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My Journey from Wedding Photographer to Documentary Family Photographer

Personal

While my photography business began with documenting weddings in 2014 (and I still am!), it has now evolved to documenting memories for growing families and all of life’s moments worth remembering. It’s not uncommon for photographers to span many genres, but being super intentional with serving your clients and giving them an incredible memory-making experience requires a true fire and passion for your craft. My journey to documentary photography began with pain and healing.

The Beginning

After the birth of our second child, I found myself lost in a fog of endless diaper changes, relentless tantrums, and I struggled to grasp the meaning behind these loud, messy, blurry days. Not to mention we were living abroad, thousands of miles away from my “people” whom I would usually lean on in times of distress and need.

When I would look back at photos of our memories together, I noticed something that surprised me. I was so blessed and our life was so good. We were making happy memories together every day and my children knew how much they were loved – despite feeling like I was failing them every day and I couldn’t keep up with the demands coming at me from every direction.

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I was inspired to pick up my camera once more (even if it was just my phone) and seek out the blessings in my life and the everyday fleeting moments that I never wanted to forget – my daughter’s favorite pretend kitchen toys and how her tiny fingers fumbled with keeping a grip on them when she would “cook” for me, tea parties with beloved stuffed animals; my tots exploring our favorite castle ruins which we would inevitably be leaving behind; the nooks and crannies of our imperfect Irish townhouse I knew we would not live in forever. Slowly but surely, this helped me make sense of the fog I felt like I was living in. I finally began to see every day as a gift, even the grey, dark days of winter. Photography helped me seek out the details of my present life that I would want to be able to look back on decades from now.

These photos are a future gift for my children, too, because I want them to be able to have visual memories of their upbringing. Photos from inside of our home and of our favorite family activities have become extra sentimental to our family since we made our second international move when our youngest was just 8 weeks old. 

Through the collection of photos of the past 6 years of our family’s life, we look back and remember that even though our life was never perfect, there was always so much love.

Soon after I began this healing process through photographing my family, I set out to do this for other families, too. Abbygale Marie Photography was birthed from the ashes of wishing there was more to this motherhood thing than the same monotonous grind day in and day out. It was born when I knew that every day is a chance to love these beautiful tiny humans of mine and pour into their character before they leave our nest.

So while I soak up every day that I have with my kiddos – I hope and pray that the images I create for your family allow you to do the same, too.

Are you an extra-sentimental-gushing-over-the-little-things kind of mama too? Take my Real is the New Perfect Photo Challenge to see if your collection of photos is telling the story of your life to the fullest!

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