So often it seems like couples without children feel that the details of their daily lives are not “photo-worthy”. And that makes me so sad, because in 20 years when they’re looking back on where they started, I know they will feel completely different about it and wish they could remember those seemingly insignificant details of the beginning of their life together. I look at this session and I think about if this couple gets married, their children and grandchildren will be able to look back on these photos and cherish them. My mom recently made DVD copies of some of their old home videos from the 1960s! Seriously incredible! I’ve seen a snapshot here and there of my mom, uncles and grandparents back then, but seeing entire videos of birthday parties, football games, seeing my great-grandparents’ anniversary celebration, and watching my mom and her brothers playing in the kiddie pool during the hot Miami summer? Well that was an entirely new world for me. I was able to see the full stories rather than just a single snapshot of a child smiling for the camera. I saw their personalities shine in those videos and it was priceless.
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This is why “A Day in the Life” sessions are so dear to my heart. They are real. By looking at the little details of a person’s day and life, you see their personality, dreams, character, and heart. You don’t always see that as much when you pose a couple on a bench and ask them to “smile for the camera”. Overall, looking through this couple’s story I think you feel such a connection and love through the smallest details. Some people may not think that riding the subway together or making coffee are special moments, but they are. The truth is, we, as a society, are too busy with life, we don’t take time out to savor those little moments and see the beauty in them. These are the pieces of our lives that make up our stories and these are the moments that should and will be treasured forever by many generations to come!
Are you wanting to photograph a documentary session with a couple? Do it! Meet with your clients over lunch one day and just chat them up. Get them to tell you about their relationship and their life together. Listen. That is the most important thing I could tell you. You have to listen to what they’re telling you because a lot of times the client will not even realize that the things they are telling you are actually beautiful pieces of their lives that ARE worth documenting. Keep these things in mind when you show up for their session. You aren’t planning necessarily, but you have those ideas at the forefront of your mind so that when they happen, recognize it and are ready to grab that shot.
I shot this session primarily with a sigma art 35mm 1.4 lens, and a canon 6d. I feel that 35mm is the ideal focal length for documentary sessions because they give you a wide enough angle to get the full story in the picture while at the same time you have the option to move in a little closer to grab those super important details that add so much interest to every documentary session.