Montreal Storytelling Photography | If I were to ask you what your family’s morning routine was today, you could probably describe it pretty accurately – what you ate, what you talked about, how your toddler had no desire to sit in her high chair. Now, if I asked you what that same scene looked like ten, five, or even a year ago, would you remember the details? Would you remember the quiet fleeting moments of breastfeeding, or what your little one’s favourite blanket was up until two months ago when it got lost on the family vacation? Would you remember what your partner looked like as a new parent, awkwardly changing a diaper? What about your eight year old’s obsession with the latest Geronimo Stilton book? These are the types of everyday details that I want to capture, that make my heart burst when I capture them for your family, and for mine, too. I look for the recognizable moments that make up our days, that sometimes feel as though they will last forever, until you turn around and see that life has, as it always promises to do, changed.
You could say that I came to storytelling photography through a process of elimination. After taking hundreds of thousands of photos,some of my family, others for clients, they began to feel somewhat empty. While they may have been pretty, even arguably artistic, for me, they failed to at least tell part of their subjects’ stories. Who were they? How did they spend there days? I started to critically examine my own photos, asking myself which one did or did not speak to me, and why. It did not take long for me to realize that the photos I wanted to create were ones that told a more complete story, however simple or complex.
Family documentary photography, or storytelling photography, goes beyond just a pretty picture, and documents its subject in an honest, and pure way. If you are anything like me, these will be the types of photos that will trigger an emotional gut reaction, a bated breath, a tightening of the chest because they will bring you back to the moment captured. The way things once were.
If you don’t believe me, go through some old family photos, and see which ones make you feel something. My bets are not on the photos of everyone smiling pretty, but rather on the ones where you are reminded of the details of how things once were, what your mother’s hand looked like when she reached out to hold yours as you crossed the street, how the wallpaper in the dining room looked before time faded its colours, its memory. We cannot stop time, but photography is the most tangible way to hold on to our memories. Storytelling photography is about your family’s story. It is the most concrete way to remember the true story of how life once was, and to honour this life, filled with beauty, trials, joy, heartache, and the chaos that is now.
Not tomorrow, or when you lose 5 pounds, or after your son’s braces come off. Now.
Interested in booking a family documentary session of your own? Drop me a line and we’ll talk.
Let me show you how beautiful your life is.
Elisa Elliot is a Montreal lifestyle and documentary family photographer serving Montreal, Montreal’s South Shore, including St. Lambert, Longueuil, Brossard, and surrounding area. She specializes in family photography that captures the real and honest moments of family life.