Erica Knecht

Family Photography | Shanghai, China

Indonesia

At Home {A Mini-Session in Kemang | Jakarta Family Photography}

families, family photography, Indonesia, lifestyle photography, mini-sessionsErica KnechtComment

I was sure this shoot was going horribly wrong. I thought, for sure, I was going to get nothing good. You see, there were these two little ones, full of life and laughter and a fair pinch of mischief, vibrating with pre-Christmas energy. And I made that silly mistake of puling out the FUN PHOTOGRAPHER card waaaaay too early. Jump on the bed, I told them. Run away, I'm a monster, I said. I got them all wound up, and I was sure it was game over.

But then look. Some magic happened. We connected. I saw them. And these images were the result. And I think, possibly, this ended up being one of my favourite sessions of the year.

So, anyway, if you want me to spend some time running your kids wild, chasing around your garden them like a monster, hoping against hope for a good picture, well, hey! Send me a note! ;) ericaknecht@gmail.com

To You and Your Kin

Indonesia, jakarta, lifestyle photographyErica KnechtComment

Twelve months ago, I was sitting in a little cafe, my computer balanced on a wobbly old table, collecting my favourite images and writing words that I hoped would come to life. I was working on this website. Twelve months ago, I hit publish, and released my dream out into the world. Twelve months ago, I was anxiously wishing that maybe, somehow a few people would hire me to make their portraits.  

 

And here we are, now, entering a new year, and I can hardly believe how this past year has unfolded.

 

I put up my website. And people started calling. I met so many gorgeous people, I got to hang out with babies, I was charmed (and challenged) by toddlers. I photographed a new life coming into this world. I was published, and this I can still hardly believe, in a real life print magazine. I took a handful of courses, gained confidence and courage. I got to travel all the way to San Fransisco to attend a workshop and meet some amazingly talented and creative photographers. I got to meet my ultimate photography crush. 

 

But the best thing of all, I think, really, if it comes down to it, is I got to meet so many lovely people. Each time I am hired to work for a new family, I’ve got a stone in my belly and worries in my mind: will I be able to do this? Will I be able to handle the kids? What about the parents? Will they like me? Will the like my work???? 

 

But then, each time, without fail, I’m let in the front door, I kneel down and greet the kids, I get a shy smile, and then it’s all over. I’m in, and we’re buds. I fall in love with each family I work with. I see the families before me, dressed in their best perfection disguises, think, well hey, you guys are sweet and maybe this is going to be okay? And then the middle kid crosses his arms and starts to pout, and the big kid chases the little one with his nurf gun, and the baby starts to cry and the mum starts to crack just a little and shoots a look at the dad, and I think, guys, I see you, I really see you now and I just love you all the more. 

 

I mean, shoot, there really are so many wonderful people in the world, and I get to see them, I mean, really see them. I get invited to their homes. I get to see how they live and how they lvoeAnd I’m sure that I have the best sort of clients, and I just can’t believe my luck. 

 

Anyway, 2015 has been pretty wonderful. Which isn’t to say that every moment has been dreamy, because certainly there’s been doubt and angst, because hello, I’m me. But overall when I look how this year has unfolded, I’m just glad. So, here’s a little roundup of some of my favourite images from 2015, all lovely families, all perfectly cracked just a little bit.

 

And guys, thanks. Really, this has been such a special experience for me. To everyone who’s hired me to see them with my camera, given me a high five, or liked a post, or even just visited this page, thanks. Really. I'm going to be running a giveaway this  month to say thank you for all the support. So. But until then, good tidings to you. All of you. Thanks.

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Where He Was Small

family photography, Indonesia, jakarta, A Farewell SessionErica KnechtComment

I'm not really one for long goodbyes, But a goodbye photoshoot? YES! Let's do it.

See this little boy here? He was about to move back home to Japan, having lived his whole life in Jakarta. His entire life has been here, everything he's ever known in these streets, but he's still too small to hold onto the memories of his first home, his first friends, his first loves. 

His parents asked me to make some photographs of their little boy's life here. They wanted to have some photos, some tangible representation of their time here. They wanted to capture his favourite places, his toys, and the streets near his house. They asked me to shoot mostly in black and white (happy to!!!) 

I love doing this kind of work. It might be one of my favourite ways to shoot a family, knowing that their days here are numbered, and nostalgia is thick, and they realize deeper than ever before, how much good there is in this place, that these truly are the golden days, and they want to hold onto it all.  

Anyway, here's a little from this session, if you'd like to see.

And if you'd like to make some photographs like this, send me a note. ericaknecht@gmail.com

In The Field

Travel Photography, Indonesia, DevelopmentErica KnechtComment

A while and a half ago, I had the privilege of going on an amazing trip into rural West Java to make some photographs for Java Mountain Coffee.

The kids and I traveled to Garut, which is a couple hours part Bandung, to visit some coffee fields and get to know the women who harvest the cherries that are turned into our morning cups of coffee.

It was an incredible experience, for a number of reasons. I mean, how lucky is it that I can travel on a work trip and take my kids along with me? How fortunate that I get to see so many corners of this beautiful country and share with my children the experience of escaping to the lush green countryside, away from branded handbags, shopping malls, and incessant traffic? 

How amazing that I get to see vistas so beautiful that they almost break my heart? 

Meeting the women who harvest coffee cherries for a living was also totally eye-opening. These women (and here it's always women who harvest while men stand to the side, oversee the work, and collecting the profits) they work in the fields from just after dawn until about noon. They pick kilo after kilo of ripe red cherries, broken gloves offering a modicum of protection to their hands against stings and insects. They carry heavy loads on their backs using batik slings to balance the weight. They climb into trees and harvest cherries. They work and work and  work and are paid about three dollars per day. The harvest is seasonal and when it's done, so is the work and the money.

Anyway, it was incredible this trip. What a privilege to work with companies committed to trading fairly and helping hardworking women to make a fair wage.

Here are some pictures if you'd like to see. 

I'm always, ALWASY up for interesting projects in rural Indonesia. If you or anyone you know is working on a development project and want to make some pictures of your work, get in touch. I'd love to collaborate. 

coffee plantation_garut_jakarta photographer.jpg