You Never Realize How Much You Forget

You Never Realize How Much You Forget

I love Timehop. I am a sucker for nostalgia and Timehop provides me with daily doses of it. If you don’t know what it is, it is an app that gathers all your photos/social media statuses, etc. for that exact day, years in the past. Most of my updates and messages are from about 2-3 years ago (when my kids were born and I started photographing them incessantly), but I have had Timehop days have gone as far back as 10 years. It’s something I look forward to each day—its gives me the opportunity to reminisce on the past, see exactly how much my kids have grown, and how my life has changed over the years.

Today’s Timehop has also taught me a valuable lesson: as the years go on, you have no clue just how much you forget. 

For the last couple of weeks, I have noticed my son has started to hold his hands behind his back whenever he watches TV. It is so adorable and endearing—he looks like a very serious, little man watching the news. Up until today, I thought this was something unique to him—one of his own little quirks I love. Today Timehop showed me this was not the case. Exactly two years ago today, I took a picture of his big sister watching TVwith her hands in the exact same position. Apparently, it’s a family trait.

I CANNOT believe I forgot that, but I am so grateful to have this picture (even though it’s a just a quick cell pic) to remind me of this. Knowing this, makes it even more important for me to make sure I get a photograph of my son doing the exact same thing.

Timehop reinforced my belief of how important it is to document the little things no matter how insignificant you may think they are—even though you think there is no possible way you could forget something, the fact is that as time goes on memories fade. Having a tangible memory in the form of a photo ensures you won’t forget even the smallest of details in yours, or your children’s, lives.

A Birthday, PSA, and a Contest

A Birthday, PSA, and a Contest

My son turned one today and I’m having a little bit of a hard time coping with it. 

While I am so excited and happy to celebrate his first birthday with him, I admit his first birthday also makes me a little sad. You see, he’s my last baby. So while I am looking forward to and absolutely LOVE this next phase we are now moving into, I am also mourning the loss of the chapter we are closing—his infancy. He’s a toddler now.

I knew this day was coming. I tried my hardest to soak in every baby moment I possibly could with him, but it wasn’t enough. I want more. I guess that’s a little selfish of me, but can you blame me? His firsts were, and always will be, bittersweet for me… joyous because he accomplished a new feat, but sad because it’s the last time I will ever experience a first.

I am always talking about how important it is to document your everyday, your routine, your life—not just the “pretty,” but also the mundane and in-between. I have talked about how it has been said we don’t truly appreciate the value of a moment until it becomes a memory. I will always believe this wholeheartedly, but today it is resonating with me even more.

The last year is now a memory and while I like to think I have done the best I can to document it, I am still missing it. However, I am so grateful that I did document it. I have pictures to remember his birth, his first day on this earth, the messy dinner times, sweet moments between him and his sister, tender moments with dad, the milestones met and the moments in between. I can look back at these images and remember our first year together. I get a glimpse of our beautiful, imperfect, messy, crazy life… and I can relive it through my images.

A Little PSA (Public Service Announcement)

I guess the point of this post is to remind you all the importance of documenting your everyday. To help me celebrate Nate’s First birthday, I want you all to think of the one detail or action your child does now, but might not do forever, and document it. Maybe it’s their wispy, curly baby hair or chubby little baby thighs? Photograph those tiny details and remember them forever. Did they just discover themselves in the mirror and think their reflection is the coolest thing ever? Take the picture. Is it the morning cuddles when they crawl into bed with you? Do they grab your finger, their foot, or curl your hair while they nurse or drink a bottle? Take the picture.

Photograph the little details, actions, and memories that mean something to you. Take the picture, remember it forever, and write down their story—it doesn’t have to be perfect. The best photograph isn’t always the most technically sound, it’s the photograph that makes you FEEL something. The best camera is the one you have on you.

So please take pictures and photograph your memories—even if you think it’s just the mundane part of your life. You will thank yourself for it when your everyday moment, becomes a memory.

The Contest: 

In celebration of Nate’s First Birthday (and for nostalgia’s sake) I am going to give away a Storytelling Session to one of my followers. Here’s how to enter:

1. Take the picture. I want you to photograph your everyday. The one thing you know you will miss once that moment becomes a memory.

2. Post the picture to my Facebook page wall.

3. Tell me why that moment means so much to you and what you will miss about it.

That’s it! 

BONUS: Earn an extra entry by sharing this post to your FB profile, just make sure you tag my page so I know you did it!

Deadline to enter is Saturday, August 26th at midnight. Winner will be drawn Sunday, August 27th at 8pm.

 Note: Winner will be responsible for any travel fees, if applicable.

Lifestyle vs. Documentary Photography Sessions

Lifestyle vs. Documentary Photography Sessions

Recently, I have been seeing a lot of photographers using the terms “documentary” and “lifestyle” interchangeably in regards to the type of photo sessions they offer. Being that documentary photography is a fairly new genre, I can understand why there might be some confusion. There is a distinct difference, however, between lifestyle and family documentary photography. So before lines are blurred further, I thought it would be helpful to explain the difference.

