On a cold winter morning a few weeks ago, I joined the sluggish morning traffic through over the Kosciusko Bridge and into Queens, to spend an ordinary morning at home with Anna and Annabell.
Anna has brilliantly structured her time to spend morning’s at home, easing slowly into the day with her two year old, then taking her to daycare in the afternoons so Anna can sustain her other passions: writing, teaching yoga and producing and hosting a podcast [Keep reading!]
The flow of Anna’s day provided the perfect scenario for a great documentary session - being able to catch the first moments of an ordinary morning before the anyone’s had a chance to put on a public face for the day. So I was of course beyond pleased when little Annabell greeted me at the door still in her doughnut pajamas, and it was only moments before we were all playing on on the floor and my shutter was clicking away while we got to know each other.
On her journey to and through motherhood, Anna discovered an app called Expectful - a collection of guided meditations for fertility, pregnancy and motherhood. Anna’s life was so transformed by her meditation practice, that she now produces and hosts the Expectful podcast, where she has conversations with incredible women (and a man or two) about the vast subject that is motherhood.
[Click HERE to listen to me and Anna talking documentary family photography and capturing parenthood]
The way that Anna describes the transformation in her life that sprang from her meditation practice, got me thinking that any kind of mindfulness practice and documentary family photography are the perfect complements to each other. Because what documentary photography asks you to do is to be present - but not to be present for the camera! It’s to be present in your own life, be it quiet, chaotic or somewhere in between. The camera is just the mirror, reflecting your life back at you, in all its imperfection and all its beauty.
As the photographer, I am also tasked with being present. To be in the moment, to photograph only what IS; to let go of my attachment to that perfect shot because the child moved out of the good light, and just move on with the story. Go where it takes me. Each moment is it’s own and deserves my full attention. The way a client reveals their life to me deserves my full attention.
Much happened, on this ordinary Tuesday morning in Queens, with a mother and daughter (and a dad for a moment!). Dancing, eating, jumping, tickling, staring out the window-ing, daycare readying, neighborhood walking, and playing for aaaages with an empty Pampers box - and you can only do that if you’re fully present.
I'd love to document your Ordinary Morning. Get in touch HERE.