I came over to Hillery's home on beautiful afternoon in early Spring... one of those first warm days when the sun is starting to really heat things up, and you just know that if you stay out on that swing long enough, you'll come home with a burn - even though you were likely still wearing a sweater. Nestled in a gorgeous nature-themed neighbourhood in Winnipeg, Hillery's house was just filled with clean, calm, playful energy the moment I was invited in. I got the tour, as per the kids' plans. Went straight up to their room, to start with, and moved thoroughly through the house until we ended up in their livingroom space where many games, bubbles, snuggles, and doggy howls ensued.
Family photojournalism means I follow the family around their home as invisibly and unnoticed as humanly possible, with absolutely no posing, or directing of any kind involved on my part. I just allow things to flow as they would if I weren't there. I follow the kids wherever they choose to go. I document interactions as they happen, without holding back. Now being a bit of a big kid myself, at times, it is hard not to want to join in on the fun. Especially when the kids are really excited to have a new person to play with, and what is that cool thing I'm holding, what's that button do, can I take a picture, please, please, can I can I? You get the idea. I love children and they sense it right away...so, naturally, the positive and inviting vibes I give off without even thinking about it, can sometimes make for some challenges when what I really want to do is disappear into the background of each room, and photograph people in their natural state. But, this is quickly overcome. I can get quiet and studious pretty quickly! It's a delicate balance because I also think it's important to break the ice with children, get onto their level, play with them, make contact directly with them, before launching into the photographer role. Earning a child's trust is a very important milestone in any interaction, whether it be personal, professional, creative, casual, or otherwise.
Well, this was a wonderful couple of hours spent with this beautiful family. I don't shoot enough photojournalism with families. People who hire me tend to prefer lifestyle, where some guidance and direction is welcomed and/or desired. I love both kinds of sessions, but it's especially fascinating, truly being a fly on the wall, immersing myself in a space and documenting life as it happens. Being a passionate birth photographer, you can imagine why I might be particularly drawn to the unpredictability and ruggedness of in-the-moment settings. That's how birth spaces work... and that's kind of how this kind of session works as well. Go with the flow. And more often than not, the children guide the flow in a household.
Have a look through and enjoy the candid nature of these precious family photographs!
If this kind of session interests you... one which is really self-guided, natural, unposed and in-the-moment, definitely get in touch because I absolutely love shooting them! I love to just immerse myself in peoples homes, lives, relationships and silently observe them from my own little perch, wherever that may be, and then surprise you afterwards with my "findings". I always loved anthropology - it was one of my favourite courses when I was in university studying to become a nurse. And doing family photojournalism is as close to anthropological 'field work' as I can get, being a storytelling photographer.
Contact me to book a free no-obligation consult, and we can chat about your ideas and vision, in more detail. You know your family's needs best, so I want to hear from you.