The need to document my own life has been a driving force in my own life for as far back as I can remember.
I moved from the UK to California when I was seven years old. I took up journaling shortly thereafter. I remember scribbling furiously into my diary almost on the daily. I used to keep shoe boxes filled with notes from friends, greeting cards, pieces of paper from school events, and pages of stories I dreamed up on the playground. Looking back now, I see that this need as a young child to create some kind of a story for myself, was perhaps my way of dealing with the huge change of moving from one country to another and leaving my life as I knew it. Gone were the family gatherings for the holidays and the trips to Granny’s house. We were starting over. Planting new roots. By writing down little details about my new life, I was starting the new story of me.
Throughout the major transitions in my life, writing and photography have continued to be my touchstones. Through moving across the country to New York City in 2002, to giving up my home and traveling around the country for four years with a touring Broadway show, and throughout the adventures of motherhood, I have documented my experiences. I photograph and write about every chapter in my ever-evolving story - not just for me, but for my children. My story is also their story. Their history. Their legacy. Recording these stories for them is not just a hobby, its a responsibility.
Documentary photography has opened my eyes to the magic in the everyday. It is so hard sometimes to stop, slow down, and really see how good life is. It’s hard to see through the thick of it. Photographs give that to you - they open your eyes, they show you, they make you grateful. And I truly believe that sharing our stories is the key to understanding each other. To making the world a better, more compassionate place.
Francesca is a mother, photographer & stage manager, who currently resides just outside New York City on Long Island with her partner Eric and their kids, Lila and Logan. In addition to photography, she is also an avid knitter, crafter, list-maker, meal planner, adventurer, learning addict and project-a-holic.
The Bloom Forum - Session Spotlight: Francesca Russell
Bonnie Bryant Creative - Fierce & Fearless Biz Owners: Francesca Russell Photography
Red Tricycle - What I Learned from Filming One Second a Day for a Year
Red Tricycle - 10 Tips for Photographing Your Child Authentically
Click Magazine - Pro Review: Tamron 85mm f/1.8 Di VC USD
Click Magazine - One Second A Day: Documenting Your Life With Video
2016 Voice Image Competition - Finalist in "Street" Category
Beyond the Wanderlust - Session Feature - July 2016
Sham of the Perfect - Featured Artist - June 2016
Click Pro Member - featured on the Daily Project
TWIP Family Podcast - Using Projects to Improve Your Craft - April 2016
Beauty Revived - 50 Most Beautiful Mothers edition - May 2016
Life Unscripted - "Out and About" - April 2016
Everyday Films' Project 12 - Finalist in Family Film Fest - January, February, April and May 2016
Lemonade & Lenses - April 2016
"Family Documentary Photography" or "Family Photojournalism" is unscripted, un-posed, non-directed photography of everyday family life (and by “family”, I mean everything from the traditional mom/dad/kids to best friends to partners to boyfriends to roommates - whatever “family” means to you). I record what happens naturally.
I come to your home, or meet you at the park or the beach or at brunch or wherever you choose, and just take photos as you and your family or friends interact just as you would on a day when a photographer was not present.
I want these photos to capture the true essence of your family, your relationships, the stage of life you are currently experiencing. I want it to be real, in all its tantrum-ing, messy, teary, silly, beautiful glory. I want to capture this chapter in your story, so that you can look back and remember exactly how it looked and felt at this very moment.