An Honest Family Photo That Landed Huge Press
Last week I photographed my friend Jeff Frandsen and his beautiful family at Hingework, the coworking space that he and I both operate our businesses out of. Jeff, also a Lancaster based photographer, wanted to capture something a little less typical for his annual family Christmas card photo. "This year, I wanted to go for a mix between Norman Rockwell and American Gothic. I was imagining a serious-looking, straight-faced photograph to use for our Christmas card," explained Jeff. You can see that photo below.
As a 27 year old with many of my friends now getting married, getting dogs, and having kids, I'm getting a good look at the reality of family life. From what I have gathered, I could sum it up with two words - beauty and chaos. Jeff's daughter is 10 months old and she's getting into everything. She's curious, she grabs, she crawls around at terrifying speeds. I wanted to really capture this one-year-old's world. As a portrait photographer, it is paramount for me to communicate truth in the photographs I take. "Look here and smile" often just doesn't work because our human instinct picks up on the disingenuity almost immediately. So often the moments between the breath, the "outtakes" capture that authenticity, and it resonates with people. So when Jeff posted this image below on Reddit, the world felt it.
This, to me, captures the true essence of parenting. About a day after Jeff posted this photo, Huffington Post contacted him and wrote an article about it, calling it "so spot on". A day later, ABC News and Parents Magazine reached out as well. Tomorrow, FOX News is interviewing Jeff and myself at our studio. And if you happen to speak French, Magicmaman also wrote about it.
I guess the takeaway from this is a simple reminder that people need honesty. It connects us. It reminds people that they don't struggle alone. The candid unplanned moments are precious and sometimes, well, just hilarious. Below are my other favorites which tell of the broad dynamic of what it really is to be a new parent. Enjoy.