10th Place Award in the “Joy” category (Fall 2021). Photo by Maggie Devereux (Canada).

Behind the Photo with Maggie Devereux

10th Place Award in the “Joy” category (Fall 2021). Photo by Maggie Devereux (Canada).

What is the story behind your winning photograph?

I took this photo of my daughter while we were on vacation last summer on Nipissing Lake, in Northern Ontario, Canada. We were out for a boat ride at the end of the day, the wind was blowing through our hair and water was splashing up around us. This photo is my daughter in a nut shell. The only way that I know how to capture her magnetic personality and the joy that she exudes so effortlessly, is with a slow shutter speed and some motion blur. She is always moving and this photo captures her perfectly.

What specifically drew you to this moment?

Being on a moving boat provided a great opportunity to capture movement in the background as well as her hair blowing in the wind, but also her body was still relative to me and my camera so that provided an anchor for the photo. We also had some magical end of day summer light but I think that I would have taken this photo no matter what light was there, just to capture this moment and feeling of pure joy.

What meaning does this photo hold?

Nipissing Lake is a special place for our family. We vacation here annually with a few family friends and it’s been a place where we have watched our kids grow up and enjoy a carefree summer.

I always say that trying to slow down my daughter is like trying to stop the wind. And to be honest I don’t know that I even want to slow her down. Instead I embrace it, slow down my shutter and wait for the magic to unfold.

Why is photography important to you?

I’m so grateful to have photography, and specifically documentary photography as a way of expressing my perspective on life, which is that the good and the bad hold equal importance in our lives. One is not more ‘life’ than the other and there is beauty to be seen in all of it. To see the beauty that is right in front of us is such a gift.

Maggie Devereux is a Canadian photographer. Her photo won 10th place in the Joy category of the Fall 2021 Awards. You can find more of Maggie’s work on Instagram @maggiedevereuxphoto and on her website.

The Documentary Family Awards is an international competition in search of the insightful and meaningful ways that documentary photographers explore the interpretation of family.