To be your own family photographer

There is no way that
I could be documentary family photographer and not photograph my own
family. There are lots of reasons. Beside having great photos of my
kids everyday life, I can also post them on social media without
asking for permission and practice my photography skills everyday. I
found it also a bit therapeutic. As I photograph them doing stupid
stuff I fell more happy about interesting moments they are giving me
and not so much as concern parent worried about their behavior or
mess they are making. Off course I still stop them if they are doing
something dangerous to themselves or others.

I used to carry my
big camera on holidays an outings with my family, but I realized that
it is too heavy and not so much handy when you are also a mum and
have to carry so much other vital stuff around (diapers, juices,
snacks, toys,…). So a lot of times I just left my camera at home
and was stuck with my phone camera. Which was fine for most of the
time and just for the family memories. But as photographer I was not
satisfied. I wanted photos to be good enough also for portfolio and
social media and to be more in control of my camera. So I decided to
buy mirrorless camera Fuji xT-10. Why this one? First of all it was
affordable, it fits in my everyday bag and I could choose lens that
goes well with my documentary approach of photographing (23 mm which
is equivalent of 35 on Full frame DSLR cameras). All of that gives me
immediate access to a good enough camera when I se something
interesting is going on. It can be just an outing to the city
Ljubljana (where we live),to the playground or family holidays. Maybe
even more important that I have camera on the quickly reachable shelf
at home and I can take photos at home. That way we have also memories
of even more unique moments for our family.

What I learned also
by photographing my own family and having my camera on me all the
time is importance of choosing what to photograph. As we know, not
every activity is not interesting enough or visually appealing to
produce great photos. When they are playing with legos I rather join
them or do some house work, as I already know there is not much good
opportunities to take great photo. This helps me also when I
photograph clients, I know more or less what has potential to be good
and focus on this moments. It also gives me chance to relax a bit
during more boring moments, which is essential during whole day
sessions.

Nevertheless even if
you are the best documentary family photographer in the world, don’t
forget to hire someone to document your day once in a while, because
you also want to be in your family photos. Kids will want to have
memory of you, not just of themselves. When I look at my childhood
photos, I would like to see my mother at more of them, maybe in
interaction with me and my sister. She was kind of our family
photographer and also camera shy, so as result I miss her in my
childhood album. A lot of times we as mothers think that we are not
thin enough or pretty enough, have wrinkles or just look tired.
Usually we are much better looking as we think we are and our kids
love us unconditionally so it doesn’t matter to them.