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{real life photography} Cousins | Washington DC documentary family photographer

the more i remind myself

to keep my camera in hand during the everyday moments, the more the beauty of real life unfolds in front of me. I find myself more and more drawn to an authentic documentary approach to my photography. It is much harder – no manicured garden backgrounds and lush sunset light to infuse emotion into the image, and no direction to the subjects about where to be or what to do. The amazing thing is that kids are so much more adorable and compelling when you let them be, and just watch for the magic that is inherent in childhood.

Case in point: cousins.

Last weekend one of my little brothers got married, and for the first time since the last family wedding (almost 4 years ago) all of my siblings were in one place at the same time. Some of the cousins had never met one another (or were babies when they last met) and many were born in the past 4 years. By whatever alchemy exists in families, these kids acted like they’d known each other forever, and spent the weekend in a sort of frenzied kid heaven on my parents little farm. I took time each morning we were together to just follow the kid around, camera in hand, and capture their nearly adult-free adventures.

I could not love these photos more.

(c) Red Turtle Photography | Washington DC documentary family photography

Above: Lucy’s too small to be outdoors with the big kids, but she sat by the back door watching the action.

 

(c) Red Turtle Photography | Washington DC documentary family photography

Above: Skylar is fearless and explores everything. She was the hardest to catch with the camera because she’s always in  motion.

 

(c) Red Turtle Photography | Washington DC documentary family photography(c) Red Turtle Photography | Washington DC documentary family photography(c) Red Turtle Photography | Washington DC documentary family photography(c) Red Turtle Photography | Washington DC documentary family photography(c) Red Turtle Photography | Washington DC documentary family photography

Above: Visiting the pigs was a blend of terror and hilarity. Pigs like attention, but they’ll also grab your clothes in their mouths, and bite at sticks you poke their way. Much experimenting was done to try and make friends with the hairy beasts but alas, man’s best friends pigs are not.

 

(c) Red Turtle Photography | Washington DC documentary family photography(c) Red Turtle Photography | Washington DC documentary family photography(c) Red Turtle Photography | Washington DC documentary family photography(c) Red Turtle Photography | Washington DC documentary family photography(c) Red Turtle Photography | Washington DC documentary family photography

Above: Some of the boys, posing a bit, and showing me their skills.

 

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Above: Pawpaw’s parked motorcycle was honey for these little flies.

 

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Above: Littles wishing they were bigger.

 

(c) Red Turtle Photography | Washington DC documentary family photography

Above: the boys enjoying some screen time on a rainy afternoon.

Below: A lesson in how potatoes grow, Pawpaw in the role of professor and nearly all the grandchildren eventually join his class.

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Below: L to R: Levi, Del and Wyatt, kings of the muddy dirt hill.

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Below: a rain spout off the back porch  became the most entertaining toy the kids found all day. This lasted an hour. They were soaked.

 

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Above: Marlowe stole my heart. She’s emotional and affectionate, and those curls!

 

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Above: Grubby hands and goldfish. This is what it means to play on a farm and be left alone by the grown-ups.

 

(c) Red Turtle Photography | Washington DC documentary family photography

Below: Hard-earned rest. Their naps were as epic as their play.

(c) Red Turtle Photography | Washington DC documentary family photography

As I linger over these pictures (these are a drop in the bucket – I shot hundreds and kept 172 to share with my family) I know these deserve places only walls in our home. I’ve ordered prints, and think that some of the ideas in this post will help me give these photos the places of honor they deserve.

 

Please,

document the stories of your life!

 

xo, Katie

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