4th Place Award in the “Environmental Portrait” category (Fall 2021). Photo by Emma Collins (United Kingdom).

Emma Collins

Award-winning photography by Emma Collins

I had a mid-life photography crisis! After years building a successful lifestyle business things started to feel ‘meh’ … some families brought more to the table than others, but the pretty photos taken in pretty light started blending into one ... So I went back to the drawing board, poured over my personal and client portfolios to identify what it was that made me feel excited ... I had increasingly let my sessions run very freely, but looking with new eyes I could see it was the completely unplanned shots that told the real story, that made my heart sing, made me laugh, made me cry … it was like therapy, ‘I am a documentary photographer’! Great documentary photographs can be quiet and peaceful or dynamic and exciting, but what remains constant is that my eye dances around the frame exploring the story … it has whet my appetite and I am relishing exploring this genre in a family context.

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