Why choose storytelling photography? Documenting life vs traditional portraiture.
In the early years of my childhood, my father used his camera to capture our lives as they were.
My brother in his highchair, Vegemite smeared over his chubby face.
My sister and me building Duplo towers under the kitchen table of a weekend morning, sun streaming in through the swinging fly screen door and making veils of our thin cotton nighties.
The three of us riding tricycles beneath the sprinkler; stark naked and exultant under a sparkling shower of water and light, licking drips of warm hose water from the tips of our noses and sucking on sodden pony tails as we rode circles in the summer sun.
The baby hanging from the clothes line in the old blue Jolly Jumper at twilight, my mother in the background in a pair of faded shorts, loading the rusty trailer with fresh cut grass clippings.
Sitting with my mother at the picnic table, chopping onions while we waited for the backyard brick barbecue to fire up.
I used to adore studying the photographs of those first years of our lives, wondering and listening to the stories they told.
I’d pore over the pages, knowing they held the secrets of my past. I felt an intrinsic connection to the images. They were my personal heritage, a map to where I’d come from.
As the years passed we got older, and my father started posing us. I guess he’d lost interest in the art of it and shot instead to record the passage of time - the way we had grown from one six month period to the next.
It seemed more about evidencing the fact we went somewhere once than being a record of our lives. The every day stuff, it was no longer there.
When that happened the camera became a drag.
We’d be made to sit and wait and hold a pose for what seemed like ever while he tweaked settings and adjusted for the lighting. The shots were less meaningful after that.
They had stopped telling stories.
Storytelling photography allows for the creation of images that capture the essence of a family. It documents their season of life and depicts them so accurately they become intrinsically bound to the images.
With storytelling photography comes a feeling of rightness, belonging - a sentiment that only grows stronger as time moves quickly on.
For all it may offer, this is something traditional portraiture simply cannot provide.
Storytelling photography is for life.
It’s for recording and documenting and celebrating that which is real and true, making something tangible that will tie us to our past and to one another for the rest of time.
It’s for making a piece of personal and irreplaceable art that tells a unique and precious story.
It’s for creating photographs that provide your past with a voice. A way to speak.
A way to sing.
Do you long for some gorgeous and authentic photographs that will tell your family's story? I am a Geelong lifestyle photographer, so if you're in Geelong or Melbourne I can hook you up. Click here to book.