Family Photos - Vancouver Photographer hanging in Calgary Drinking Coffee

A month ago, I travelled to Calgary to photograph some Day in the Life sessions so that title of this post “Photographer hanging in Calgary, drinking coffee” is absolutely distilled from 3 days and 25 hours of shooting. But I will admit, there was a lot of coffee because my families know me well and they always take care of my caffeine needs.

This family had a pour over system that got me sorted soon after I arrived. When I first rang the doorbell, they answered still in their PJ’s, apologizing for the mess and how they were up a lot last night with their boys. Please don’t read this the wrong way…I’m not saying mess needs to be part of the visual of a family documentary story, but that if it is part of yours, there is no need to apologize for it. There is something valuable about experiencing a family’s home that has survived yet another day with young children, with parents that are comfortable enough to pull out a broom to sweep the remains from the day before. I do realize I get to work with the best kind of families because they aren’t apologetic about living life in their homes….that privilege is never lost on me.

Mom sweeping the floor while kids watched tv and ate snacks on the couch.
Dad tidying bedroom while his sons play in the hallway.
Dad helping his son get changed out of his pajamas by stepping on them as he walks away.
Boy getting dressed by himself wears his underwear backwards.
Parents help their two sons get ready for bike riding and a walk outside.

During our first conversation after an inquiry, sometimes families ask - what should we do when you’re here? My response is always - do what your family does and not for a photographer’s sake. Whether that’s a routine morning, or fly-by-the-seat of your pants kind of day, it’s important to me that your family experience not be steered by my presence.

Toddler younger brother waits at the bottom of a slide as his big brother climbs to the top of it at the playground.
Parents enjoying a coffee with their older son while keeping a hand on their toddler climbing the table and opening a window.

This family did just that. Swept the living room while their kids inhaled blueberries and goldfish snacks with morning cartoons. Headed upstairs to get dressed for the day. Got out the door with several delays, including a poop that happened on the back deck after everyone was almost ready to go. Played at the park. Stopped at their local coffee place for some hot chocolate and pastries. Walked home carrying bike and kids that don’t want to bike or walk. Detoured through other people’s yards because it caught their children’s attention. Extracted kids from other said yards after sufficiently indulging their curiosity. Created a birthday card for an afternoon birthday party. Made lunch for kids that had momentary meltdowns about not wanting to eat delicious and healthy lunches prepared just for them.

Mom and her son draw on a birthday card together.
A boy has a meltdown beside his mom on the kitchen floor at lunchtime.
A boy sits outside of his house and draws with chalk on the sidewalk.

All real things that they do as a family, and they asked me to come and capture it all. Their very ordinary life that is very uniquely their own.

It’s not so much WHAT you do as much as HOW you do it. That’s what this is about. No one else has your experience…so don’t shy away from having it documented. Because while you are too in it to see it, and think that all of this is too “boring”, that’s where the magic happens.

And because all good stories need a storybook, here is their digital one.

There are always good reasons for a family session. If there is a voice or a feeling inside that says, “I want these memories to keep for my family too”, let’s work together. It starts with a conversation so I can see how exactly I can serve your needs for truly honouring your family experience. Get in touch here.