I’ll regularly take pictures when I visit family or they visit us with my phone and I’ll send those to whoever, no problem. But when I take pictures with my camera, I want to edit them. I’m gonna colour correct, edit out undesirable little bits, crop it possibly, I’m gonna do shit to it before I want anyone to see it. But inevitably there’s always someone who asks to be sent the pictures and it’s always the same convo.
Way back in January, before Covid-19 was part of our lives, (remember that? It was before we knew that furlough was a real word, before we knew what WFH stood for, and before we put anti-bac on everything), I wrote a little blog about what it’s actually like to be a photographer. If you haven’t read it, you can find it here. Lockdown has given me a fair bit of time to think (but surprisingly little time to do – has anyone else found that?!) and following on from that blog, I’ve realised a few things about what takes a family photographer to the next level. They’re things I try and practice myself, or things I admire about photographers that are way further down the road than I am.
Amidst the coronavirus lockdowns and restrictions, photographers are finding alternative ways for taking photos. One of them includes taking family photos on their front porches while maintain a necessary distance. However, Professional Photographers of Canada (PPOC) urges people to stop doing it, noting that the virus can only move if they move.
There is something special about long-term projects, and something poignant. One such project I recently discovered moved me deeply, and I am honored to share it here with you. Photographer Deanna Dikeman spent 27 years photographing her parents as they waved her goodbye after her visits. It sounds simple, but these photos tell a story that makes a strong impact. A story about aging, love, family… and about how hard it is to say goodbye.
We’ve seen some incredible cases when people accidentally found forgotten and rare photos (this one’s probably my favorite). And something like this happened to a Missouri architect Brian Bononi. He was working in a closed photo studio on Kansas City when he found a pile of 167 portraits that never got delivered to clients. So, he gave himself a mission: find the people in these photos and reunite them with prints that were never delivered to them.
A few weeks ago, I was in town and I heard a lady say to her friend “That photo you posted of Sebastian was soooooo beautiful. While you’re on maternity leave, you should totally start doing photography as a business…”. Before I write anything else, I just want to say that this is exactly the kind of thing that my friends would tell me a few years back. And it’s lovely when your friends encourage you to pursue your passion and turn it into a business. But in my experience, starting any kind of business isn’t something that you should decide to do on a whim!
Being a professional photographer certainly requires some skills beyond photography. But this Craigslist ad for a family photographer certainly adds another layer to it. Other than photographing for social media, editing photos and probably posting them too, this family also looks for someone to be a “Mother’s Helper.”
Love and family should be appreciated and celebrated on any occasion, and Abigail Lydick of Abigail Gingerale Photography has found a magnificent way to do it. She organized a surprise photo shoot for her grandparents’ 60 wedding anniversary. The photos are truly heartwarming, and Abigail was kind enough to share them with DIYP, along with some backstory.
As a landscape photographer, I travel a fair amount. As a human being, I travel quite a bit. Travel is a passion in my family. Whenever we get the opportunity, we love to visit new places or revisit old ones. Family vacations aren’t photo trips though. Sure, photos are taken – lots of them. However, these photos are mainly to capture the memories of our travels. And rightfully so. Family trips are first and foremost to spend time together, relax, and experience new places together.
I have to keep my inner photographer in check. Many times we are visiting beautiful places with iconic shots.
Over many trips and travels, I’ve found a pretty good balance that allows me to capture photos without annoying the heck out of the non-photographers in my family (which is pretty much everyone else!).
On Not Photographing My Mom
I picked up a camera in 2008.
And I laid my mother to rest in 2010.
Guess what I never got around to?
That’s right – I never created a real portrait of her before we said goodbye.