~ A 4-week personal photography journey exploring your family relationships and stories
~ 4 one-on-one calls with me about moments that matter and family storytelling
~ 14 photography and writing prompts to lay the foundation of a regular photography practice
~ 1 photo essay workbook to learn the skills of basic composition and seeing photographically
~ 1 completed and printed photo essay book so your family can see themselves reflected through your lens of love
One payment of $300 or two payments of $150
WHY THIS WORK MATTERS
How he tilts his head to one side as he watches the trains go around the track. The way he comes home from school with dirt all over his face and his hair spikes up as he runs his sticky hands through it.
How she sticks out her tongue just a tiny bit as she concentrates on her drawing. The way her legs get longer and longer, hinting at the woman she will become.
The brush of her eyelashes. The nape of his neck. They way they both look at you, just so.
As parents, these are the moments we live for.
But sometimes when we try to capture this feeling in the pictures we take, we fall short.
There’s a gap between our love and our photographs because when we pick up the camera we expect to see perfection instead of reality.
Almost every story about families in the media is styled and curated to look a very specific and singular way. The story is intentionally designed to make us think we need to fit into that mold, to make us believe it’s THE way a family should look, and to make us feel that if we don’t look that way, we are somehow less than.
We don’t have to contort ourselves to fit in that “family photo” box. We can take back the storytelling tools.
The problem isn’t our camera, it’s how we’ve been conditioned to view the world.
I want to start a revolution to reclaim the art of the imperfect family snapshot. For me it’s more important if your soul shines through than if your head is tilted just so.
When we look through the lens of love we are freed from having to tell a particular story.
So often when we look at the people we love, we only see the list of tasks that need to be done to care for them. Or we see the mess in the background. Or we’re so busy that we realize as we tuck the kids into bed that it’s the first time we’ve really seen them all day. Or we gloss over the magic in our mundane moments because of their very familiarity.
Used as a lens of love, your camera becomes a way to move out of your head and into your heart. To very literally see the people you love. Without filter or distortion.
There is space in this journey for moments not traditionally considered photogenic. It’s ok to capture the whole range of your family’s life together — the messes and the mistakes, the tears and the tantrums, the laundry and the Legos.
While you may or may decide not to include these images in your printed book, inviting them in this type of awareness honors all the moments that create the arc of your story.
This type of photography makes space for your life just as it is.
There is no need to ignore or edit anything. There is no pressure to make yourself appear a certain way.
Documenting family history isn’t about perfection. It’s about love.
You are already enough. You don’t need to clean the house, get the kids to change their clothes, or even stop what you’re doing to fit this way of seeing into your life. Your cell phone camera is all you need to practice this type of photography, and chances are it’s somewhere close at hand already.
A regular photography practice can be a path to creating deeper intimacy and a greater appreciation of each other.
Our families deserve to be seen through a lens of love, not because they have perfected a certain mainstream performance, but because their story, the essence of who they are, matters.
“We need people like you to remind us to live our experiences. To remember them and to let go of ‘perfection and normal’ and to embrace life and be your own kind of wacky love in this world.” ~ Renee M.
Call One — creative freedom and creative resistance, brainstorming items, places, and routines you might want to capture, and making sure you feel comfortable using your phone camera.
Storytelling Week One — you’ll spend the week taking pictures of whatever captures your eye and/or makes you feel something.
Call Two — We’ll review your images and see what patterns emerge. Together we’ll look beyond the obvious and see the pieces of your story waiting just beneath the surface.
Storytelling Week Two — Using daily photography and writing prompts as a guide, you’ll deepen your visual and storytelling practice.
Call Three — We’ll review your images, explore what you learned, and go deeper into your story.
Storytelling Week Three — Continued writing and photography guided by prompts. Taking the practice deeper. Looking with intention.
Call Four — We’ll review your collection of images/writing and select the ones you’d like to include in your printed book. I will recommend various printers and we’ll discuss which one is right for you. (Print costs start at only $8.)
Storytelling Week Four — You’ll gather any additional moments you need to complete your story, design your book (the printing companies make this really easy), send it to the printer, and share with your family.
In four weeks, you’ll learn to take more meaningful family photographs. You will also have created a printed photo book — the essence of your family and your love for them made tangible.
Because life, and love, are in the details.
Because life isn’t postcard perfect.
Because this world needs your own kind of chaotic, lovely, wild, mundane love to shine its light through the darkness.
“I deeply appreciate the way you make room for parents to experience their lives without guilt or shame. You are doing such incredible work in the world, spreading not just joy but wholeness. That’s the real gift.” ~ Jamie
What kind of camera do I need?
The camera you have on your phone is just fine. No special camera equipment is needed. If you want to use a more specialized camera, that’s also totally fine, but it is not required. The best camera is the one you have with you and feel comfortable using.
What kind of photo editing software do I need?
The editing features on your phone can accomplish many of the fundamentals. Supplemental resources can be discussed should you desire an additional set of tools. Please note that the focus of this experience is on seeing with the heart. It is not intended to serve as an in-depth photo editing tutorial.
What other materials do I need?
Clear eyes, full heart, can’t lose. (No spotless houses or fancy matching outfits required.)
What materials are included?
At the beginning of week two you will receive a PDF about how to look and what to look for. During weeks two and three you will receive daily writing and photography prompts via email.
Do I need to know a lot about photography to do this? Will I learn about f-stops, aperture, and all that other photography stuff?
This journey is about training the eye not mastering camera settings. Therefore no prior photography knowledge is required. A willingness to pick up a camera and a pen and get curious about your life, your family, and your story is the only requirement. We won’t be covering the fundamentals of exposure (all that f-stop stuff) in this setting since that stuff doesn’t apply to most cell phone cameras. But if you are interested in learning more about your specialized camera, let me know and we can work something out.
I already know a lot about photography, will I benefit from this?
Absolutely. Honing our ability to be preset with our families, witness them fully, and understand our story is always time well spent.
Can I use these steps to do this on my own?
Totally! The steps outlined above are neither proprietary or revolutionary. You are welcome to use them to establish your own photography practice. And if you’d like a guide, witness, resource, or sounding board along the way, I would love to be that person.
The story of our lives unfolds in a series of moments.
Looking at life through the lens of love shifts our perception. The external details haven’t changed at all, but all of a sudden we’re fully aware.
Time slows down.
We fell deeply connected.
Your camera can change your life, or at least the way you see it. And ultimately, that’s the same thing.
If this journey calls to you, email me at Miki [at] thelovelynow [dot] com or call me at 623-363-4820 to begin.
“Thank you for empowering, praising, encouraging and supporting moms, dads, families and individuals. Thank you for celebrating what makes them unique and beautiful. It’s a breath of fresh air in such a divided, difficult and defeating world that we live in. Thank you.” ~ Stacy