Empty Places

This week on my podcast with Davina Fear, Davina talked about the photos she made at her grandmother’s funeral. I talked about how I felt about photos when my grandmother died in September.

I didn’t want to take many photos during the visitation, burial or memorial service. I wanted to just look and not put a camera to my eye.

Davina talked about photographers processing experiences by making photographs. I remembered some photos I took the day after Grandma died. I went to her house, which was not going to be her house anymore.

I wanted photos to help me remember her house. I wandered around and took photos of little things. Already, it wasn’t her house. I wasn’t satisfied until I took this photo of her empty chair at the dining room table.


I turned around and took a photo of her empty kitchen.


I collected photos of Grandma to display at her service. There were many, many photos of her holding babies.

This photo, from five years ago, was my favorite – the very familiar sight of Grandma doing dishes.


Beyond the Camera Smile

For my new family photography podcast, TWiP Family, I interviewed Jesh De Rox.

He teaches photographers how to create spaces where the people they are photographing are feeling amazing. So, they look amazing in the photos.

Before the interview, I tried out some his simple ideas for helping people go beyond the camera smile into joyful moments.

Here are a few I talked about in the interview.

Five Hugs:


Jump Three Times:

After talking to Jesh, I tried what he calls, Same Time. I asked the people I was photographing to try to say the same color at the same time.

With this one, I asked Duncan to whisper something in his brother’s ear.

I’ve been surprised by how easy it is to get people to go past the camera smile… when I asked the right questions.

I hope you listen to the interview with Jesh De Rox. If you give any of his ideas a try, share your photos. I’d love to see if it works for you.

You can listen to the show on iTunes. Or on the This Week in Photo website.