This year has been a blur. Who woulda thunk it would look like this? The struggles often seem bigger than the joys.
So far this year, I've watched my dad's dementia progress which is such a heartbreaking disease, my childhood home was sold and 45 years of "stuff" downsized, and one of my kids had surgery. I was hospitalized too - twice - and had surgery too. COVID stopped my photography business because of social distancing and hospitals not allowing us in the delivery room. I miss babies and their sweet mamas. I miss being in people's homes photographing their lives.
But, there were bright sides.
I had my college kids home a lot... and that's rare after they are grown-up with busy lives. My parents stayed with us a couple months while we packed up their house so I got lots of time with my dad. We started a garden, played a lot of the Wingspan board game and Phase 10, and spent a weekend at the beach. My husband, my dad, and I drove a truck to Illinois to move our oldest in to start her Masters in Biology. I had enough down time to take a couple online classes to keep improving my photography skills. There's always good to be found.
Though stress and worry have been high, I know others have lost more and endured more, so I try to be thankful.
I did do a little photography charity work a few months ago though. I volunteered to participate in the nationwide Front Steps Project and took a family photo for over 30 local families in exchange for them making donations to local charities. About $2000 was raised for non-profits feeding, clothing, and supporting people and pets. It was great to meet so many happy families, even with all the uncertainty we all were facing. It felt good to dust off the camera even for just a few weeks.
But now it's time to start again.
At some time, I've taken photos for you -- high school graduation or family photos maybe. I love giving families those memories. And I'm hoping you'll be willing to help.
You've seen the pleas for the community to support small local businesses and everyone has rallied. As I begin to focus again on Augusta Birth Photography AND the "non-birth" side of my business - Documenting Everyday: Family Storytelling Photography, I need your support and it won't cost you anything.
Please SHARE both of my photography pages and website with your friends. Recommend me. Follow me on Facebook and Instagram and be sure to comment & like my posts and photos. (FB lets more people "see" my posts based on the interactions it gets). Visit my website so you know what documentary photography really is. Read my blog posts every now and then so I'm not talking to myself. But please, stay with me as I get going again. I need people who know me, have loved photos I've taken for them, and enjoy real life, documentary photography. I need cheerleaders.
If you are willing to help me with any of those things, please take a minute and sign up to stay on email list (link below). If you will check the age range boxes for your family, I can send you info tailored to your family. A family with a toddler is at a different stage than a family with teens.
I'll be offering some specials to encourage families to try a documentary session and the email list will be the quickest way to hear about them. I'd love to chat with you about rethinking your family photos this year. Skip matching clothes with everyone smiling by a fence. Where's the real life in that? Let's show your family's LIFE in photos... the relationships, the routines, and the details you love most about each of them... because next year it will be different, and in a blink, that toddler will be leaving for college and you'll long for those photos of curly hair, lost teeth, superman pajamas, pancakes on Saturday mornings, arguments over homework at the kitchen table.... Consider trying a storytelling session with me. No matter the age of your kids, today is a chapter in your story that should be remembered.
“You will never have this day with your children again. Tomorrow they will be a little older than they were today. This day is a gift, breathe and notice… smell and touch them, study their faces and their little feet. Pay attention! Relish the charms of the present. Enjoy today… it will be over before you know it”. – Jen Hatmaker.
Thanks for your support and staying on my email list (don't forget to click the link below!)
I'm excited that you want to take better documentary photos of your family! Print the worksheet and start interviewing your family. Their answers might surprise you but their responses are the moments to photograph. I'd love for you to share an image on my FB page that you took because of the worksheet. It will be fun to see your life in photos! (www.facebook.com/documentingeveryday)
Here's to taking better photos! Jennifer Documenting Everyday: Family Storytelling Photography www.DocumentingEveryday.com