Honest Love Project
My name is Sandy Tam and I have been photographing people for the past 6 years. While my primary focus has always been couples who are in love, engaged and getting married, the arrival of my baby girl Blythe has inspired me to explore the love that extends beyond the husband and wife. The love that exists amongst family members - between parents and their child, between siblings, between parents-to-be and their little bump. I call this The Honest Love Project.
The premise behind The Honest Love Project is to capture moments in life that may seem so ordinary at times, yet are the ones that make the best memories. By hosting it in a studio setting, we remove families from the comfort of their own homes where they do not have that favourite chair or that familiar blanket to hide behind. All they have is themselves and each other. They are exploring and experiencing a new environment together. And as they get comfortable with their surroundings, we slowly watch the family dynamics unfold in its purest form. Their focus becomes on each other rather than what they are surrounded by. How they bond, how they interact, how they tolerate each other all surfaces. Those are the moments that makes imagery interesting to me and is the basis of The Honest Love Project.
The Honest Love Project studio is located in Toronto ON. We host photo sessions for expecting families, families with newborns, toddlers and pets, and even grandparents who would like to be part of the experience.
This is a story about a little girl named Emma and her three little monkeys. As you might have guessed, her favourite song is & “Five Little Monkeys Jumping on the Bed” with its lyrics slightly altered to say “jumping up and down” because she wasn't allowed to jump on the bed at home. And instead of five monkeys, it was four - the three little monkeys plus Emma. At the end of the song after all three monkeys have jumped off the bed, Emma is the last remaining monkey jumping and then, plop she goes down on the bed. She loves the song so much she can sing it all day long. It was such a treat to photograph and we managed to capture it on video too!
Emma and her parents, Ronald and Jennifer, were invited to our studio as part of The Honest Love Project. We were also very excited to have Lisa Wu (Stylist and Owner of Wulala Weddings to offer her creative vision for styling our space.
Word from Lisa Wu:
To bring these precious moments to life organically, I set out to create a space that was simple yet comfortable, polished yet understated. I wanted the family to feel relaxed and free to be silly and playful with their loved ones. I drew inspiration from the look and feel of a Parisian apartment with a contemporary take. Using a neutral colour palette of natural beige, white, black and copper, it would be the family and their chemistry that shined through in every photograph.
Comfort pieces, such as the couch and duvet, were brought in from my personal collection. Beautiful decor and accessories were provided by House of Proper. Together, we created two complementary settings in the studio: a bedroom setting and a living room setting.
In the bedroom set, we incorporated an all-white duvet along with accompanying white linen. We brought in some bright yellow cushions to add a splash of colour. The space was transformed into a fresh and playful area where Emma was allowed to explore her boundaries. Of course, no bedroom is complete without a resting chair - pictured here is a modern; chair that perfectly complements the detailing in the gold picture frames.
In the living room set, we used an all-white love seat that rested on top of a shaggy copper rug. Dotted along the wall, we had varying heights of black lined frames with several antique drawings on the console. On either side of the sofa, the space was framed by a structured white lamp with ornate gold detailing on one side and a solid black objet d'art under a large clear dome on the other. Several throw pillows in neutral tones with varying motifs and textures were added to bring together the soft and understated feel of a chic and modern Parisian room.