We capture images that inspire recollection of moments in time. Special days like marriages and significant birthdays are recorded so that we won’t forget. We want to remember the good times, we want to recall how we were at our very best.
But what about the ordinary good times? The days at home with our small children that seem so typical, the homes that are not perfect but represent the right now. A now that will one day be a ‘remember when’. With the passing of time, I feel like the ordinary might become our very best. The memories that we will forever hold dear are the ordinary ones. The living room forts, the busy breakfasts at the kitchen table, the unmade beds strewn with the remains of morning cuddles will be the images that we will long to recall, the feelings that we will never want to let go of.
We recently had a family photoshoot with a talented social documentary photographer who offers family sessions. Joubert Loots is a passionate story-teller based in Port Elizabeth who loves to capture his subjects working and interacting in their own social environments. He entered our home as an observer and with his natural ability to identify the magic in the ordinary, he captured a little bit of our story. The result is a raw, emotive and transparent depiction of us.
I realised that I am so used to editing and selecting images with the intention of showing off my best on social media, that I am failing to curate a gallery of images with meaning and depth. Joubert’s images of our family at home told a story, they showed our imperfection and they captured our beauty. I want to do it again. These are the photos that I want to look at, these are the ones for us.
I feel like this kind of photoshoot is something that we should be doing at least once a year. Joubert puts it so well, “We archive many moments and memories in our brain throughout life. Some are forgotten but they are still there and can be remembered. With the aid of ongoing documentary-style images of years past, a family can relive memories with their children in a much more vivid way. Reflecting on the past is very good for us. Photography is a wonderful tool to help us reflect and appreciate those small but still valuable memories.”
Working with Joubert is such a pleasant experience, he has an uncanny ability of disappearing into the background. We did not feel the pressure to perform and were further drawn into a natural state of being as we interacted with our children in our own environment. The children were not even aware that they were being observed and this made it an easy experience for them. Joubert offers three packages for families; the Two Hour story, the Half Day Story and the Full Day Story.
I definitely want to arrange a Full Day Story sometime. It might seem a bit strange to invite someone with a camera into your home and life for a day, I mean we are not all the Kardashians, but it’s incredible how quickly you lose awareness that Joubert is even there. Documentary photography is a very special style of photography, Joubert explains, “It’s all about ‘archiving’ little snippets of reality. I love acting as the unobserved observer whenever I am surrounded by a group of people. I like to be the person in the background that is totally engaged and aware, but not drawing too much attention. This helps me to be present for those fleeting moments and capture beautiful pictures in the process.”
Joubert is an avid traveler and has covered stories in over 20 different countries by the age of 30. He says that throughout his life, he has had the opportunity to meet and form connections with many who have come from vastly different cultural, social and economic backgrounds. He says, “These bonds and the insights they have provided me into the lives of others, is what has fueled my enthusiasm for photography’s ability to illustrate stories.”
It would be a good idea to book a photoshoot with Joubert before he goes traveling again. He did recently become a father, so that might just keep him homebound for a while, or maybe not.
If you want to get hold of Joubert for a documentary style photoshoot, you can find his contact details on his website.
View some of Joubert’s work below.