What is typical about a Day In The Life (DITL) Photo session?
I can tell you precisely as the typical DITL has nothing to do with any other DITL so there’s nothing typical about it. Every DITL is as different as one family differs from another, as unique and unpredictable as life can be on a different day, in a different family. Uniquely yours and unscripted. A Day In The Life is a small, yet so complete, fraction of your life, from dusk to dawn, all events, all details, all locations, all tears and laughs, everything from that day documented thoroughly with an objective eye.
It is one complete chapter from the story of your life. Written for you to read through over and over again, better yet, look through as we all know pictures speak a thousand words. Ready for you to grab whenever you feel like reliving and recalling what life was like at that season of life, that year, that era. A chapter about your life right now, a story that can be read by your children in years’ time, a story that can bring your family’s life closer to anyone you like to share your life with but may just be living too far for you to enjoy together, a story that can be told over and over and never be forgotten. Your story. The story of your life right now. However messy, however sweet, however hard or easy it may seem, it is original, it’s fleeting, it’s yours to savor.
But really, what does a typical DITL look like?
Well we’ve already been over this however there’s a couple of things those sessions may have in common. First of all, such session lasts all day. From the moment first family member wakes up until bedtime. Secondly, you just never know how it will go. There’s only so much you can plan but if you have kids you already know your day is hardly ever a clockwork perfection. But such is life, it just isn’t about exhibiting perfectly posed smiley faces, it is about real smiles, genuine expressions and a range of emotions.
Let me tell you about one particular example of a DITL I did for a family of 3, living in their small apartment in a city. And let me skip to the chase a little because I have a feeling you don’t want me describing all details of their day but I was there when all the children woke up, I was there when they were waking each other up, I was there when they were getting ready for their day and eating their breakfast, I was there when they were saying good-bye to their Dad and spent the rest of Dad’s work day with Mom taking them in and out of school and to their afternoon activities. I was there during rainy soccer practice and I was there on the public transport. I witnessed all their meals, all their play times, all their playing and fighting and I saw more than what the children’s parents could ever see.
I enjoyed the mischief that happened while Mom was getting food ready in the kitchen and the sweet moments the siblings shared, completely oblivious to my presence ever since the first minutes in the morning. I was there every single moment and I was clicking my camera’s shutter through it all. Thousands of photographs taken to make sure the parents get to see the mischief I saw, that Dad gets to see his little girl’s excited expression when she hears his keys in the door at the end of the day, that Mom gets to see how very hard she works all day long to make those littles happy, how much ground she covers and how amazing she is at being a Mom and how Dad is loved just the same, even if he has to be away a big part of the day making a living. He gets to see more from his family’s day than he could ever see whilst remaining at work.
I got up with this family, I ate, laughed and literally ran with this family. I talked and played with this family all day long. And I loved being with this family, loved witnessing the precious time in their lives, a time when their children are so small and need them so much, a time where you have to reheat your coffee multiple times so you can finally drink it, a time when you just love your kids’ little quirks and jokes but really look forward to their bedtimes so you can enjoy a quiet glass of wine before collapsing into bed yourself. A time so fleeting and fast that not long from now you’re going to say ‘oh my where did that time go’? And thanks to that one day you will get to have more than a fading memory of it. I was there and I was shooting through it all.
And the beauty of it all is the fact that you had to change absolutely nothing about your life, about your day, to accomplish this. You just pick a day, any day you want, be it a weekday or a weekend, ordinary day or a day somewhat special to you. You prepare for your DITL day in a way you’d prepare for that day if it was camera free. You do nothing special, you don’t go to a studio or a rural location chasing sunset on a meadow. You just live your life as it is and I’ll show up to document it. Then you do nothing again, just wait while I work with 12-14 hours of material. On (my) average of 28 cups of coffee later I send you your day in a nutshell. A chronologically put together slideshow and the very best and most meaningful photographs of your day, your complete chapter full of pages with details of your labor of love, of all the ordinary and all the beautiful, all the happy and all the sad, all the very best from your very day, from your very life.
Original, unrepeatable, unpredictable, beautiful. The story of your life. Now unforgettable.