The stories about this chapter in our lives will be told and re-told to our grandchildren and their grandchildren. I struggled initially to pick up my camera but am trying to take photos everyday with both my camera and my phone because I want to remember this time, as hard as it is.

Not only are photos a wonderful way to document history but they can help us with our own memories and perspective. When we feel overwhelmed or sad, looking back over happy moments during our day and at the connections we had as a family, is a wonderful reminder that there are moments of beautiful happiness. I’m not discounting the fear, anxiety, and uncertainty, but instead trying to find moments of gratitude amidst everything that is going on.

Here are some of my strategies for documenting your current reality:

  1. Embrace the chaos. Your house will not always look like a daycare centre or a transformed office space.   Capture the changes in your home, like your dining room which is now an office; your home office which is now a temporary refuge for plants or supplies; your kitchen or dining room table, which may be covered in craft supplies, puzzles, or as an overflow for your kitchen.
  2. Document your day hour by hour. One of my favourite photo projects is a ‘day in the life’. Set a timer on your phone and take a photo of whatever you’re doing, every hour on the hour.
  3. Take photos of your new routines. What are the activities that make up your day, how are they different, and what changes can you document?  Photos of your quiet commute, your early morning start at your dining room office, or of your new office mates (kids or pets!).
  4. Change your perspective. Photograph an activity or scene from as far back as you can, as close as you can, from below, from above, and then from any angle or perspective that helps tell the story of what is unfolding. 
  5. Capture connection. Take photos of your kids talking with family and friends over FaceTime. Of your spouse working from home. Of everyone cuddled up on the couch watching a movie. Hand your phone or camera over to your partner or one of your older kids to make sure you’re also in the photos.

Ottawa Family Photographer