"Now that the weather is so beautiful, our favorite place is outside: our patio, the garden, our outdoor chess set, or [anywhere else] around the property."
It was the middle of June on a Sunday night when I spent a few hours with this family, but I still remember the feeling I came away with: that it was so refreshing to hang out with a family that was just enjoying being together.
Life gets so busy that it makes it hard to remember that feeling, right? The feeling of enjoying your family without distractions. It seems that there's always a phone or iPad pulling attention away from those we love. And if it's not technology, then it's the responsibilities of home or work nagging at us. I'm guilty of getting caught up in always being ready to move on to the next thing, rather than being in the moment with my kids or husband. It's almost like we need to have a scheduled time to break ourselves out of that never-stop-moving mindset and force ourselves to focus on the people around us.
That's (one of the reasons) why I love documentary-style photography sessions for families. You get the chance to block off a small chunk of time to be together as a family, with no requirements weighing you down. You don't need to anxiously look at the photographer, waiting for direction on how you should stand. You don't need to wear something that makes you feel overdressed or uncomfortable. And you don't need to worry about how cooperative your children or husband are being. (Remember, there are no requirements for them either, aside from being there!) You can choose an activity that you love to do, or you can just hang out in your house, following your normal schedule. The time is for your family; it's not about me or the camera. I want you to be able to look back and remember your life and how you interacted with each other.
It's a time carved out for your family where the goal is simple: to be together.