There’s no denying that things have been tough for a while now, and it should also be no secret by now that I’m a big proponent of documenting your family through it all, as it is today. I want to capture you in your own clothes, your own places, with your favourite people.
It’s one thing to want to look your best for photos, but it’s another to style away your real life, as if the imperfect or the day-to-day aren’t also the unique and the beautiful.
On account of these things, I was glad when Allie, Michael and Lucy (the pug) wanted their socially-distant mini shoot to acknowledge the coronavirus.
In addition to being a single-parent family and wanting some photos together for the first time in years, Allie and Michael wanted to commemorate this strange time, honour the difficulty of it and not shy away from it.
Whether small or large, there’s a grieving process involved, and I think it’s necessary sit with what has changed and what has been lost, and accept that things are different than we’d like them to be, and might continue to be different for some time.
And it’s not just the global pandemic (though that would be enough.) and that grief is not spread equally. This year there was the raid on Wet’suwet’en territory. The murders of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and Tony McDade and so many others. Mohawk territory is currently under attack from police forces. Wildfires continue to rage.
Things are changing quickly, and it’s important to create something to help you remember how you felt, what you did. Something to help us all remember that things are not normal and that we don’t want them to return to normal.
I know taking photos of your family might not sound like resistance, and for those of us steeped in privilege, white and otherwise like me, it isn’t, at least not on its own.
But I believe that broadening who and what we document, and how we do it, is. I think expanding definitions of love and beauty, and deliberately making space to tell more stories of more people, for more people to tell their own stories, is an important part of resistance.
Small stories matter, not only now, but in the future when we look back on the broad strokes. It’s why historians are asking people to journal their day-to-day experiences of 2020. Our big histories are made up of collections of small stories.
I used to be a journalist, and I still believe so strongly in the power of and necessity of documentation. The power of telling stories. For stories to be true they need to include the hard parts, not just the shiny parts.
Plus, look at these amazing, colourful masks. How could we pass up the opportunity?
As always, much gratitude for the folks who trust me to capture these memories and document their stories, big and small <3
If you’d like to document your own family as you cope with these challenging times just give me a shout.
Fall Mini Session signups are open, and I’ll be there will camera in hand and cat-print mask on my face.