April 12, 2019 The Oliver Family | A Day in the Life | Baltimore Documentary Family Photographer
At the end of January I took a photo workshop run by Fearless Photographers (also, fun coincidence, yesterday I got my first Fearless Award – a goal I’ve had for years) and one of the speakers said something that really sat with me. She asked us how we felt physically when we saw something and the urge to capture it was something we couldn’t ignore. She explained her feeling, and a few other people in the room explained theirs. I just sat there thinking to myself “welp, I guess this isn’t for me, I’ve never felt that before.” I see things I want to photograph and I photograph them. There’s no physical urge. I guess I’m not as connected to this as I thought I was. All of the weird self doubt started creeping in.
Then, four days later, I was sitting in my friend Stevie’s kitchen – drinking wine, eating roasted garlic and brie (dangerously good) and laughing with friends… when I felt it. I saw Rosie, Stevie’s 5 year old daughter, sit behind Stevie in her chair and put her hand on her mom’s waist. Stevie took her hand and wrapped it around her further. I felt a warmth in my chest and I knew I wished I could have captured that moment. Such a tiny gesture but it said so much. I waited for everyone to leave Stevie’s house and asked her if she would be okay with me following her family around with a camera for the day. Without missing a beat, she agreed, saying that just that morning when she was doing Rosie’s hair she had wished there was a way to capture that. It’s such a special thing that they do every day and she knows that some day Rosie will start doing her own hair and that bonding time will be gone.
A few weeks later, I got to their house mid-morning and stayed through bedtime. It was our first real warm spring day of the season and we had SO much fun exploring Hampden with the girls showing me what a day in their life is like.
I learned that June is born to be a mother. She’s won’t go anywhere without her baby. She wore her backpack backwards so she could “wear” her baby when we went on a walk. When daddy came home and we went to the park, he tied her scarf around her like a baby sling, and before bed he did another for her once she was in her jammies. She’s unbelievably sweet and just wants to be close to her big sister. Even when big sister just wants to sit on a different step.
I learned that Rosie is independent and has endless personality. She’s hilarious and adorable and is 100% aware of both things. She’s creative and she’s far wiser than her years. Her mommy is her best friend and it’s the sweetest thing to watch.
A normal day in the life for the Oliver family? It actually often looks like this. Rosie riding her bike in the grocery store, June carrying her baby everywhere, and impromptu dance parties multiple times throughout the day. Making play-doh, fairy potions and pizza. Singing “Fight Song” at the top of your lungs and dancing your heart out while the adults in the room try not to cry. There is so much love in this little home in Hampden. These girls are so lucky.
Stevie is an amazing mom and shares so many stories and observations on her blog The Yellow Acorn. I love reading everything she posts and I highly recommend subscribing to her blog!