Cornwall Documentary Family Sessions

When I got the message asking if I was available to photograph Fitz’s first birthday party I was immediately on-board with the idea. The only catch: it was the afternoon after a very late-night arrival back from Kirsten Lewis and Jenna Shouldice’s documentary family workshop, meaning I’d be dealing with a bit of jetlag and some serious sleep deprivation. Trev and Leslie were completely fine with this risk and I was excited about the opportunity to put new skills to use so soon after a workshop.

Here’s the thing about birthday parties: from a photographer’s standpoint, they can be either completely overwhelming or freakin’ awesome. There are kids everywhere, there’s plenty of action, there are families… It’s a smorgasbord of opportunity. The trick is slowing down and letting it all happen, without rushing around and trying to capture every single thing. The biggest lesson I learned from from Kirsten and Jenna is that cute doesn’t cut it any more. Documentary family sessions aren’t about cute portraits. They’re about REAL moments; real life; real relationships; real stories. Sometimes those are frighteningly cute. Other times, they’re poignant, hilarious, or possibly just a little frightening, depending on the viewer. But the point is to get the moments and make sure there’s a complete story, connection or purpose in every image I make. So that’s what I set out to do.

Fitz’s party was all of the above. The frightening part may or may not have been the moment I realised that I was shooting through Trev cannonballing into the pool and was about to get my camera completely drenched – “weatherproof” probably doesn’t mean “cannonball-proof” so I turned my back and my clothes bore the brunt of the splash. :) He was confounded by his uncle’s bubble-blowing prowess. He hated his (GORGEOUS!) cake, but shared it with his dog. He loved his water station and his time in the pool. He toppled out of his lawn chair (personal favourite moment right there). Big brother Milo was a doll, as always, and gave me a few special moments with Fitz (even if it did involve splashing water in his face).

Trev and Les, thanks so much for having faith that my bleary-eyed efforts would do the day justice! :) Here are some favourites:

boy leaping into pool mom inside taking care of food boy looking at bubblegum bubble boys by pool dad doing cannonball hands and feet on ladder little boy splashing brother in pool boy being splashed in face kids in pool boy not eating cake boy pushing cake off highchair mom and grandma with boy dog eating cake boy climbing up slide boy on pool ladder boy playing with mom on sqing boy opening presents boy tipping over in chair bpy face planting in grass boy in swing man hugging dog



I’m Ang – a Cornwall, Ontario-based photographer with a passion for capturing light and photographing natural moments in life as they happen. My goal is to capture memories that you will cherish once your children are too grown up to curl into your lap for cuddles and the house seems oddly quiet at night. I love meeting new families in their natural environment and getting in amongst the bedlam so that I can document the perfectly imperfect realities of daily life. Please explore more of to see more examples of Cornwall documentary family sessions.