Five Hundred Twenty-Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes

You Know that song “Seasons Of Love” from the movie Rent? Or the song “9986000 Minutes” from Michael Scott’s farewell? They’re all I can think about when I sit down to write about this year’s Year In The Life clients. All these tiny moments-the sips of coffee, diaper changes, grocery trips, and books read seem insignificant when you are looking at something as long as a year, but they are actually moments that should be valued. Each of those minutes makes up part of your year. They’re all things that help you show one another how much you love and care. They’re all part of your family’s story.

I’ve been working hard over the last four or five years to find my voice in the world of photography. When I decided that documentary was my true passion I started slowly phasing out of the lifestyle approach and started offering family documentary sessions. I made it a goal of mine to go full documentary this year. While thinking about my goals and how to best serve my community, I couldn’t stop thinking about the photos and albums that we have printed of my own family. I couldn’t stop thinking about the way an image moves me when I can hold it in my hands. I wanted my clients to have that same feeling, and I wanted a way to show my community that documentary family photography is important.

I’ve always wanted to book Day In the Life clients. It’s always been one of those things that made me think “when I do that, then I will be successful.” I always thought I had to be booking full day in the life clients to truly be known as a documentary family photographer. And, while that is still very much a dream of mine, I do find value in each moment of a family’s day whether I am with them for 2 hours or 12.

Sometimes I get so wrapped up in brainstorming for myself that it’s hard to see outside of the boundaries I have set for my business. I just couldn’t see past the thought of how I would book Day In the Life session this year. Thank God for social media and friends who can see things from the outside, because all I needed was a tiny seed of an idea before I felt like I was on the right track. She saw my family’s yearbook and made the suggestion that I should start booking Year In the Life clients so they could all have their own family yearbook. Yes! Why hadn’t I thought of that?! A year in the life. Twelve months to show growth and change, not only in these families but in the seasons. Twelve months to learn and explore. Twelve hours is a dream, but twelve months is something much more than that.

I am working with six families this year who have chosen to have their lives documented throughout the year, and let me tell you something. It. Feels. Good. It feels like success. It feels like a win for this genre. I am so excited to be doing the work I love every single month this year.

The thing I love most about documentary is it’s ability to connect us. The things we all have in common unite each family in a way that can’t really be seen through the beautifully styled sessions we see in fields. Our stories are so unique and beautiful, but we all, no matter your race or social class, have something in common. We all love our families and work hard to provide for them. I love how, while scrolling through these highlights, it’s almost difficult to see where one family’s story ends and the next begins. We’re all kind of intertwined that way in life too.