Share with us a bit about your style of photography:
We are documentary photographers who are passionate about capturing honest connection. We feel styles of shooting may change as the trends come and go, but it’s our pursuit of connection that has set us on this journey, and has shifted how we approach our work. Because we long to honour our clients stories and capture them in the most honest way, we’ve learned that our process with them matters. What we communicate to them matters, being clear about our vision matters, and knowing who they are matters. We spend time with our clients before their sessions figuring out what their connection looks like, and we make a plan from there so we can tell their story in the truest way.
Why are you passionate about full day sessions?
In a shorter session people are still able to protect themselves or maintain a certain level of perfection. However, in a Full Day session, when we stay for longer the walls break down and truth shines through. We love the messy, and the honesty of life. We love the connection we make with people when we just sit in their home and be with them. We want to dive into their story and in doing so, honour the truth of who they are. Because that is where the beauty blossoms wildly. For us it’s so much more then just a photo session. We learn to care deeply about our clients and find that our time with them becomes this great exchange, our lives and theirs mixing and strengthening one another. It’s also about leaving a legacy for their family. There’s something remarkable about passing down more than just “posed” photos to our kids and grandchildren. Imagine books filled with emotion, connection, truth and the day to day messy and mundane, all beautiful because it captures LIFE. Years ago, storytelling was the only way we passed down family lessons and virtues, so what if we started doing that again, and leaving a legacy that is visible for our children and our children’s children. This is a huge part of what inspires us. We want to capture images that draw people in, and let others feel the things our clients were feeling and learn from the beauty within that image. It’s how a mother holds her child, how lovers breathe one another in, and how a look can say a thousand words. These are the kinds of things that we can only truly capture in a longer amount of time.
When did you first learn this technique, or when did you first realize you liked this topic?
In a way it was always within us…we were both always searching for the more, the deeper things. We encountered the work of Joy Prouty of Wildflowers Photography a couple years ago, and something happened deep inside our spirits. It’s like we found the art of our souls. Her work gave us permission to be honest about what was in our hearts and create from our depths. Since then we’ve been on a journey of figuring out what that looks like. We’ve had to say no to a lot of things in order for this dream to come alive. We believe it’s only the beginning.
What are the tips you would share with anyone trying to achieve this technique or subject/topic?
1. First of all, we would say, do the work that sets your soul on fire. For us this journey has been more about honouring what’s in our hearts, and figuring out what we carry. We feel the most important virtue in becoming an artist, is not to to think like everyone else, but to think like only you can, and create from the depths that are inside yourself. Stay honest to yourself!! Doing what you’re passionate about is always going to produce your best work!
2. Be honest about who you are with your clients – this means your Instagram feed, your website, your Facebook page, etc.. If you want to see the deep connections between your clients; if you’re requiring them to be honest and vulnerable, be willing to go there yourself.
3. Be very clear about your vision and expectations. Clients don’t know what you want from them unless it’s clearly communicated. We tend to expect the “norm” unless we’re told otherwise. If you have a vision for what you want, don’t expect your clients to read your mind – tell them! Make sure they know what you’re creating together. This isn’t just about you, and it isn’t just about them – it’s a joining of your hearts, in order to truthfully tell their beautiful story.
4. We’ve come up with a detailed questionnaire for our clients – it’s our way of asking the questions that guide us in the process of telling their story so it fully captures who they are. This can be a helpful tool. Do the hard work and think about what it is that you need/want to know about your clients in order to see and tell their story in the most honest way.
5. Lastly, this is a new way of thinking about photography. For the last decade photos have been posed or we’ve tried to create candid moments, without actually putting in the extra work. We’ve found that we’ve had to be consistent in how we blog, talk about our work, and communicate with clients, because it is not the “norm”. You have to help people think differently. We do this through blogging and social media, and we talk about it FACE to FACE with our clients. You have to be willing to do the hard work. Just showing your work isn’t enough, use your words to communicate the heart of what you want to create with them. It may take time before you have people who get it and are willing to spend the money for full day sessions, but being intentional and consistent in sharing your vision will bring people along with you on the journey
About the photographers:
Hey! We are Tammy and Tamarah, owners of Meraki + Light. We are wives, moms, documentary photographers, and connection pursuers. We believe in living life honestly and authentically, and portraying that in every image we capture. If your life looks beautiful and messy, full of laughter and tears, why would you want your photos to look perfect and posed? We want to capture the real, the raw and the honest. We want to tell your story as it is.