Documentary Family Photography

Oh my goodness. The Smalls! The Smalls! The Smalls!

Who on earth are The Smalls?

They are the gorgeous children of Mummy Blogger,  fellow female Jay[e] and  Photogress Jay Mountford.

After countless hours of chatting about the state of photography (we Jay[e]s do like to wax lyrical) we discussed the state of family photography. From babies in flower pots to white backdrops – we have seen it all. But what we had not seen nearly enough of – was good family documentary photography.

Sure, it is important to have some of the ‘staged’ photos of your family – huddled in a group – and being ‘family-ish’.

But equally important – if not more important – is documenting the soul of your family. The essence of who you are in one (so brief!) snapshot in time. As a mother of a son who just turned 12 – I know how quickly they go from baby in your arms, to tantruming toddler, to cheerful school child to stroppy teenager. I wish I could have bottled away just one little piece of each of these moments – put them in a little jar to open up later and have that little brief moment back – relive it again and again. That is the importance of family documentary photography. Your chance to get that one little moment in time and preserve it in a bottle forever.

So about a week ago, I headed out to Birmingham to spend a day with Jay’s boys – documenting The Smalls.


Things I learned from The Smalls:

1) Gary (The upside-down faced bear) tells porkies. All the time. And teaches Noah bad habits when his mother isn’t looking.

2) Lego firemen can only save burning lego people if you can find the fire shaped lego piece and there are enough people in the building to create a sense of peril.

3) Dads read books better than mummies. (Ooops! This was said in the strictest of confidence!)

4) Being a brother is really cool. Sometimes. Other times it is not. Mostly when he wants to play with your stuff.

5) The rice can literally take FOREVER to show up. But if you have big brown eyes,  Mum will keep slipping you bits of your favourite chicken until you don’t care about the rice anyway.

6) Scooters are best ridden REALLY. FAST. That way if you fall off – you leave a hole in the pavement.


Thanks Isaac and Noah for letting me spend one day in your life.

We are super weird.

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