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Preserving a Philly Family's Christmas Tradition Through Pictures

Since the beginning of December, I've noticed several people walking their Christmas tree home around our Philly neighborhood. I find it comical but I also love it. That's the beauty of living in a walkable city, you can do so many things by foot, including picking up your tree at the local christmas tree pop-up shop, like the one at the Spring Gardens Community.

Philadelphia family walking a tree across a city street

When my friend Leesa mentioned to me that's what she planned on doing with her family, I jumped on the occasion and asked to photograph their little adventure. The idea of walking a 6-foot tree across four city blocks sounded to me like the perfect opportunity to hone my photography documentary skills.

To me photography is first and foremost about telling a story. Yes a beautiful image with gorgeous light is appealing, but in the end, it's a story that draws me to a photograph and what motivates me to take pictures almost every day.

I was thrilled that Leesa accepted my offer. She didn't have to worry about make-up, what to wear, or when to fit a photo session into her schedule. I just tagged along with her family, like a fly on a wall, and captured the tough decision of choosing the best tree (for the kids anyway) then walking it home and decorating it.

Little Philly girl reaching for the stars

Friends stopped by for a visit

Black and white picture of girl opening door and bo peeking through the mailbox slot

Putting on the final touches...

... and voila!

christmas horse and bokeh balls of christmas tree

Documentary photography can be planned around a life event, like a birth, wedding or birthday party. But it's also about capturing daily life or a simple family tradition like was the case here. These are the kinds of moments that may seem trivial as they happen but are when meaningful memories are made.

A client of mine recently wrote a review about a photo session I did for her and said "she captured moments I didn't even see happening." This is the best compliment I could ever get. It's what I strive to do and what documentary photography is all about. We live busy lives, we are so caught up in the moment we miss the meaningful little details that matter. Documentary photography is a mirror on ourselves, it shows raw life, unaltered, happy, sad, funny, wild, unique, and I plan on offering more sessions like this one in 2018. Contact me if you want to learn more.



Check out my Instagram accounts where I post pictures daily: childhood photography @blinckphotography or landscape and street photography @filladelphie.

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