• Tina Witherspoon

Documentary Families: Summer Vacation

Documenting family activities is quite possibly the furthest you can push the envelope when trying to capture candid unrehearsed moments. While on vacation with my family this summer I took advantage of the situation and caught some true moments of life in action. We rented a huge house in the Lake Tahoe area and spent days sight seeing, mornings and evenings cooking, talking and sharing stories.

When left to their own imagination, kids do the strangest things. They don't yet have the filter that adults have and act impulsively and freely at all times. I'm not around children that often, so I still find them fascinating subjects.

Although I'm no longer around children, I grew up with 5 siblings, so I've experienced the wrestling and needling that is a constant in the lives of brothers and sisters. My nephews were always entertaining - but so quick! - I had to be ready with a fast shutter speed.

This was the main living room where we all gathered after meals to plan the next activity. It's where I planted myself each evening, waiting for the money shot. Who hasn't had their face squished by a big brother in their lives? When you're young you just make up games and fill your time with curiosities and wonder. And a lot of wresting.

Sometimes, there are quiet moments, when they're learning something new, where kids start to reveal their grownup selves. And sometimes they mirror the dog's behavior. My little Brittany puppy had a great time playing with her cousins, and although she has lots of energy, I've never seen her so worn out after five days with a full house. I like to call it "immersion vacationing" where the focus is on just being together in the same place to experience the every day.


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