why I am a DOCUMENTARY photographer // my story

I have been a professional photographer since 2013 and have been photographing with intent for the past year. When I photograph with intent I capture moments that make people feel something when they look at it. This means photographing the everyday and capturing the moments. I strive to create photos that make families feel something and have something tangible to have a documentation of that time in there life.


I remember the exact reason why I switched to a different style of photography. It was all because of my grandma.

the story of why I photograph moments and switched my whole business to documenting families:

note to my mom: get a kleenex

 
 

  My grandma, who we affectionately call Grammie, passed away last fall, and it has been really hard on my family and I. She was the glue that held us together. If we had a problem with ANYTHING, she was there to listen and give advice.

She and I grew close that summer. It was one of those connections where we weren’t just family; we were friends. I would go and visit even if it was just for 10 minutes, and we would talk about HGTV, my business, and the chaos that was going on in the family and the community. It was my favorite part of the entire summer.

At that same time, I worked at the country club across the street from her house. I made sure to leave early for work every day just so I could hang out with her. She was usually outside on the deck doing a crossword puzzle or reading a book, drinking coffee, and smoking a cigarette(that I usually stayed clear of the smoke clouds). It was comforting to know that I was finally old enough to have a real relationship with my grandma.

One day, I had my camera with me. It was just cold enough to put a sweatshirt on and the mist soon turned into a drizzle. I figured that because of the weather, she’d be inside. But when I walked in the house, I saw her through the window. There she was in her usual spot, under a patio umbrella that was set up right next to her chair. So I went outside to join her. I started taking photos of the flowers as the water dripped on them. I got on my hands and knees on the deck and got a photo of the rain splashing on the small puddles that had already begun to form. As I went around pretending to take more photos of the flowers, I secretly made sure that Grammie was in the background of each one, capturing images of her in her element. At one point she asked me if she was in them. I said no. Yes, I lied to my grandma, but I knew that she wouldn’t approve and would have started to fix her hair. She never got to see the result of what I created and she never found out that I lied. Sure, I feel a little guilty...but I also got something so special that represents our best times together and that I will treasure forever.

 
 

a little stop motion video of my grandma on the deck. (turn up your sound for some pretty music)

 
 

When she passed away, we went through all of the old photos of her to put together a slideshow. That was when I got to see her personality and find out who she was before I was born going through the old box of photos. The most memorable photos were the ones where she was doing the things that mattered to her and the things she will be remembered by. I wish that for everyone - to have the best photos of their family, to show who they were, and to share the stories with their kids and grandkids.

 
 
three days after grammie passed away. searching for photos of her in all of the albums, photo boxes, and folders. 

three days after grammie passed away. searching for photos of her in all of the albums, photo boxes, and folders. 

 

I may be biased when I say that my grandma was the coolest, but I think the photo below proves that she was.

 
Yes, this was there christmas card. THE COOLEST GRANDMA EVER. she actually picked this photo out and handed to me and asked if i could make this into a christmas card. so i did and this is what they sent out 2014. 

Yes, this was there christmas card. THE COOLEST GRANDMA EVER. she actually picked this photo out and handed to me and asked if i could make this into a christmas card. so i did and this is what they sent out 2014. 

 

 

The photos that you see on Pinterest and in your Facebook newsfeeds are cute and creative. But in 30 years, it is the documentary style photos that are true memories in a tangible state that you will cling to. The images of a Wednesday weekly routine trip to the library, weekend getaway up north to their family cottage, Sunday dinner with the family or the everyday, mundane in your home. 

Have a favorite memory or routine? I would love to capture your story for you and create lasting memories for you and your family. email me today!