Everyday Stories | Long Island Family Documentary Photographer


I had an incredibly busy 2016 when it came to personal projects. Too busy really. So this year I am keeping it simple. One project. It is called "100 Stories" and it is a way for me to work on storytelling photography and written narrative. Over the course of the year, I will make at least 100 photographs that tell a story in one frame, and I will write a little bit about the story to go with each of those photographs.

Another goal of mine for the new year is to be more thoughtful about what I share here and on Facebook. I am using the word "Intentional" as my guide. So, I will be replacing my "Snapshots of the Week" posts with just a few of my favorite images from the week prior and spending a bit more time writing to go along with those images. From there, the images that I think tell the best stories will be added to my 100 Stories project. You can follow 100 Stories over on Flickr, and I will continue to upload all the images from my week over there as well in case you miss seeing dozens of photos from me - I'm basically talking to my parents here haha :)

If you don't know, Flickr is an awesome storage space for photos - I upload copies of all my favorites there for safekeeping. My account tends to be a little bit of a dump zone for images, but at least I know my favorites are safe and sound there, should anything happen to a hard drive.

So, on with today's post. These stories are actually a combination of the past TWO weeks. Logan came down with a nasty tummy bug last week, so I did nothing in the way of blogging or photographing, except for one shot. Here they are.



I think we all agree that you both lucked out immensely in the grandparent department. Two sets that love you to the moon and back - and I love that we live so close to at least one set. Seeing you in the house where your Dad grew up, so comfortable and at home. It makes my heart happy. I love picturing the different generations of kids running around that house. Your dad and Dana, and now Lila and Logan.  That's one thing I really missed when I was growing up. Having extended family close by. Family parties. Going to Granny's house. I'm so glad you'll grow up near part of your tribe.


At home our mornings are pretty sleepy and slow-going . . . at least until I start rushing you to eat something and brush your teeth, and get you out the door. Copake is a different story. You wake up and immediately want to go outside. Pops has to sneak out with Riley for her walk, otherwise you want to go too, even if you are still in pajamas and there is snow on the ground. There is just something about being up in those woods that calls to you.


Being a mom has its ups and downs. Many, many ups, of course, but the downs include discipline and responsibility and enforcing the rules, blah, blah, blah. Some days I wish I could throw all those things out the window and just let you both run wild and just 100% enjoy the madness and the mischief. Nana has taught you to love an adventure. No matter how small or mundane. A trip to the library is an adventure. Shoveling snow is an adventure. Going to a new grocery store is an adventure. And sometimes, those adventures are a little more exciting . . . a trip to the beach, a visit to the marina, or a walk across a snowy field at sunset. This year I hope I can infuse a little more adventure into our everyday. A little more joy. And loosen up a little bit on some of those aspects of parenting that make me down.


Three generations gathered to play with Pops' toy trains. The ones he had as a kid. He set them all up for you in the loft in Copake and showed you how they work. How you can flip the switches to change the route, touch the trains and make them change direction. You are completely enamored with them. And I am enamored watching this very special piece of this family's legacy.

"Man down"

We came back from Copake after New Year's and the nasty stomach bug that has been flying around all fall finally took roost under our roof. You were the first victim (your dad has now succumbed as well). We went into mad care, recovery and prevention mode - sending Lila away to the grandparents for the weekend, and spraying lysol everywhere like crazy people. It broke my heart to see you so sick. Five days later you were finally on the mend, but it has thrown the beginning of the new year into chaos. I am finding it hard to see through this dark beginning to brighter days.

Francesca Russell is a documentary-style family photographer and filmmaker located in Garden City South, NY. If you'd like to see more of her recent documentary family photography, head over to her Facebook page or follow her everyday adventures on Instagram. If you are looking for a family photographer on Long Island or in the New York City area to document your family's story in photos or a film, please contact her for a session!