As photographers, it’s so easy to get wrapped up and focused on our go to subjects. For some people that is street photography, for others it’s weddings/portrait work, for many others it’s the beauty of a sunrise in nature as we capture beautiful landscape imagery.
But one genre that seems to get overlooked so often is that of the photographer that loves to just capture those memories and moments of every day life for their family. I’m guilty of this myself, shooting countless landscapes and forgetting to turn the focus over to my kids. Actually I tend to go in phases where I’ll try to make it a focus(no pun intended, geez find a better word ya’ big dummy!) and I’ll capture a lot of day to day memories and then I’ll get distracted and find myself going for a month or more rarely making an image of my wife or kids or even my extended family.
Simply put, this makes me sad. They grow so fast and life is not a guaranteed thing and so I kick myself every time I realize that I just let an entire season pass and never made more than a couple photos to remember where we were as a family at that time. I don’t mean physically where we were, I mean those real moments that we will look at later and be brought back instantly to a time and place in our past.
I’m a little shy about admitting this, because it seems to be a large community made up of and geared almost exclusively towards women, but I’ve been following a community and a website/blog called Fearless and Framed for quite some time now. They are a community for documentary photographers and they emphasize not only how to capture and preserve those moments for your own family, but also for clients. The reason I follow this site/blog/social media is because I get so inspired by the beautiful photographic work being done by these photographers as they completely capture life as it is around them. No fancy posing or big photo backdrop sets. No high production stylizing. Just life as it happens. It’s something I really want to get better at as a photographer and something that I feel is really THE MOST IMPORTANT PHOTO PROJECT that you’ll ever do as a photographer. It’s not a short project, it’s a lifelong project. Not to mention that it would be absolutely amazing to capture moments like this for other people as well. Yeah, I know, I’m sounding like a fanboy….but it’s a fascinating approach that is beautiful in it’s simple and raw and real style that captures real life memories.
Many of you may know this about me, many of you may not, but a little over a year ago my Mom was diagnosed with Stage 4 cancer. Thankfully things have gone amazingly well and she’s currently cancer free and feeling great. But it was a real kick in the ass reminder as to all the times that I DIDN’T make photos of those everyday moments as I looked back at the relatively small number of photos that I do have. It made me realize that while it’s so easy to get wrapped up in trying to get my public work out there and trying put together the pieces to create a bit of a name for myself in the photography space, we really can’t lose sight of the most important photos. Those private family photos that become beautiful memories that we cherish for a lifetime.
If you haven’t already, please go check out the amazing work over at Fearless and Framed. I’m not affiliated in any way with them and frankly when you read their site you’ll see that I don’t even fit their target market. But I find the work truly beautiful and inspiring. The type of imagery I would love to leave my family as a legacy and history to cherish whenever my days on this earth are done. These aren’t just simple snapshots. These are extremely talented documentary photographers that have a gift for capturing and telling stories with their photographs. Please do yourself a favor and go check them out. They have a mission of helping you “Transform into a serial moment seeker” and that is such an amazing way of thinking about it. Be a serial moment seeker.
Anyhow enough of my rambling on! I grabbed a handful of some of my favorite images over the last few years of some of my personal family moments. I love these photos and can recall the stories and personal emotional attachment to each photo, even if they aren’t anything special to you as an outside viewer. But I want to do better and there is only one way to correct that. Time to grab the camera and practice.
*all images made by me with Fuji X series cameras/lenses and by my amazing wife and her Nikon camera/lenses.
*processed in Adobe Lightroom Classic and using a combination of Rebecca Lily Premium Color Grading Presets, Mastin Labs Presets and even some straight out of camera Fuji color/b+w film profiles.