I start many conversations with clients these days telling them that more and more, my style is moving farther away from posed, and more towards documentary. This family was one of my favorite examples of what I mean by that. A documentary, storytelling session starts off with a conversation between me and you, where I start helping you think through – what is it about my family, during this particular slice of life, that is so special that I want to wrap it up and make sure I remember it forever? I have a questionnaire that is almost less for me and more for you – so that you can pause the laundry and dishes and have a moment of reflection – what exactly is the the thing that might drive me crazy now, but that someday I’ll miss? (For me, at this very moment one answer is the pile of books that my 8 year old leaves in the bathroom, by the sink and ready to be splashed on by her younger sister).
This family embraced the spirit – welcomed me into their Philly row home, and Miss Sassy Middle Sister walked me through their house, stopping to snuggle with her dog, watch her older brother sulk a little with his game system (he was nursing a foot injury and not having the best day), and watch her younger brother tumble upside down on the couch. Brushing teeth? Putting on shoes? Dog licking food of the plates as mom puts them on the dishwasher? Yup – that’s what we do in the morning before hitting the city.
We ambled through Center City (yes, stopping for the classic City Hall pose – I do still have time to squeeze in that holiday card shot 😉 ). I got to capture lots of little moments – hand holding, dad and mom taking turns carrying the 4 year old who was getting too tired, sister needing mom to pull her hair up into a bun because the walk was getting hot.
The R family made it to Reading Terminal Market, where the candy and ice cream were tempting, but mom and dad insisted on brunching first. This sweet family chose a row of stools and then, unprompted by me – started a game of telephone, while waiting for waffles and bacon! Whispering and giggles, even grumpy faces – all of these were the real moments of real siblings and when I processed them I genuinely was melting myself at how beautiful those moments were. That I had the privilege of witnessing and preserving.
Ice cream and candy had been promised – and so the trip ended with some sweet notes. Walking back home was happy.
Does your family love to just hang with each other? Let’s talk about how I can join you someday soon.