Like many photographers, I didn’t know what I loved when I first started photographing people– all I knew is that I loved photography and I was getting really good at it.
I started my journey by posing families and babies, in an inauthentic “smile-for-the-camera” and “say cheese” kind of way. This isn’t bad photography: it has a great place in our home, it’s our grandmother’s favourite shot, and it needs to stick around. However, this type of photography was becoming less and less “me.”
I was quickly learning that my fast camera skills from catching babies being born caused me to catch moments during posed sessions that made me (and everyone else) laugh. I also learned that when a baby was fussy during their posing and I would give them back for a nurse and a cuddle, I loved to capture the in-between soothing, calming, and connecting moments. I was really good at it.
Lastly, families started to follow me. I would document their first baby and, in time, I documented their subsequent babies as well. I fell in love with following families and telling their stories. I fell in love with telling a personal story in a unique way, and documenting those moments had become more important to me than anything. If you ask to look at my work, I can tell you stories and smiles from every picture.
Not only is the family connected to the photograph, but I am too. More than anything, I love watching my repeat families and meeting their big brother or sister again, and seeing how much they have grown and changed. People are coming to me to be their personal documentary photographer, to capture their families in heirloom ways. Their bookshelves are starting to be lined with photo storybooks that I created for them, and are as unique to them as they are. I see a couple of families now every year for birthdays and family shots. They recommend me as their family photographer, and I feel deeply connected to them. Photography isn’t about images to me: it’s about real relationships and connections. It’s about family and friends and a lifetime of memories that can be shared for as long as you want to show them.
Candice is a lifestyle/documentary photographer and filmmaker in Vancouver’s lower mainland, serving Vancouver, the Tri-Cities, and the Fraser Valley. She is also supported in writing this blog by a kooky office cat.