About 4 years ago I came across a magazine called Seeing The Everyday. Its tagline was “Nothing is really routine” and it focused on finding meaning in the everyday. Its articles were a mix of quiet reflections, mindful observations, and gentle instructions on using everyday life to build relationships. It taught me a new word: Prosaic. Prosaic means commonplace or ordinary. To quote the magazine, “Prosaic [is] a term coined by contemporary literary philosopher Gary Saul Morson to capture ‘a way of thinking about human events that focuses on the ordinary, messy, quotidian facts of daily life.'” Ok, I guess I learned two words – quotidian means occurring every day. The Prosaic view of life seems connected to documentary family photography – they both recognize the value of routine, everyday things.
As I’ve learned more about photography and used it to capture the life of my family, I find myself wondering, “Should I take a picture of this?” Part of documentary photography is capturing real, everyday life. But of course I can’t take a picture of every single second. I choose to take a picture when the feeling of the moment or the activity is something that I want to be able to remember. In a way these moments are at the same time both prosaic and extraordinary. These are the people that I love, living life, spending time learning and growing. There’s really nothing ordinary about being alive, is there?