One thing I’ve learned over the course of my transition to family documentary work is that longer sessions yield the best, most authentic results. It takes a while for people to warm up to the fact that someone outside of their family unit is roaming their home and taking photos at their most vulnerable state. Once a family leans completely into the fact that I’m there, magic happens. But that takes time. My shortest documentary session is two hours for that very reason.
Magic happens with time, so just imagine how captivating the story will be after an entire year with a family. Our documentation of family life becomes more meaningful with the passing of time too. I have loved the thought of being able to look back a full twelve months after this Year In The Life project to see the growth and change that has taken place in each family who has booked one.
I met with the Thackers yesterday for an afternoon at home making bird feeders and playing outside. Annie said “he just started being interested in craft time, so I’m really happy!” and I viewed that as a milestone in his life. Kids learn and grow and they get to a point, around two or three, where art finally becomes interesting and they’re able to sit long enough to create something. Now we have recorded documentation of this milestone for Everett and his family.