Family Photojournalism by C Smucker Photography » Atlanta Family Lifestyle Photography

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Meet the Artist

Hi!  I’m Christy, a family photojournalist based in Atlanta, GA.

I’m obsessed with green, mostly the color green and a little with being earth friendly. I am passionate about living life well, advocating for vulnerable children and women, and finding joy in any circumstance. I love kids because they are adorable, funny, always genuine, and they see the world as it really is. I love laughter, reading, exploring the city, quiet, adventuring, and learning about holistic living. Trying new cuisines with friends is pretty much at the top of my list; dolmades are one of my recent food discoveries. My spell check and I are pretty tight since I’m rather awful at spelling. When writing notes by hand I sometimes change the wording to avoid words I don’t know how to spell. My life is rich with so many friends, a wonderful family, and a peaceful heart.

I’ve been married for twelve years to a man who keeps me steady, stimulates deeper thinking, leads our family well, and surprises me often with his spontaneity. I’m blessed to have a partner in life who is willing to go through the best days and the my-world-just-turned-upside-down days with me.  We show God to the world through undeserved love which has been so generously given to us. My husband works at a Christian ministry which serves Atlanta’s homeless; we have chosen to live in the community where he works.  It may sound crazy, but we really love our atypical life in the ghetto.

Our three wonderfully energetic boys keep our days full of Legos, biking, food,  jumping into rain puddles, and finding 28 uses for a cardboard box.  This life full of so much energy and noise is a giant change  from growing up in a family of three girls.   I miss girls’ affinity for social connection and fine details, but this all-boy, dinosaur, sharks, and everything fierce world is pretty awesome, too. I love my life just as it is.

lifestyle family photography, Piedmont Park, Family Piedmont Park, Atlanta photographer, mom of boysPINIMAGE

Christy: The Photographer

What is your passion as a photographer?

I can answer this best in two parts. First it is to show people the beauty in their life. I believe it is the simple routines of our every day life that hold the most value. It is in the context of our daily living that we form ideas about the world. It is where we establish life long bonds with our family, and where we grow in strength and honor. Everyday life can be messy, and I want to show people that in the midst of that chaos there is also so much beauty and joy. I want to show you what is really awesome about your family.

Secondly, I want to photograph families interacting in their homes and favorite places where I can show the whole family working and playing together. In most families moms are the ones who remember  to take pictures of all the good times.While that is great, it’s also sad that our pictures are so often missing one person–mom. When I see moms bouncing a baby while cooking dinner and fielding questions from an older sibling, when I see her helping her daughter pick out a new shirt at Target or play tag with her son at the park, I wonder if she knows how beautiful she is and if she knows how what a wonderful mother she is. I want moms to see how hard they work and how much love they show every day by working so hard to care for their family. I want them to see the beauty in their everyday life both in their motherhood and in themselves.

 

How long have you been a photographer?

As a teenager I practiced taking pictures of my patient younger sister; they are hilarious portraits complete with stiff poses and awkward baskets of ivy in front of a stark black background. (Aren’t we all glad those days are past?) I also loved taking pictures of the children we babysat which led to more natural portraiture since I would follow them around and photograph them as they played. I learned to use only natural light when I shot with a point and shoot camera. Slowly my skills and style improved and I officially opened a business in 2008 photographing portraits and weddings for the past eight years. I especially enjoyed photographing children because they weren’t very good at posing, giving me to capture authentic expressions. Meanwhile, our sons were photographed while they were too busying playing and eating and sleeping to notice the camera much at all.

Once I posted a picture of my three-year-old making his bed and and a client commented that I was so lucky that I could take such great photos of my kids as they grow up. From that point on, more than anything, I wanted to go into people’s homes and photograph them doing ordinary things. I am super excited to begin offering documentary family photography this year.

 

 

What training have you received?

I have benefited greatly from the the training and mentorship of Jon Holloway, Collie James, and Kirsten Lewis. I also owe much to the kindness and advice of my sister Michelle, Marylou Hershberger, and Daryl and Thelma Musser as well as countless photographers who have critiqued my photos and provided educational discussions. Understanding Exposure, The Print and the Process, and How to Photograph Your Baby furthered my education as well.

 

What do you most enjoy photographing?

Authenticity. While photographing wedding days or during portrait photography sessions, moments occurred causing me to catch my breath, dance with excitement (for real.), or even cry a few happy tears. These moments inevitably happened when people forgot posing and shared a personal moment with someone they loved. Flashes of raw emotion and sweet connections trump everything. When I see them I want to keep shooting forever and ever.

How does your background in portrait and wedding photography influence your family photojournalism?

In portrait photography I was trained to look for the best light, environmental elements that enhance an image, and how to pose subjects to make them look their best. All of these skills are useful in photojournalism as I work hard to shoot real moments from the best angles. Since I don’t re-position people in documentary family sessions, I now enjoy the challenge of finding the best angle to tell the story as it plays out.

 

I would love to photograph your life. Contact me here to book a session.

 

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