Ah, breaking bread. The story of spending time with loved ones and enjoying a meal together. The story of how love and family is as much a part of a meal as the ingredients themselves. Every time I think about the details of how this story came to me, I have to pinch myself. You see, this story unfolded in a way I could have never dreamed. When my friends found out that I was officially opening my documentary photography business, they reached out to me almost immediately about photographing their family. I have had many wonderful friends that have inquired about me taking their pictures, but the style of documentary family photography just simply isn't what everyone is looking for - and that's ok. But with these friends, what I do is EXACTLY what they wanted. My friends' families were all going to be together for the first time in seven years - and they wanted to hold on to it. What they wanted documented was their family making their mother's famous breakfast dish together, because this meal is a core piece of who they are as a family. It tells details about their family that are deeply rooted in love. It holds memories of the past, while bringing in the details of today. And after getting to see it all come together, I know it is everything they explained it to be.
I tell every family that I photograph that I understand how huge of a deal it is to not only allow, but invite, a photographer to be a part of their family happenings. I don't take that lightly. There are many layers of trust that are built. There is the initial layer of trust to sit and have a real conversation where you share the details of your family and your story. Where we dig into what is important about this and other seasons of your life. There is another layer of trust to take someone into your safe space, and then more layers to open up and allow your family's story to naturally unfold before them. It isn't for the faint of heart. But because my friends were willing to do this, they now have this story and these memories to hold onto forever and share with future generations. And because of their willingness to share, you will see the beauty of the way they have held on to what has made them who they are, while embracing growth into the family you see today. I hope their story brings the same smile to your face as it did to theirs and mine. And I hope it has you thinking about your own family traditions and the love you are building, like all great documentary photography should. Enjoy.