want, but my heart is in documentary sessions.
So, after our own family photos, when my daughter asked me if I would do a day in the life with her and her dad (my ex-husband) - well holy shit - my mind exploded and I wondered "why didn't I think of it before??"
I lost my dad when I was 20. That's only 6 years away for my daughter...to think that at her age, I only had 6 years left with my dad?? What I wouldn't give to have those years carefully documented. Photos of the early mornings making egg salad sandwiches at 5am, so that we could load up the car with our skis and snow suits to drive two hours up north and spend the day learning how to ski in the blistering cold of Ontario winters. When he was sick, I took my camera everywhere. I'm not in a lot of the photos, but at least I have a couple. Even then, I didn't document the way I do now. I remember much more than the short story the photos tell....but those photos trigger some memories that might have otherwise been lost.
Sky has a special bond with her dad. She looks at him and adores him in her own special way. They are silly and goofy. He makes her laugh, and she's happy to just be near him. Their relationship is so important, and as far as I'm concerned, always has been, and so to provide them both with memories of their favorite things to do together at this point in her life? A priceless gift that I'm more than thrilled to give.
She loves going to the Coffee Pot for breakfast with him. She's allowed to get coffee (yuck) and her dad gets a bloody mary with the pickle because she likes to eat it. This is a little tiny thing, but in the heart and mind of a young girl, it's something that she'll remember forever. Whenever we drive by Paielli's bakery, she mentions how good the air smells, and that it always reminds her of her dad because he takes her there to get donuts. And now she has photos to look at, reminding her of this memory.