Lifestyle Photography

Most of the candid, natural sessions you will come across in your search for a photographer will fall under the “lifestyle” umbrella—they are a stylized version of real life—everyone’s outfits are coordinating, the background is clear of clutter, lighting is absolutely perfect, etc. … you get the idea. Lifestyle photographers tend to capture “real moments” within stylized scenarios they guided into place.

For example, your photographer will ask you to tickle your child and then capture the resulting giggles—the moment is real, but the way in which the moment came about is fabricated, or guided into place.  They may say “How about we go near this window and play?” which provides them with the perfect scene and lighting to capture whatever unfolds. They could also have you repeat something you did in the moment. This allows them the opportunity to capture a moment they may have missed or allow them to get a better composition or angle.

It’s a cleaned-up version of real life— nobody’s house or child is ever as clean as they are in these pictures in real life (if it is for you, please teach me your ways).

Documentary Photography

Documentary photography is all about capturing life as it unfolds—whether the photographer was there or not—the good and the bad, the happy and the sad. It is moment-driven, authentic, real, and unique to each family. They aren’t necessarily meant to always be “pretty;” they are meant to tell a story.

With documentary photography, the photographer has the ability to freely tell your story while it is unfolding in front of them. The images you see happened in the moment, with no guidance given. These sessions accurately depict a particular stage in your family’s life and the relationships you have with one another. It focuses more on emotion and ultimately provides you with a photographic time capsule of those moments in your life.

Family documentary photography is built upon the principles of photojournalism (documentary family photography is also often referred to as family photojournalism). With this particular type of photography, it is expected that nothing is moved or touched in the scene, subjects are not directed, light is not altered, and post-production is minimal.

I believe this type of photography is instrumental in fighting constant societal pressure to always be what it deemed as “perfect.”  Nobody is perfect,  life especially, and this gives us the opportunity to show the beauty within the imperfect parts of family life. Perfection is found in our life’s everyday moments—the good, bad, and everything in between.

 

No One Way is Better Than the Other

I don’t want you to believe I think one style of photography is necessarily better than the other. I believe each style has its place within the industry, yields totally different photographic results, and solves the needs of individual families. I do believe “knowledge is power” and hopefully now you have a better understanding of the differences between lifestyle and documentary family photography. Hopefully, this information can help you to better identify the type of session you would want for your family moving forward.

If you want to learn more about differences between these two styles, check out this blog post by Jenna Christina Photography. She interviewed family photojournalists from around the world to ask them what they believe the difference is between lifestyle and documentary photography. And of course, if you have any questions regarding the difference between these two genres, please feel free to contact me.

Longing for a Moment

Longing for a Moment

“There are moments that I know I will long for even as I live them.” -Judith Katzir

I recently came across this quote and I have to say, this is something I can completely relate to—I feel it in the depths of my soul. As a parent, I think this resonates with me even more—every snuggle, family dinner, game played, story read—I realize just how amazing life is and how much I will cherish these small, fleeting moments for as long as I live. I also know when I think back to them, my heart will ache a little because my babies will be a little bit older and that particular season of my life will be over.

Time flies and our lives change, there is no way around it. No matter how much we try and slow things down, life seems to go faster.  I know personally I try to desperately remember all the new things my kids are doing each and every day—whether it be a new skill learned, a funny thing they said, etc.—because I know tomorrow they will be a slightly different person than they are today.

Recently, I was re-watching the Jim and Pam wedding episode of The Office (the ones before Steve Carell left, you know, back when it was good). In this episode, Pam brought up the idea of taking “mental pictures” throughout the wedding day to help try to remember the special moments happening throughout the weekend. It was her way of trying not to forget the little things.

I think as parents, we naturally do this. I can already tell you my list of mental pictures: the first time I locked eyes with each of my children, watching my husband develop into an amazing father, my daughter becoming a big sister, the way my son stroke’s my face when he’s nursing or drinking a bottle, wrist rolls and chubby baby thighs, watching the “moon” before bed, even our messy, chaotic house … I could go on and on.

However, there’s one problem with mental pictures: they only exist in our minds. I don’t want memories to just live in my head because like it or not, memories fade over time. Things that were once clear in our heads become fuzzy and details are forgotten. This is why photographing your every day is so important.

Even now, when I look at pictures of my childhood, the memories instantly come flooding back. Looking at a picture, I can instantly recall a memory. I can remember almost everything from that particular moment—the conversations had, how I felt, even the smells. I want to give this gift to my children—I want them to look at a picture from their past and have the memories come flooding back. I want them to remember how they felt when they watched The Lorax or Elmo for the hundredth time, the excitement they felt watching a light parade at Christmas time, the love (maybe even the inside jokes) they had with family members who won’t be with us in the future.  I want them to have a tangible piece of their history.

As much as I try to live in the now, I also do what I can to document what our lives are like currently. My life has drastically changed since my son was born and that was only 8 months ago—going from one to two children was definitely a life changer. Even within the last 4 months, our family dynamic has changed … we have a crawler on our hands, so there is definitely no more downtime and life is just a little more hectic (and fun).

Remember, every day that passes is gone forever, but every photo taken allows us to preserve our moments so we can relive them in the future. You will never regret a photo you took, only the one you wish you had.