It All Started After A Funeral


There are so many "why's" when it comes to why I became a documentary family photographer. What started me down the professional picture taking road was my daughter's birth, but the draw to the family documentary/photojournalist genre reaches much further back in my life. Back before I knew and loved my husband, and before 2 tiny people who became my world came into existence. It goes back to the day that we celebrated my grandmother's life. The day of her funeral, or should I say the evening following her funeral. I have a very vivid and happy memory of my entire mother's side of the family sitting around looking through old photo albums, and hearing all of the stories that my mother and aunts could remember from their childhood. Like many families, there's usually one or two strained relationships and tension when it comes to extended family(and sometimes immediate family), but it was a beautiful thing to have everyone sitting in the same room, setting aside their issues, and just simply sharing in these memories of my grandmother and grandfather together. My grandfather who I never met, and learned so much about that evening. Pictures that I had never seen before, stories that I had never heard. Those photos were the one thing that I saw bring everyone together. Smiling, crying, laughing and for a moment putting aside any differences. It showed me exactly how powerful memories are, and just how important a single photograph can be in allowing our loved ones to be remembered once again.


Sidenote: How gorgeous were my grandmother and grandfather? 


Why do I avoid the posed portraits? Why do I choose to capture the real life moments that a family shares? This is why. I want my photos to mean something. I want there to be a true connection to the exact moment, with the exact people who are in them. There are beautiful photos out there from family sessions with a sun setting behind them, every hair in place and coordinating outfits. The only thing is that aside from what everyone looked like in that picture, there's no other true reminder of who they were, what they were into, or what their entire world looked like. 


The photos I now take for the families I work with aren't about just a beautiful photo to me, although I strive to create them with every click of my shutter, as I do for my own family. But more importantly, I want the photographs that I create to say what was happening in that very moment without a single word spoken. To show the emotion, attitude, love, fear, frustration and even exhaustion that may occur in life. I want them to ooze with personality to the point where you can almost hear the laughter or the sound of their voice. I want them to be looked back on as true, real life memories where they just so happened to have a photographer in the room taking pictures. 


Our lives are fleeting. It is so cliche, to the point that the phrase used to annoy me, but I now catch myself saying it all the time. Especially after having my children. 

Life. Time. 


It all goes by so incredibly fast. It is ever changing, unpredictable, always moving, and it doesn't slow down for anyone. But the click of my shutter is the one place where my life and the window of life for those who invite me to photograph them can be held onto and looked back on for as many years as they remain in their possession.


Why do I choose to document
rather than simply photograph?
Because I find great importance in the
parts of our lives that we want to look back on in the future.


For your very own real, true to your life session, click the button below. And don't forget about the special Limited Edition Christmas Story Sessions which you can learn about HERE. You still have time to schedule your time today! Now is the best time tocapture your "right now". To have your family'scurrent season of life recorded for you to  enjoy now and look back on as well as shared with your generations for years to come. 

Keep it real,

Nikki Gould

Olive Shoot Photography
Houston Family Documentary Photographer
Houston Family Photojournalist
Houston Family Photographer

Nikki Gould5 Comments