As a child I was always carrying a camera. Roll after roll of 110 and 35mm film were dropped off for 1 hour processing followed by the thrill of opening up that envelope to see what you really caught. Being young there was no thought to composition or lighting or any kind of technique really, we were just taking pictures of what amounts to non sense. It was just me and my friends hanging out, playing, being goofy etc. None of the pictures were posed or even really thought out and yet they’re some of my favorite pictures to look back on.
There’s a place for formal portrait photography for sure (or else I wouldn’t have a business:)). They are the ones that you print out nice and big and put on your walls. They are the ones you put on your holiday cards and send to your friends and family. But there’s a second type of photography that’s more in the moment, capturing memories as they happen in real life – snapshots.
These snapshots are important. They are the pictures that you’ll look back on years from now and laugh at the memory it digs up or cry at the emotion it stirs. They are the pictures you’ll build your scrapbook or family yearbook from.
There is a movement right now for professional lifestyle photography and I fully support it. It differs from those portrait sessions in that it does exactly what I’m saying above – captures the moments, the mundane, the silly – your family at that moment in time. However, your life extends beyond that one session – every day is an adventure and I personally try to pick up my camera for a least a few of those days a week. I make sure I keep it out and handy so I can grab it at a moments notice and in the chances I can’t get to it the camera on my phone is a great stand in.
Now, I’m not advocating pushing a camera in your child’s face 24/7 or spending so much time looking for the moments that you forget to actually live them. But I am encouraging you to not seek perfection in your images and accept that wonky is okay when it comes to capturing your family memories. Some of the best and most memorable images are the ones that are technically flawed:)