“I paint flowers so they will not die.”
It’s not people’s faces I’m interested in, really. I mean, portraits are cool and all, and I always make sure to grab a few at each session, but the portraits are really just sprinkles on the ice cream. What’s the ice cream, you ask? A feeling is the ice cream. A beautiful, loving, happy feeling that’s the result of a particular blend of people, time and place. My families recognize this feeling, and they know it’s fleeting and wonderful. They realize that it won’t last and that they want to remember it.
Mom called me about capturing the feeling of the home where she and her sister grew up. The home in which her children spend many afternoons and where the whole extended family spends countless hours together. The home that’s full of memories and where everyone feels at home. The home that would soon be for sale.
I’ll admit that it’s rare (for me, anyway) to capture this magical feeling at an extended family session. I’ve actually got an email template that I send out when I get inquiries for extended family sessions. It says something along the lines of “I’m afraid I don’t do extended family sessions — I have found that in order to capture the real moments I love to photograph, sticking with the intimacy of the immediate family is best.” This mom understood before she even reached out to me that she wasn’t looking for portraits of her extended family. She was looking to freeze and keep the feeling of her extended family in this house, before this house became someone else’s home. The feeling of everyone together, at this time, in that space.
Looking at these photos (and, more specifically, the one of all the photos on the wall in the upstairs hall) gives me chills. They’re in a new home now, but they’ll always have these photos and the books from their session to remember the feeling in that old house.
Thanks for looking,