This year we've re-launched our personal, 365 project on Instagram (#kidsinlight).
This is really important for us but we've never explained and talked about it for you.
We had a mindful conversation with Ivett, who is one of our best friends.
Ivett - as someone, who loves and understands us - was curious and she had a really open-hearted and honest viewpoint in our conversation.
Thank you Ivett, for the lovely time, and for the tickling in our mind :)
Guys, please enjoy the interview, and feel free to ask anything, and follow the project on www.instagram.com/kidsinlight
Szandra and Gabor
What is the 365 project? How did you come across it and what got your attention about it?
I have come across it about one a half years ago.
We found it through a mostly Canadian photographer community that we love.
This community is formed by photographers who (like us) work in documentary style.
I also remember that Ashley Marston’s photos (multi award-winning birth- and lifestyle photographer) were the first ones that I was looking forward to seeing every single day on Facebook.
Szaffi was only a few months old.
Everydays were running away with us and this project pointed out that it is possible to find a moment worth capturing in each and every day.
This was so inspiring for us. At the time, I only thought: I wish we could be such good photographers to dare to start a challenge like this.
The project itself means only as much as its name: 365 days, one photo each day.
The subject of the pictures, if they are connected or not, it is all up to the artist.
When did you decide to start your own 365 project and what moment did you start working on it?
When I looked at Ashley’s photos I thought that it will take us many-many years to be good enough to start something like this.
Then we were in Hungary on the 1st January and the sun was shining so beautifully.
I run down the stairs and said to Gabor: I have a plan for the year :)
We took the first photo on the very same day for the project.
In 2017 we only managed to do it for 78 days.
We felt sorry about running out of energy.
We took loads of pictures, but we did not have the time to edit them each day then to upload them while doing our job and having a family to look after.
So, we didn’t fight for it.
However, in December we both felt that we will start it over again this year – this time for ourselves.
It was interesting to experience our change of approach.
There was another thing that held us back last year. We have seen so many incredibly creative, amazing, artistic 365 project that we felt we were nothing compared to them.
And this did not help to push ourselves through the harder times. We have been paralysed by wanting to come up to the mark.
This year we said, we will not compare ourselves to others.
With this decision, we saw an instant improvement after last year’s photos and that gave us fresh energy. Not to mention that we are capturing important moments, thoughts, little stories for Szaffi and ourselves for a lifetime.
I think looking at it this way was a total game changer.
I agree, that is a huge turn. What does this project give you right now? It is not only the pretty and shiny moments that you post in the 365 days, but the harder days, raw emotions, too. It honestly shows how real life is not made of only the “perfect Insta-photos”. How do you choose what moment of the day to capture, to keep forever? What do you want to say with your photos to those seeing them?
Well, that is a good question!
On one hand, there is a very down-to-earth side to it. Our daughter is 2 years old.
She has literally life-threatening ideas sometimes. So even if the moment itself is funny or emotional, or happens in perfect lighting, it may not be possible to capture it. This fact opened our eyes: it takes self-discipline and creativity to make this project happen.
On the other hand, it has to do with the responsibility of visual education as photographers.
We want to show everyone that you do not need a make-up artist, a hairdresser, a stylist, a studio, posing, looong preparations, 2 hours of arguing with your children. You do not need to bribe your children with chocolate, ice-cream or whatever to have a great family photoshoot.
It is more than enough if everyone can let their guards down and just be themselves. That way you will have true, real memories to treasure for generations.
For us, storytelling means honestly telling it as it happens.
We can only do this project with all our hearts if we look at every moment with a doubled point of view.
Living it and feeling when the moment moves something in us – and as an outsider at the same second.
That is the position of the storyteller, who has the voice of a narrator, who has humour and most importantly functions as a mirror.
A mirror that is almost our self-reflection but clearer and more loving as there is no criticism and judgement in it. Those two are, most of the time, found in our self-reflection.
This non-judgemental side is the reason why we would “selfishly” do this project even if no one else was following. It gives us so much personally that it is easy to become addicted to the feeling.
We have learned that if we can be truly honest with ourselves, it can give a lot to others as well.
They recognise themselves in the everyday moments, and all the waves of self-doubt, guilt and self-hurt can calm down a bit.
Knowing that we are not alone.
Knowing that others struggle, too – maybe with the same challenges.
And seeing, it is even possible to take a photo of it, let alone showing it to the world.
It is a huge absolution.
The first 50 photos
Although we try to avoid clichés and try to think out of the box, we really do feel that the definition of this word describes our work in so many ways.
For us, the story starts when the first e-mail arrives from a couple or a family, saying they chose us to capture an important chapter of their life. Even after years we feel those butterflies in our stomachs and we are excited to get to know them better, to clear the details, to choose the location. And then finally, we meet them.
At that point something happens.
Something, that is hard to put into words - as if all of it was happening in a parallel universe.
It may be trust, it may be honesty that creates a connection, but no matter where life takes us, it surely brings us back together at some point.
This was the case with Viki and her family. We have met them for the first time when their baby, Sammy was still in his mummy's bump.
They have come to Bournemouth with their daughter, Sophie so that, as a highlight of a beautiful weekend, they can have family portraits taken.
We took a walk, talked and laughed a lot — that part wasn't hard at all as the whole family is cheerful, full of laughter and good vibes.:)
Then days and weeks passed, we were all busy with our own family lives, but we heard from each other time to time.
The next time we saw them baby Sammy was 6 weeks old.
We spent a relaxed, care-free morning at their place, in their own home. This time there was no need to get to know each other, nor to warm up to one an other, our presence was natural for them and it feels really good to work in an atmosphere like that.
Relaxed, heartfelt portraits can be taken this way, we can capture genuine moments without poses or sophisticated expressions.
This is what we hope for every time when doing a family photo session.
Because these pictures will be the ones in your family album that can recall smells, giggles, that will bring back a familiar grin, stir up real emotions in their perfectly imperfect way.
For us, this is the real genre of storytelling.
We are looking forward to your story. :)
Alexandra Szigeti and Gabor Csako
Kids in Light Photography
10 Castle Street
Beaulieu Motor Museum
Family Photo Shooting
In Home Session