When I tell people that I document the the magic of every day, I sometimes see question marks in their eyes. Their mind goes to the endless laundry, tantrums, and the cyclones of kid mess. That is absolutely expected, and honestly that’s one of the reasons I’ve chosen documentary family photography + videography. As parents, we tend to remember the not-so-fun moments — the things that make us not-so-perfect. I’m a mom and I know this feeling all to well.
My sessions are typically anywhere from 4-24 hours (or more when I take on birth clients) with families documenting their everyday lives. I don’t have them pick out coordinated outfits or pose them adorably at the park- it’s not that kind of session. I think of it more as a time capsule, capturing who you are together, right now, in this moment.
It’s your daughter insisting to wear her cheetah print pajama pants with her polkadot tutu and cat ears from last Halloween. Every. Single. Day. Your son putting on his shoes by himself for the first time, or the way the kids demand you gently rub their back every night before bed after reading Fox in Sox twice and singing Somewhere Over the Rainbow and You Are My Sunshine 3-4 times, no if ands or buts. Those delicious baby leg rolls that are starting to thin. It’s waking up one day with a pang in your heart, realizing those things are those things are gone — your family has changed before you savored your now. My hope is that my work transports people to go back to those heartstring moments. Moments that tell the story of our lives and allow us to feel it all again.
How They Will Remember You
For your children, it’s more than who they were as a baby/kid, which they will be curious about. But it’s also how they remember you. It’s how you looked at them. How you loved them. The silly things you said to them to make them laugh. It can be incredibly impactful as they grow older to see all of that which they can’t really remember. They also see how hard you worked to make them the people they are, and that should never be underestimated.
The Stories You’ll Remember
In a world that’s focused on comparison, where they only show the highlight reels and perfect pictures on social media, I believe that documentary family photography and videography can serve as a space for something different. Something imperfect but so incredibly meaningful. Our lives are jam packed with love, humor and personality- and yes sometimes chaos and mess (I love chaos and mess by the way). But there are also quiet intimate pockets in there—things you might not even notice. And while situations are relatable, each session I do is unavoidably unique to each family. These are the stories you’ll remember and talk about for many years down the road.
I ask my clients to trust that real life will give you exactly what you and your kids will need to see, now, and many years down the road. It’s a vulnerable place. I know this is a different approach, but if you try it, I can promise you’ll never regret it.
Sponsored, Written & Photos by Brianne Hidalgo