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Why every family needs a documentary photographer

Documentary family photography. 

Sounds, different right?

Maybe it sounds a bit confusing?


Or even totally cool - but you really don't  have much idea on what it means?

Growing up in Portsmouth, Hampshire, I had a father who shot regularly on his 35mm film camera and made home movies. He would record our milestones and artistically framed our highlights. Seeing him with his camera was normal and those moments which could have been lost to time were visually preserved. Flicking through the albums my heart skips as I am sent straight back to the times when my feet were small enough for frog wellie boots & my bottom was the perfect size to sit on relatives I can no longer talk too. 

1987 - Ophir Road. 

That Raleigh bike with the narrow saddle and that three slab wide pavement.

The lamppost to lamppost races and my dads Ford Cortina parked outside our home, that has not been our home in 22 years.

Without those printed snippets of our history, we lose parts of our past. We can not physically remember everything and even the best days we have ever had, soon just becomes replayed moments in our minds that slip away.

So when I had my own children I made a pact that I would record them, like my father captured my siblings and I.

I wanted to record their firsts and lock down what I would one day miss to time.

And last May something happened. I went through the albums from my childhood and someone was missing - my dad. He spent his time behind the lens and not often in front. It dawned on me there and then, I was invisible through chunks of my children's moments too. Holidays, parties, day trips, I'm not there. I'm not in any of those pictures.

Now don't get be wrong. I am not the kind of person who runs from the lens - just no one else took any photos. 

I have all these images, photos of our moments and the only proof that I was there is my cardigan on the sofa or maybe the odd selfie with forced smiles that I begged the children to have taken with me. I have photographs of me taken in studios or highly polished versions of me with my clean children in matching clothes, but I don't own a photo of the way my daughter use to hold my arm whilst nursing and I have no photo to look back on at how my son would curve his body to mine when we slept in the big bed together. I have no photographs of me holding them naturally in my arms. No visually recorded moments of how we used to lay on the sofa under blankets and read that same book over and over. I have no photos of myself being their mother. Their real mother. I type this with such a heavy heart and I would give anything to go back in time and have those images taken.

That moment sparked something inside me and that was how   

t h e   g l a s s   n a r r a t o r   

was born. I craved what I had lost and I started the process of using my photographic talent and art degree to become a professional memory collector.  I believe that documentary, storytelling, real life photography is for everyone. It doesn't replace the studio shots - it compliments them. But they are the photographs you will thank me for later. I promise.

So here are my top 5 reasons on why to book me today and what to expect 

1) Children don't really like being told how to act in front of a camera - so lets stop doing that, like now!

Lets just stop posing for a while and leave all smile bribes for another day. We don't need them with a Family Storytelling session. I'm going to be there to watch and record those real smiles and your real moments. We won't have to worry about working quickly to keep them happy and smiley and we are going to let them be them. I want them to show us those real beauties of grins when they

come naturally - hopefully in the arms of someone they love. When we stop posing and telling anyone how to act in front of the camera two things happen. We have no session expectations and with that, the magic of the unpredicted pops up! When you book me, I'm lead by you and there is no pressure. No pressure from me to get 'the shot' and no pressure from you to be anything that you are not.

2) Lets get all those little details in that frame

I live for the details. Like honestly, all those little bits around your home and the way you show them make my heart sing. Its those shoes by the door and those cushion covers you currently have on your sofa. I love the way you dress without having the need to match and I just can never get enough of what you call mess. I am most probably the least judgemental photographer you are going to book - that is a promise. Ill turn up with my slippers ready to capture you in yours. I'm not here to pass judgement on your carpets - I am going to be there to make friends with you all and lock down what over time you will lose. When you are photographed in the comfort of your own home, we don't need props, studio lights or backdrops. Your home is imperfectly perfect. Fact.

3) I'm going to give you my time

If you have never read the book The 5 Love Languages, go and do so now! My love language is time, and a session with    t h e   g l a s s   n a r r a t o r  

is going to be all about investing in your time. I don't run in and shoot for a hectic 30 minutes. I'm not clock watching or rushing. We are going to go slow. We are going to ride out those shy moments and wait for that little show off to calm down. I am going to give you 2 or 4 hours and I'm all yours. The children will get time to settle and Dad is going to have enough time to drop his guard! Now I understand that it might sound scary having me that long, but I promise it will be relaxed and come with no pressure.. Some of the best friends I have ever made started in front of my lens and have blossomed into so much more. I always encourage new clients to meet with me before the session, so we get to know each other ... the perfect chance for a cup of tea and pre shoot natter!  

4) We are going to make images that pack a punch

I gave up trying to win over Instagram or social media with jaw dropping images when I realised that they often lacked personal depth. But what I am going to produce are images that make you laugh, cry, smile and relive maybe not your big moments, but those oh so wonderful small ones that slip through our fingers. These photos will be jaw dropping (or so I hope!) but for you and on a personal level. Lets reclaim the photograph and place it where it belongs - in a family album. We are going to work together to record your family history and I am going to give you your printed legacy. You are excited right?

5) Its about you all. The whole family unit.

You are going to all be in these photos. You are going to have images which reflect your family unit without a loved one missing, lurking behind the lens. There will be no invisible mum or grandfather. There will just be you all, captured and printed for your children to look at over the years. But these photos are not going to polished or stylized. They are going to be you all - photographically preserved to keep forever. My name is Karah and I'm   

t h e   g l a s s   n a r r a t o r   

and I'm your first documentary family photographer - sounds cool right? 

I'm offering the first two families who book with the quote 'we need you' a complimentary mounted print of your choice from either a 2 or 4 hour session.

Contact me here to talk more on local offers, sessions and photography ideas. 

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