Documentary Family Pictures

Edmonton documentary family photographers | Aimee Hobbs

As a documentary family photographer, I truly believe that there is nothing better than real life. It’s these moments of connection and unscripted imperfection that speak to me. It’s in the space of these moments that I know I will remember my own children. My youngest with Pink Bunny tucked in the crook of his arm as he sleeps, my 10-year-old with his larger than life mullet. The endless naked dives off the dock all summer long. The fighting hard and the loving harder. It’s how I remember my own childhood. There are things that remain the same for years and things that change as kids grow. The thing is, we don’t always know which things will stick around and which will just disappear. I want to remember it all. It’s one of the things that drives me to document life as I do.

I am always honoured to be invited into people’s lives. Whether it be for an hour or an entire day. The families I photograph are vastly different. Some have homes that are neat as a pin and look as though they belong on the pages of a magazine. Others have dirty dishes piled high in the sink and muddy footprints across the living room floor. Some families let their kids run naked through the garden and some do puzzles on the living room floor. Some siblings hug each other all day and play cooperatively and some push each other off the couch and have multiple meltdowns in the span of half an hour.

It’s a vulnerable thing to invite a photographer into your home. Add to that, that most of us are bombarded by images of perfection as we scroll social media and it doesn’t help. Clean, smiling kids in carefully chosen outfits, holding hands with their smiling parents, also in carefully chosen outfits. The thing is, it’s not real and I don’t think the facade is doing anyone any favours. Not us, not our kids. And the big question is:

Why? Why do we want to curate our memories?

If we take some time to think about it, I don’t think we really do. The vulnerability thing – I get it. I’ve been there. With a stranger in my space snapping away. And guess what?

My house was messy.

The kids picked some random outfits out of the laundry pile and ended up spending a lot of their day naked or partially clothed, wet, dirty, or all of the above. Truthfully, so did I.

My husband was grumpy and we bickered.

My kids had multiple crying fits throughout the day.

There was the usual assortment of crap laying on the deck and in the yard.

But you know what? It was fine. Better than fine. I love EVERY. SINGLE. ONE. of those pictures. Because they’re an honest snapshot of our life. And we’re all in them. Already, things have changed. The boys don’t wear the old adult-sized goalie equipment our friend gave them. My ten-year-old still gets tucked in and has a cuddle, but he doesn’t want me to read him a bedtime story anymore. We still jump off our dock naked every single day of the summer, but with the teenage years approaching, those days are likely numbered.

When our photographer left, I felt like it would be a day’s worth of pictures of me diffusing fights and all our mess would be front and centre. And that was there. And, I’m glad it was. I can see the progress we’ve made in our yard. The complete lack of progress in the house. I got to see that I’m actually pretty good at this parenting gig, even in the midst of tantrums. I saw one boy punching the other. I saw them having so much fun (sometimes doing things they’re not really supposed to be doing) and loving each other. And us. I didn’t look at the pictures and think man, we clean up pretty good. I looked at those pictures and thought, man, that’s us. That is invaluable to me.

So many families think they are boring. Or apologize for the state of their house. My job when I come into your life to photograph your family isn’t to judge whether your home, your kids, your parenting, your life is “up to scratch” – whatever that even means. My job is to capture your family, just as you are. And let me tell you, it’s pretty fantastic. It’s such a gift to be able to show a family how incredible they are.

I got to photograph Bryna, Frank and their family last fall. I’ve been saving these pictures and today, I saw that it was big sister’s birthday and decided it was the perfect day to share.

xx Aimee

If you’d like to remember your family just as you are, I’d love you to GET IN TOUCH! You can also see our most recent work over on Instagram.

If you would love to have your family’s story told, get in touch! You can CONTACT US HERE or HAVE A LOOK AT OUR PORTFOLIO.

Want to take a peek inside another family’s life? Grab a tea and take a look at this FALL FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY SESSION in Fort Saskatchewan.

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