Everybody’s path is different. Some photographers become successful overnight. They wake up one day confronted with a life situation where they must earn a living and decide to become a family photographer because they are good with kids, they like photography well enough, or happen to have a camera in a closet that the ex left … and build everything from there. I know a few photographers who did it like that: decided that they had the elements of what was required and became fabulous family photographers with solid, thriving businesses, not necessary because of a calling but because life called them to begin another chapter .
What was my path to becoming a family photographer?
It started when I was a kid, growing up in Poland. In those days, there wasn’t much on TV, but we did a lot of people watching… sitting on a beach and people watching while they passed by along the lapping waves of the Baltic Sea. Who were they? What was their story? How did they interact with each other? If one person said something, what kind of emotions were created in the other? I loved playtime with other kids. I was always very social. I still am. I enjoy being with people and observing how they relate.
When I graduated from the University of Washington Photography Program, I wanted to be a wedding photographer. And I became one. For many years, I photographed everything that unfolds during a wedding: the bride and groom getting ready, formals, bride and groom portraits together and then solo, ceremonies, cocktail hours, the parties afterward, and dressed up kids who floated into the scene. There was so much love present that one can witness and observe at weddings.
Besides wedding photography, I started to photograph families with their children more and more.
I became fascinated with the ‘condensed’ love that I had been witnessing. Family sessions usually last between 60 -90 minutes, not hours like weddings do. How sweet it is to witness everything in such a short period: love, smiles, timidity, clinging, shyness, openness, hugs, kisses, cuddling children or handholding -and I love yous. Aside from that, I am taken how funny kids are, how clever and how much they can deliver emotionally.
Becoming a family photographer was a gradual process for me: from taking my first photos of old cars, to discovering portraiture shortly after my brief fascination with car photography, then moving on to wedding photography, and finally becoming a full- time Seattle family photographer. I smile thinking that my next family photography session is booked and scheduled. I value time spent with families who turn to me to capture their family memories – because time flies and one who is a toddler now will be driving tomorrow…