So...you'd like to know a little more about me? I suppose I should start with the obvious which is that I love photography. I love looking at photos and I love taking photos and when I am not doing either of those things, I am thinking about my environment and how it would look as a photograph.
I can barely even remember a time that I was not taking pictures. I first set my sights on a camera of my own at a garage sale around the age of 9. I ran home as fast as possible and begged my mom for some change to pay for it, convinced I must hurry back because everyone else at that sale would want that old camera laying on a table amongst a bunch of junk. With a new battery and a roll of film, I was ready to go. When my Brownies group had a field trip to earn our “medic badge” the following week, I brought my camera along for the ambulance tour and talk. I distinctly remember taking photos of the paramedic as he explained things to our group and he commented on my shutter snapping away. Getting my developed rolls of film back was like magic. I was hooked! That was technically my first documentary photo shoot.
Years later, I went on to formally study fine arts and photography in university and then later documentary filmmaking and multimedia in the days well before digital cameras were a thing. (I assure you this was well after the invention of the wheel but sometime before smartphones. I’m not THAT old!) During those days, the darkroom was my second home away from my messy bachelor apartment. It was thrilling to develop a roll of film and then take those negatives to a darkroom to create prints. A methodical, timely (and often frustrating) process. I loved it.
I started my career as an assistant wedding photographer while still a photography student. My #1 task was to document the kiss scene right after the officiant would say, “…you may kiss the bride.” We would set up the Hasselblad (medium format camera, I lovingly referred to as “the beast”) someplace strategic for a beautiful wide shot of the whole room where I was to keenly wait for the very precise moment to click the shutter. It was one of those tasks that if you overthink it, you’ll screw it up. After sweating bullets capturing “the kiss," I was free to photograph all of the candid shots.
I went on to take on my own wedding clients as the primary photographer and then offering family photography services after having my first child in 2008.
Fast forward to 2019 and me now with three kids and a houseful of crumbs and overflowing laundry hampers. When I am not photographing other families, I am documenting my own real life moments. The neat freak in me used to push the toys out of the shot, fix hair or crop out the laundry hamper but then one day, while thumbing though my photos, I realized that the ones that were not perfect, where things were messy or the kids were in a mood, were the ones I loved. I decided to let go of the idea of portraying perfection.
The huge laundry pile showed how busy I was that week and how I could not keep up clothing changes the kids went through that week because they played hard and we live in a place where it rains 360 days a year. The dishes said time got away on me after lunch and I spent my time playing Peppa Pig with my 3 year old instead of loading the dishwasher. The moody expression and messy hair showed how HARD it is to be five years old and having to wear pants. The real life in the photos meant more to me than a beachy sunset photo with everyone smiling happy. The weird, messy photos evoked emotion in me and told our story of what it is like to be our family right now.
No one has it all together all of the time. Let’s stop pretending we do. Being a parent is hard at times but it’s also a wild and often funny ride. Take it from me, I have a starving unicorn bunny rummaging through my fridge right now for wabermewon and a cheese bix nack. She had breakfast exactly 17 minutes ago.
Corrina is a documentary family photographer living in North Vancouver, BC, Canada with her husband and three kids in a houseful of crumbs and overflowing laundry hampers. Prior to having a family, she considered the darkroom her second home for a number of years while she studied photography and fine arts at university and later also added multimedia and documentary filmmaking to her credentials.
Today, with nearly 20 years of shooting experience, Corrina has merged her love of photography and documentary film into family photojournalism as a way of telling her clients their own family story through photos.