The Details

Broken pinwheel, afternoon light

When I put together a set of photos for a family my goal is always to tell a story–to show both what I see and how I see it. Of course, your story features you and your family as the main characters and the full set of photos I share with you reflects the centrality of your role in that narrative. But any good story also needs depth and detail to situate the main characters in space and time and to give it richness and context.

To tell your family’s story with this nuance and meaning I think it’s vital to include photos of little details and tiny vignettes that paint a picture of your real, authentic life. Hand-drawn pictures taped to walls and doors, assortments of objects that collect in our homes, juxtapositions of the special and the seemingly mundane: these kinds of photos add important layers to the visual record of life that I hope to give you and help me tell the story of your family at one singular and specific moment in your life together.

Springtime shoes

Special new shoe(s)

Water balloon aftermath

The ground really is lava

On a personal note, these kinds of photos are often some of my favorites from my work with families. I love the levity, humor and playfulness that I see in them. As a parent I feel as though I am forever tidying the endless flow of stuff that childhood seems to create and I delight in finding little moments of interest or beauty in what we all mostly see as a nuisance or a task to be completed.

Sock-eyes and Busy Town

Breakfast conclusion

Celebration of an achievement

Invitation to the Carnival

And, perhaps most importantly, I see these details as a crucial part of helping us all to remember what life really felt like at certain moments in time. We say and we hear it all the time: life moves too fast. I think these little tiny moments help it stop for just a moment and my hope is that you can look back on them and immediately feel the time in your life when these kinds of scenes were part of your everyday.

Car in a car

Dinosaurs in a bowl

Love in the kitchen

Love in the sand

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Catherine Hilcove Photography: Family Photography, Madison WI