Document People Around You, Not Just the Kids

When Marie of Fearless and Framed said she noticed that documentary style photographers aren’t generating a ton of images with adult interactions, I wholeheartedly agreed. People love children in all of their raw and beautiful glory. We are drawn to their cute expressions and the way they see the world with such wonder.  We hope that buy taking photos of them, we can slow time, even just a little bit.  It seems we get so focused on our kids, it’s easy to forget that there are grownups in the world, too.  Like us.

document people

 

And then it occurred to me the most un-photographed relationships in my adult life are those of my friendships.

I love my friends, but where are they?!  Ten years ago, every photo I took was me plus a friend…or five.  And y’all, that was when my camera was disposable and my pictures came from the one-hour lab at Walmart!  Mediocre photos of amazing memories.  Those were the days.

Now, I still love the documenting, but my subjects have changed.  My walls and social media pages are filled with my kid and husband.  The friends that I hardly ever get to see are never ever photographed when we do see each other. And, in the off-chance someone gets a photo, it dies somewhere in the dark pit of cyberspace.  I hate you cyberspace and all of your memory sucking powers.  The people I so dearly refer to as my friends don’t seem to exist in the photo album that is my life.  Where the hell are they?!

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So, I’ve decided that I’ve had enough of my invisible friends and I’m starting a movement, even if it only spreads to a few people, to document adult friendships.  Document the people that have seen us after too many glasses of wine and, for some reason, still love us.  The people that know we sometimes hide in a closet when the kid screams and can predict when we are starting to tell a bad joke.  The people we hope our kids can grow up with so we can take pictures of their faces all together.  They make us laugh until we cry and can make us laugh when we want to cry.  They are the people we can go months without seeing and pick up right where we left off.  These are our people.

night out with friends asha marie photography photo session with friends

 

When I approached my friends about this on our night out in Chicago together, I was quasi-nervous. 

Honestly, who wants a night of drinking with friends posted on the internet for the world to see?!  But, in the true form of my great friends, they welcomed it and were everything I hoped for.  Every photo makes me smile because I know what was happening.  I remember the cab ride, the banter with the waiter, and the relentless teasing that happened all night.  I remember these people.  These fabulous, wonderful, hysterical people that I am lucky to have in my life.

 

So, join the movement, document your adult relationships.  As much as you want to remember the moments with your family, the moments with your friends are pretty damn amazing, too. 

restaurant photo session photographing laughter asha marie photography

 

For photographers:  Since we were inside most of the night, my ISO was cranked WAY up, (we are talking 8000+) so don’t be afraid to push the limits of your camera and embrace the ISO.  White balance is kind of bogus in this situation as well, and since I use natural/available light only, I shot in kelvin so it was significantly easier post-processing.  If you aren’t familiar with kelvin, I totally recommend you playing around with it.  Also, don’t forget to pass the camera off…get that fabulous face of yours in the frame so you remember you were there, too! Lastly, get the details.  Faces are great, but so are the cocktails, treats, and other pieces that add to the story.

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Happy shooting, documenters!

This post was written by Ashley Manley of Asha Marie Photography.

See more of her work: Website | Instagram | Facebook

 

 

Author: MarieMasse
I help client documentary photographers fine-tune their workflow + marketing game, so their work is filled with sessions that represent their voice + client values while earning a living. I shoot undirected, off-beat stories that aren’t preserved often enough (like the story of couples before starting a fam or becoming empty-nesters – a dream project of mine), so my clients’ old box of photos is a meaningful, visual diary of their life + legacy to leave behind.

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