Parenting can be hard work. There's laundry, shuttling children to activities, meals, shopping, and all sorts of stuff to deal with. Throughout the day, there just doesn't seem to be any time to carry around a camera and capture candid moments. Most family pictures are "snapshots" because they are posed and often poorly exposed and composed. In addition, many people have the mindset that this sort of image is the way pictures should be made -- snapshot seem normal to us because we have seen them all our lives. In so many ways, even though the snapshot plays an important role in remembering events, the image seems so unnatural and contrived. The posed image of people staring into the camera offers just one perspective - it speaks to the relationship between the photographer mostly and the subject. Visual storytelling moments refer to a photojournalistic or documentary approach to making images of the things we find most important and interesting to us in our daily lives.
Recently, in between all the busy things I have to do as a parent, I started carrying my camera around with my children -- going to the library, store, park, or wherever. The images have been so rewarding and I've learned things about my children that I've never really noticed before. Taking time out to carry a camera and making storytelling images of your children is a tradeoff. I certainly wouldn't suggest that making a picture is more important than caring for a child's needs, but there are moments when they are at play, eating, or even sleeping that present themselves in wonderful ways.
Here are a few images from this summer's experiment in family photography.