North Vancouver Family Photos - A Gift of Perspective

I started writing this blog post thinking about this family and what my takeaways were from our time together. I like thinking about the people I work with. It is my way of honouring them..the humans they are, if I did make pictures that really represent them, along with my thoughts in the form of words.

Then i remembered I almost didn’t photograph them.

Why? Because this mother wanted to gift this session to a dear friend that was diagnosed with latent stages of cancer. Because she saw how important it was for her friend’s family to have these photographs to hold on to. Sadly the cancer progressed so quickly we didn’t even get a chance to collect those little moments for them.

When people ask - why are family sessions so important? The idea of sessions may sound trivial, but when you think about it, they are time spent to create memories in the form of photographs. Sometimes, it feels selfish to say, because I just want photos for my family now. BUT, But….listen.

dad tries to dress his son while he is wriggling on his big sister’s bed.
Siblings playing tug of war with a baby blanket.
Mom watching her son scooping a lot of peanut butter onto his waffle while his sister appears upset.
Siblings getting ready to head outside for a scooter and bike ride.
A little girl stands outside in front of her house on a sunny day with a rain umbrella.

What if I said, it’s a matter of context and perspective. It isn’t selfish to want to see yourself in photographs with the people that matter to you right now, even if they were from a few weeks ago. It isn’t selfish to want to hold on to moments that existed last year, like all of your daughter’s baby teeth or your son’s need to stuff fruit into every square of his waffle and drizzled with an abundance of peanut butter and jam, now barely a fading memory. It certainly isn’t selfish to want to create photos that cheat time and open up a portal that brings all the feels back for the ones you love and leave behind.

I’m here to tell you, don’t wait. You just don’t know when you won’t get the chance.

A mother buckles in her son into his carseat while his sister looks out the window with a toy kaleidoscope.
A family explores the sandy shores of a West Vancouver beach at low tide.
A father and his son walking in stride on the beach.

As I looked through Tricia’s family photographs from her Day in the Life, I realized there were a lot more details and quiet moments than usual. Perhaps it was my state of mind that day thinking about how she wanted to donate this session to her dying friend or having to say goodbye to her dad too soon a few years ago, or Tricia’s sense of contentment even amongst the chaos of little children. I think this is the thing about having experienced heartbreaking loss- if you can push through the pain and grief, you can begin to appreciate for its gift of perspective for what truly matters. To Tricia, it is right here, now, with her Shae and her little loves, one breathe at a time.

A little girl holds onto her mother’s hand while walking through the forest trail.
Parents help their little boy get dressed while their daughter climbs to the roof of the car.
A wife lays her hand on her husband’s shoulder while they are driving.

Tricia & Shae, Thank you for sharing your intention and story with me prior to inviting me into your family life that day. I’ll always be grateful for you.

Felicia ChangComment