I often wonder as adults, when we look back on our old photos, if they helps us revive memories that were buried, and if those photos helps to hone in on the specificity of that memory on that day in my life. I know I have often appreciated looking back on my family photos from our childhood home, particularly those taken in the living room. I would look at that wall paper of a mountain scene (nothing like what living in Southeast Asia would look like, more like an excerpt from the Rocky Mountains or the Alps), and it would immediately bring me into that room, running my hands to feel the texture of the wall paper, peeling at some adjoining corner, sitting on the end velvet plush oversized couch, playing my favourite ABBA tape over and over again.
Details are important in photos. Although I find myself not taking photos dedicated specifically to each of the details themselves, I do include them with a different approach. My details are the environmental context and relationship dynamics in my stories. Where these families live, where they spend time, who they are with, what their relationship is like. It is my way of weaving it together information through photos. At forty years, and barely remembering what last week was like, or what we had for dinner last night, I know my already weak memory will only get worse.
I take photos with lots of context in order to represent the experience of being there and being part of something important for these families.
Maternity, birth, newborn. No matter how you label it, it is about family. This was R + J’s wish when they wanted all three stages of their life together documented. At the core it is about the two of them and their three girls, but when they talk about family, their conversation expands to include their children’s aunts, uncles, and grandparents. These people are constantly on this seamless ebb and flow, showing up their love and support. The ease and joy when these kids are with their people – it says it all. These sessions are more about what defines this family, than about being pregnant, birthing a baby, and being a family of 5. It is about their life that is so richly woven with familial love, and this slideshow is about the details of them experiencing the multiple facets of life together.
Felicia is a Vancouver Documentary Photographer who wants to tell the story of everyday people and celebrate their mundane equally with their milestones. Contact her to find your family’s edition of birth or life story for your visual diary! To follow more of Felicia’s work, connect over at @feliciachangphoto on Instagram.