Documentary Style Family Photo Session Idea
Surfside Beach, SC wasn’t necessarily our favorite seaside town or ocean escape. But it was the ocean. And I made a point to stand in the waves, letting them crash into me, resonating God’s greatness, remembering his gift of creation. Overnight trips like this don’t have to be anything elaborate to capture artful, but memorable time with family on film.
I dragged my whole family to Asheville for a last minute family photo shoot at the North Carolina Arboretum over the weekend. Then dragged them (not really, my five year old lead the pack) + friends up the mountains on the Tennessee border. I can proudly say I have hiked some of the Appalachian Trail up to Sams Gap. And Asheville, I will be back.
This weekend was Charlotte SHOUT! It was also constant on and off rain. So we dodged some droplets and headed Uptown to check out the installation art of Prismatica and Intrude.
Later in the weekend we hit up the strawberry patch at Wise Acres Organic Farm before the rain hit. The 2019 crop was delivered with a root fungus that ruined two-thirds of their plant growth. But we did it for the fun of it and took advantage of the extra challenge of scavenging for red berries. What a perfect tradition for a family documentary photo shoot session.
Personal Project: 365 Days of Black + White
Honestly, I’m nervous to commit to 365 days of black + white images. But I know this project will push me, along with just enough restraint. Perhaps behind it is my love of film or Ginger Rogers’ movies, but mostly I hope to make better black + white photographs. I will be able to better serve my own artistic voice through my practice. I will benefit others’ lives by evoking those feelings only black + white images know how.
Laura felt a warmth inside her. It was very small, but it was strong. It was steady, like a tiny light in the dark, and it burned very low but no winds could make it flicker because it would not give up.
Do you ever set a word or intention to start off the new year? I have done this for the past couple years. I enjoy having a sort of mission statement or vision to develop myself throughout the year.
My word for 2019 was FOUNDATION which according to Dictionary.com means, "an underlying basis or principle." Through all I have read to gain knowledge on developing my family culture to set us up with a strong foundation, I have been drawn to two new words.
I begin this new decade of 2020 with a clear vision of the foundation I want to build for my family based on WONDER + WHIMSY. Dictionary.com defines these words as follows:
a feeling of surprise mingled with admiration, caused by something beautiful, unexpected, unfamiliar, or inexplicable
playfully quaint or fanciful behavior or humor
While I have read many books and devotionals this past year to lead me to these words, I know the three books that have most impacted me are The Call of the Wild + Free by Ainsley Arment, Simplicity Parenting: Using the Extraordinary Power of Less to Raise Calmer, Happier, and More Secure Kids by Kim John Payne, M.Ed., and Love Does by Bob Goff.
In my family as well as through my photography I will be remembering that "less is more" and relationships are where we can spend time enjoying one another as we look to the good and the beautiful. Our days will surely include adventures when thinking of these things, whether to explore the river in our neighborhood or traveling north to see the process of maple syrup.
When you’re on an adventure with people, everything changes. Being surrounded by wind and waves, traveling through the beautiful world that God created, and hanging from the bottom of a huge spinnaker are the things that make our differences seem less important. When you start a huge mountain was sheer cliffs and waterfalls cascading thousands of feet, you forget the person next to you smells a little funny or was mean to you once in second grade. God designed us to be this way. I think he knew that the more we stand in all of him, the less will stand in judgment of each other.
What do you have in store for your new year?
"...whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things." Philippians 4:8 NIV
I found a long letter my dad wrote me when I was 18, essentially talking about finding my way in the world to acquire the integrity that I believe he has modeled for me. I can sum up a big part of it with some verses in Philippians. I also know he prayed for these things for me, showing me grace along the way, and I know I wish these things for my own two little boys. This is Philippians 1:9-11 from the Bible version called The Message.
So this is my prayer: That your life will flourish and that you will not only love much but well. Learn to love appropriately, you need to use your head and test your feelings so that your love is sincere and intelligent, not sentimental gush. Live a lover’s life, circumspect and exemplary, a life Jesus will be proud of: bountiful in fruits from the soul, making Jesus Christ attractive to all, getting everyone involved in the glory and praise of God.
Hi. I'm Suzanna.
I like running outside, eating real food and crafting beautiful images. I am captivated by documenting everyday life–revealing what authentic, adventurous and lovers of life we all are.
Life is full.
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