Back in 2012, I photographed Steph and Brent’s wedding. 6 years later I had the pleasure of photographing another day in their life, but this time with the newest member of their family, Aria. She’s adorable. It really is so wonderful to get to know two people so well through their wedding, and then meet a version of them that is a combination of both their personalities. To start our session, I met up with Steph as she was wrapping up a meeting at The Juice Truck for her endeavour, All The Mama Feels. One of the first things you’ll read on her website is this:
“Motherhood is all the feels: you are so in love, yet so exhausted; you are so happy, yet so frustrated…”
We spoke about this at length while Aria napped at the end of our shoot. Having a kid is exactly this. Life becomes far more spontaneous and throws you ups and downs whenever it wants, sometimes in the space of a few seconds. One moment Aria doesn’t want to leave her mom’s arms and a minute later she’s on Brent’s shoulder, cascading down a snowy hill, smiling from laughter.
Photographing family life is complex: you’re always wondering if some of the harder moments should be documented or you should avoid capturing it to “curate it out of existence,” as most of us do with our Instagram feeds. The more I do this work, the more I see the power in photographing both sides.
You can’t have the highs without the lows. The more you show of each side the more depth there is to every image. When you see photos of yourself and your family weeks after the moments have passed, the struggles of parenting can be seen as a show of unwavering love. The wins are so much greater and you can laugh at the full-on temper tantrums (at least, until the next one comes along).
Photography, especially in a documentary style, has a role in helping us see our lives objectively, and appreciating every part of it more. Below are some photographs of my afternoon spent with The Akhursts.
If you’re moved by candid photos like this, let’s chat! I’d love to work with you and your family.