Last week, we had a session with a fabulous documentary photographer, Cate Johnson.
The idea behind documentary photography is to capture the regular and basic parts of every-day life - the parts we don't often think about photographing.
Usually we photograph the special stuff - the birthday parties, the special outings, the family trips - wonderful things that we certainly want to remember through photographs. And most of us do occasional formal family photos where we capture how we look when we're all gussied up and smiling for the camera.
But the simple things we do day in and day out aren't usually photographed. And down the road, we probably won't really remember how our every-day life looked.
I want to remember the little details of our every-day family life.
So I was really glad when Cate offered to do this photo-shoot for us.
I was so impressed by what she captured - she's so talented. And in looking at the photos she got, I saw that the simple and mundane moments of our family life are even more beautiful and precious than the things I usually take photos of.
Cate showed up as we were finishing dinner prep and snapped away as we ate, cleaned up, played around in the backyard, and went for our regular evening walk. No one put on special outfits or did their hair extra nice and we left the house how it usually is so the kids thought this was the best photo shoot ever! The older kids said they felt a little weird about having someone there with a camera taking photos - but after a few minutes, everyone relaxed and Cate did a great job of just blending into the background. The whole family really loved looking at all the photos Cate sent us - everyone seemed to realize what a good life we have after seeing it captured so beautifully on film.
Here are a few of Cate's captures:
Then when dinner is ready, I come out and ring the dinner bell:
Despite the fact that we have a "no phones at the table rule," this happens sometimes and gentle reminders are needed...in this case, he was looking up a concert we were thinking of going to the next night so it was a good use of technology...
It always seems to take forever to get everyone out the door to go on our evening walk - one person goes back in to get something, then people start jumping on the trampoline while we wait for that person, then when the person who went in comes out, another person has gone in there to go to the bathroom or find their shoes. But eventually, we get going!
Finally, everyone's outside at the same time and we're ready to head over the the park on the next block - we always walk around the park a couple times and often have some pretty good talks while we walk plus Isaac is usually showing us his latest skateboard trick, Ashton's often on his beloved hoverboard, and there's often a football or frisbee that is being thrown around.
Before we get to the park, we pass the library.
There is usually some tree-climbing going on in the trees in front of the library.
The twins always have to climb on the benches and planters in front of the library.
Then we get to the park:
We ended the photo shoot with some posed shots - love how Cate kept them so natural by just shooting away and not asking people to sit a certain way and smile as is the norm:
I'm sure I'm biased - but I think these are some pretty handsome boys.
I'm so grateful for this one daughter of mine.
I'm so glad to have some good family photos! I was looking for a recent photo for something on Power of Moms a little while ago and was coming up pretty empty...
Our life is so good. I'm so grateful for these images that will always remind me of the everyday moments and the abundance of beauty in my life.
*** If you want your own documentary photo session and you're somewhere in Northern Utah, check out Cate's website here and invite her to come to your home. She really did a fabulous job with this photo shoot and I recommend her wholeheartedly. Cate also provides wonderful images for our Power of Moms Instagram account - just search "powerofmoms" to find and follow. Cate and her twin sister Candi put up such beautiful and inspirational stuff there pretty much every day!