My grandparents raised me. They walked me to and from school and dance classes. They cooked delicious traditional Chinese dishesfor my brother and I every evening. They taught me my language, even when I didn’t want to. They did all this, so that both of my parents could work and make a humble living to support our family.
The older I get, the more that I travel and see how other people live, and the more that I think about my future life and family, the more appreciative I am. Though I don’t think that the words “I love you” are ever exchanged, it actually doesn’t matter, because what they do for me shows it so much more. There were lots of photographs that were taken of my brother and I when we were younger. (He was cuter than I ever was.) Many of them were “camera-aware”, as in “look here and cheese”, sort of photos. These photos mean the world to me, but as I started shooting, I started telling my family and friends to NOT look at me… to ignore me… to just do their thing.
The images that I created made me so happy.
They were real… and genuine… and I loved them.
I started asking my family clients if they would be interested in doing a “hybrid” sort of session. Where a small part of the session would be a traditional “camera aware” portrait session and then the other portion would just be a… “do your thing” sort of session.
I’m in love with this. How could I have not discovered this earlier? The documentary approach that I’ve been taking to my weddings? It works just as beautifully to preserve wonderful moments of your family.
I wish so badly that I had images like these growing up, but that’s okay. My memories are almost just as good. 🙂
Introducing Danielle and Mario’s family: