This Is Us


I love this new tv show called, This Is Us.
It’s real life, but in an insightful way. It doesn’t sensationalize relationships like so-called “reality tv". The storyline takes the normal lives of each member of a family - and relates it to family stories, events and situations in their past. 
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Destin Family Photography with Leslie Brown

It tells the journey of a family of 5 (mom, dad and 3 siblings) through a present-day situations, and what seemingly insignificant or monumental events in their past impact where they are today. It flashes back to years gone by, and we are able to see the timeline and put the puzzle-pieces together by seeing their past. It’s about the real struggles all families face - but with insight into the past that real life rarely give us. Because while their past is revealed as part of the show - in our real lives, the past is not (usually) well documented.

Maybe one day that will happen, (there's an app for that) but not yet.
Today, we are left trying to piece our insecurities and doubts, fears, aspirations and purpose together with what we can recall, and how it relates to us — if we’re so inclined. However, I think most are not, so much inclined. We don’t know the impact our family events had on others besides ourselves, the way we see in this show. That insight would be invaluable, I believe.  The clues into how our upbringing affects each each family member. We don’t have the back-stories of other family members — only our own, with our limited recollection of the past.

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Time flies by.  

And it picks up speed with every passing year - or certainly seems to. I wish we all kept detailed journals with pictures. 
We tend to look at the years ahead as way out there, as if they’ll never get here - and then suddenly, we are smack dab in the middle of them, wondering how it all happened so fast. Children grown and living their own lives. There are many who actually pick up the pace in this chapter, with a wonderful bucket-full of purpose, passion and people involved.

That’s this family.

They are enjoying their work, starting new businesses, networking with, and impacting others (as it should be) as though they were just starting out in life. It’s energizing to see a rising tide of would-be retirees snub the concept and pursue new dreams, with greater meaning because of, well… time and experience, that has taken us well past the discovery phase and deep into the “I’ve got this, so let’s do this” chapter. 

This Is Us.

I am so inspired by the families I get to meet and help share their story through images. The images in themselves don’t tell the stories - but they mark the journey at a certain point along the way to bring reflection on what brought us thus far, and where the future could take us. How these images change over the years is always so interesting - especially considering the twists and turns in the journey, and the relationships.

That’s why documenting the journey with pictures, and to note what was taking place at that time, is so important. 

One reason I love photo-books so much — to accompany the few large prints we have made and give more insight into our family story.  

It’s not so much for us, but for those who come after us. To give them history and context, which are the keys to who and what we are today. 

These fab five traveled from New Mexico, Alabama and Georgia to be together - which happens only occasionally due to the logistics of life and distance apart. The younger grown children could not be with them, but these five didn’t forego the chance to show the family story, as it is for them, today. Their journey continues, with much more to come. I was blessed to see a tiny glimpse into their amazing lives.

And, to help them document the fun, laughter, memories, the good and the tough times with images that say…

This. Is. Us.