Oh how I love watching toddlers become so independent. They are absorbing everything around them and often have ‘Their Way’ on any number of outfits, food preferences or ways to climb in and out of the car.
Meet Elle. 2 years old and very certain of how things should be done. She is also soon to become a big sister. Documenting this day was so important to mum Leasa particularly because she knows how different their days are about to become….. (story continues below slideshow).
Elle’s mum and dad own Bill’s Fish House and the Salty Crew Kiosk on the beach in beautiful Port Macquarie.
Every morning Elle wakes up, goes to find Daddy and says “Juicy?”
That’s the cue for the two of them to drive into town to collect the day’s supplies from Bill’s and deliver them to the Kiosk. There, Elle has fresh juice while Chris checks in with the staff.
The selection of images you see here are a very typical day for this family.
Sometimes it takes a while for families to understand that I really don’t want a ‘show’ to be put on for our photography session. It really is the everyday rituals and humdrum that make up the rhythm of a family.
What draws me to documentary family photography is that while the minute by minute tasks we as parents have to do for our littlies really are quite universal, the way each parent does those tasks, the unique personalities and combination of personalities in the family make every ‘ordinary’ day extraordinary to me.
I always come away a little wiser having learnt something from every family – whether it’s how a mum deals with a tantrum or gets a fussy baby to eat dinner to the complex strategies required to help a child straddle the ‘I’m not little but I’m not grown up’ tween phase. Very handy because we are learning daily in our home with our own gorgeous tween!
Perhaps it’s because I’ve never lived near to family since having kids, I’m gathering my ‘it takes a tribe to raise a family’ wisdom piece by piece via these beautiful families who are brave enough to face the vulnerability that is having a photographer in your home for the day seeing all the nitty gritty. Yes, I see the tantrums, the parental eye-rolls, cross words and disagreements but that is a huge part of families learning and growing together. And your secrets are safe with me!
To me, a family home is a really sacred space. A place you can feel comfortable, relaxed and really be yourself. To express yourself through the things you surround yourself with and whether that is your eye for designer furniture or a penchant for minimalism or a sink full of dishes and Mt Washmore in the corner. I’ve seen it all and to be honest, the mess you might be stressing over never really shows in the images.
I promise you, if you think your kids are too badly behaved in the development phase they are in or that your home isn’t Pinterest-worthy, if you trust me, if you let me in to your heart’s centre for the day, you will be astounded at the beauty that can be found in your home.