A Day In The Life Of… Kamal, Rachel, Sophia + Ezra

December 21, 2016

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It’s with huge excitement that I’m sharing with you my first Day In The Life, 24 hour session…

Which is? Put simply, instead of my usual family shoot of around 2 hours with a family, I spend the entire day with them instead. I’m there when they wake up at the crack of dawn, and I’m there when the kids go to bed. There is absolutely NO posing, NO direction from me whatsoever, it’s pure documentary, pure fly on the wall – literally, a real day in the life of each unique family.

These sessions are, in my opinion, up there as some of the most worthwhile and rewarding pictures a photographer can take. Not because they’re extraordinary, carefully planned, unrepeatable occasions like weddings… not because they’re newsworthy or of global importance like press photojournalism… These are so special because they are so ORDINARY. They are the fabric of our everyday existence, the real, honest stuff that lies underneath the bigger, showier moments that usually draw the photographs… People love to take out cameras for the big occasions, the fancy clothes, amazing locations and sparkle… but what about all the wonderful smaller moments that are our real lives? They are the glue that holds our families together, the deeper love in modest clothing… Everyone expects to see beauty in the bigger occasions, the weddings, birthdays, parties, holidays… but it’s truly wonderful showing families how beautiful their real life is, how beautiful their ‘ordinary’ is… For I believe these are the universal truths that transcend changing generations, that will be as relevant and will mean as much 100 years from now as they would have 100 years ago… and that have the deepest lasting value for the people in them and their families, their children.

So… for my first Day In The Life, I photographed our dear friends Kamal, Rachel, Sophia and Ezra, on a December Sunday in Chorlton, Manchester. Our family has always had a bit of a strange parallel existence with theirs… then after years of happy friendship and constantly noticing odd similarities between us, Rachel and I ended up cementing our cosmic twinning by giving birth to Huey and Ezra on exactly the same day, in the same hospital, despite our due dates being weeks apart. We very much feel that they are soulmates for us and it was such a very special experience doing this for them.

Photographically, I won’t lie, this was tricky. December is pretty much the toughest time of year to do a shoot like this as you have so few hours of daylight and the sun set several hours before the kids’ bedtime. But happily we were treated to some beautiful winter sunshine, and as a family, these guys are for me a photographer’s dream… completely natural, totally unpretentious, full of character, brimming with love and fun. A day in their life was a total pleasure, full of all the beautiful things that make them ‘them’ at this moment in time… their own family’s unique habits, routines, quirks and favourite things… Sophia’s series of self-chosen outfits (including leaping directly from her bed into a Belle costume and sunhat)… a constant stream of tasty food…. sleepy faces… music from dawn to dusk… the tightest cuddles… Yoshi the cat… heaps of laughter… dancing… Rachel and Ezra’s eerily identical hand gestures that each one had no idea the other was doing… the kids’ art and craft all over the house… singing… favourite toys… Ez wanting to do whatever Sophia was doing… the guitar and piano… Ezra’s hilarious pout… piggybacks in the local park… Sophia’s precious but insanely creepy head-on-backwards doll… tickling… daftness… Ezra’s builder’s bum… Sophia’s post it notes labelling everything around the house… all the ‘ordinary’ things that fill their ordinary Sundays… but which to me show how extraordinarily beautiful their ordinary is. I honestly feel like this is some of the most meaningful work I’ve ever done.

Thank you so much to Kamal, Rachel, Sophia and Ezra for letting me do this… I truly hope these images are as meaningful to you as they are to me.

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If you’d like me to come and photograph a Day In The Life of your own family, I’m there! Please do get in touch 🙂

10 Comments

  1. Rebecca

    incredible stuff dude – such a simple idea and yet something that will be so precious forever. when Ted is a bit older i’d love you to do this with us as well. Clever bubu, as usual xxx

    Reply
  2. Lee Allison

    This is awesome Anna! How do you interact with the family during the day?

    Reply
    • Anna

      Thanks so much Lee! I don’t direct them at all – they were just told the day before to do whatever they would usually do on a normal Sunday. While I’m there, I’m chatting to everyone, and playing with the kids – but just exactly as I would as if I was there without my camera, nothing different.

      Reply
  3. Olly Knight

    This is fantastic Anna! Love it! I totally empathise with the tired Parent faces on the sofa before bedtime too!! Ol

    Reply
  4. Tarik Ahmet

    Very sweet post Anna. Really love how creative you are with light, and still manage to capture all those sweet moments. Excellent stuff.

    Reply
  5. Charlotte

    Absolutely LOVED looking at this Anna, inspiring in so many ways, photographically and from a family point of view.
    Would love to know more details when you start offering this, it would be ace if you could come and photograph us either at home or at my parents static caravan at the beach! Have a lovely Christmas! x

    Reply
  6. Jane

    What a brilliant idea and a fabulous set of pictures. I wish I had such a myriad of details triggering so many memories and feelings from my childhood. Well done and thank you for sharing and inspiring X merry Christmas X

    Reply
  7. Emma

    Anna this is incredible! Love the idea and what a brilliant set of photographs for them to look back on. Such a talent.

    Reply
  8. Matt Parry

    Absolutely stunning Anna. The humour, and reality of such an ordinary day turned into extraordinary photography. It’s like “anti epic” and I love it….and the family must be over the moon!

    Reply
  9. Ian

    I’ll admit, I thought photographing a family for a whole day might be stretching it a little. But it turned out amazing – not only did you get fantastic shots all day, but you did it in such a way that never became boring or repetitive. A whole day full of character and intimate moments. Some absolute gems of beautiful yet mundane moments. Fantastic work!

    Reply

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