One of the amazing and wonderful women who made it that much better during my PhD was Jen. She was doing her post-doc at that time, and we quickly grew close. (At first, I just talked too much, while she tried to get her work done efficiently so she could go home to her then very young daughter).Read More
I grew up in communist Bulgaria, which means I really do not like to break the law, or any rules. I get nervous around police-officers, or border-crossing people, or even security guards (perhaps especially security guards). One time, as a teenager, I got pulled over for speeding, and asked to hand over my license and registration. My hand shook so terribly that I had to lean it against the open window when handing the office my license….Read More
I didn’t realize it back then, but this was one of the sessions that would shape my career in photography. It was after this session - during which I didn’t once glance at whatever lighting equipment I had brought - that I realized I probably do not NEED all that equipment I had planned on acquiring.Read More
When I was nine, a boy who liked me (he was 13) trekked through half of Sofia in the pouring rain to knock on my apartment door and hand me a bouquet of soggy purple irises. I looked at him suspiciously, I took the flowers... and I said
"Thanks for the flowers. That was really nice of you… but you shouldn't have wasted all your time."
WHY is documentary photography the best way to capture family memories?
The straight forward answer is simple: because there is CONTEXT. (there is also a secret reason that I’ll tell you about in a moment)Read More
Over the years, you have learned - without realizing it - that your real life is ‘ordinary’. You have learned that the everyday moments, those regular things that happen daily, are less than ‘special’.
What you have learned is a lie.Read More
Insofar as social media exacerbates social isolation because of feelings of inadequacy (think of all those ‘perfect’ people, places, lives), documentary photographs offer a way forward. They offer honesty. They tell a story of each person and each family just as they are, in all that makes them human, flawed, relatable.Read More
You've heard me say it before and I'll keep saying it just as often as I can: every family is different, and the activities that fill your days are unique to your own family, and you should never ever try to compare yourself to any other, because comparison is the thief of joy. But all strong families have one thing in common and that is...Read More
I made the trip back to Mississauga last weekend, during some kind of migraine-inducing pressure system that drove temperatures in mid-October to 24 Celsius. It was just as well, because Isabel's son was recovering from croup and the warm humid air was probably good for him. (Just guessing. I'm not a doctor.) They'd moved in to a new house only two weeks ago. Grandma and grandpa were visiting from Colombia, and they were hoping for some photos to take back with them. So, a busy time for them, and yet they made time for me.Read More
That's the best bit about documentary photography, I suppose: being welcomed into lives as they unfold, trying my best to do them justice.
That whole bit about being a fly on the wall - who knows if that is true? Flies buzz around in your ear and unnerve you. A documentary photography experience normally has the opposite result: it calms and grounds people, and makes them thankful for the lives they live.Read More
The Murrays are one of those families that you want to have living on your block.
Though we were never actual neighbours, my kids went to school with their kids, and my daughter counted their daughter among her besties. And whenever I saw them around, they simply brought energy and fun and goodness to the community. In short, the Murrays are good people.Read More