History. Eyes. You.

March 26, 2019

So I just totally monologued, a whole bunch of prolific stuff about storytelling and like the backstory of my life…

black and white image fort worth documentary parenting and family photography blogger

and I didn’t hit the record button.

See that’s the irony of trying to do things yourself and not knowing how to do it.

Yeah…Yeah that’s right, That is right folks.


You got to roll with it.

See I was up here all kinds of afraid that I was gonna say the wrong thing and I was and get off on a tangent, (which I did) and I talked about how I got into storytelling.

Maybe it recorded some of it. I don’t know, maybe it did, I don’t know

No Lone Star of any kind

If it wasn’t for Texas, I wouldn’t have forced myself to learn how to become a better writer, specifically a comedic writer. A humorist, a joke teller, a standup comic of sorts .

If it wasn’t for Fort Worth, I wouldn’t have forced myself back into college level English classes to pretend I was a not ready for prime-time television show sketch writer.

It doesn’t matter if there’s no Austin city limit sign but what I can say is if it wasn’t for Texas, is I probably wouldn’t be sharing this story in the fashion that I am today.

If others can learn from what I’ve chosen to share about my personal experiences in dealing with anxiety, fears and worry of being yourself not only in life but in family pictures too, stay dialed in for the story launching below.

But before we get started, i’m curious, has anyone found it particularly challenging to create a clear conscience story about their family with pictures in an era of social media?

Don’t everyone jump in and comment just yet

Because for me one thing I’ve always said to all my kids is lying is the worst thing that they could do.

It may suck, you made a choice and the choice is wrong.

That’s kind of like my motto:

Just Don’t Lie.

When it comes to creating original works of art…learn from past mistakes, don’t lie and don’t make the same mistakes again.

black and white picture fort worth texas documentary family portrait photographer blogger


Period end of story.

The b.s. is the brand story

So the last seven years has been really really hard and tumultuous and the only way I know how to tell stories is to poke fun of the dark shit, the dark b.s.

We’re all a brand. We’re all a product. We’re all trying to put ourselves out there. We’re all trying to be something for someone, an inspiration for someone.

Some are better inspirations than others but we’re all trying to do something like that and so, we are a brand in ourselves.

People talk about a personal brand and so when I think about documenting stories, you have to be able to document what's true.

And what’s true is some of the darkest shit you’ll ever face.

storytelling is joke telling

In a way to explore how to tell my story and respect the journey people might be on in my house. You have to find the balance between it.

So in order for me to be a good storyteller, I had to understand the anatomy of a joke.

bw photo fort worth texas parenting and family photography vlogger

Because I’m okay poking fun at myself and if you laugh then I’ve done my job.

Am I being truthful about things that have happened in my life?

Absolutely.

Everyday “Professional” Realness

It’s fantastic.

In order to figure out a way to explain, why I do what I do, why I’m obsessed with storytelling or how to tell a story but to tell it as truthfully as I can, I had to poke fun at myself.

I suppose the easiest thing for me to do is to poke fun of myself.

It’s always been something that’s been easy for me. It’s how I handle my inner angst. It’s how I outsmart being fearful in situations.


Everything is not a picture perfect moment.

Because look parents, it is hard to raise kids with social media these days. It is hard to be yourself when everyone seems better than you and I want to help people learn how to outsmart their inner angst, which is what I’ve been doing since I was 10 years old.

Self-deprecating humor is not for everyone but it is definitely a skill to help you learn how to deal with the reality of what’s going on online.

Our memories are sandwiched between fear, a fear sandwich.

The memory is right here.

The memory is the middle finger.

Fear comes in…worry…anxiety…like…what am I going to do?…

  • How am I going to act?
  • How am I going to respond?
  • What am I going to say?
  • What do I do?


Exposing the deep dark side

But you know I asked my kids this is how I dress when I dropped them off I decided to do a mocumentary because I want to respect the privacy of my kids stories but I know I can’t hide behind a keyboard.

I can’t tell people “be yourselves in pictures” when I don’t feel comfortable exposing the deep dark side of my story and the only way that I know to do that is to poke fun at myself.

Making fun of myself has always been a way for me to cope with situations that are super uncomfortable. I can sniff out when anybody else is anxious, like a dog. I can sense other people’s fear and want to squash it for them before I will squash it for myself.

That is the nature of my internal clock.

I can sense that other people are uncomfortable and I don’t want them to feel uncomfortable, like I just don’t.

I learned very early that when people are uncomfortable and fearful the easiest thing to help them heal is to make them laugh.

That’s kind of the lesson that I learned in observing how my mom dealt with trauma and bad situations and things like that.


The Room Where It Happens…

Brand + story = b.s. aka our back story

When I was 10 my dad had a stroke and a seizure at the same time. The day that my mom had to go to the hospital or whatever. That day, is forever imprinted in my brain.

Actually I wasn’t even concerned with the fact that he was in the hospital. I mean that’s what happens when you’re 10 years old. Like you give zero fucks about anything and everything that doesn’t revolve around what you’re interested in.

He was supposed to take me to the circus that day.

All I remember is I was wearing a yellow dress and waiting at our back door and he didn’t show up. And I was like,

Sooo when is dad going to take us to the circus?’

Like that’s really all I cared about.

I don’t remember every little detail but obviously I had to go to the hospital and to this day I hate the smell of hospitals. I can’t stand them. I go in there and I want to leave. I want to leave so bad. I want to leave so bad.

But that’s the reality of my life when I was 10, it was bullshit. Because my dad couldn’t walk after the first stroke, he was able to walk a little bit and then he had another one. Then he was bedridden for like my entire rest of my childhood (and life really).

So he watched me grow up, from a hospital bed in our dining room.

So when I was in high school, I would poke fun of the fact that my dad was handicapped. A lot of people would tell me it was politically incorrect or “Oh Marcia, you know that you know that’s horrible, don’t make fun of your dad like that!”

Actually no my dad used to say to me, because I would love to get into his wheelchair and roll around the house. I would get in the wheelchair and roll from his room into the kitchen.

And my dad used to say “Don’t poke fun of people in a wheelchair because you might end up there one day.”

Whatever dad.

I would roll my eyes and continue on and be the angsty pre-teen, tween and then the teenage years…when like there was REALLY no control over… Wow.

I mean having raised a teenager and embarking on that journey again, it is NOT fun.

Like it’s not fun but it is what it is.

So here i am…
launching a mocumentary…
of my life, on family photography and on storytelling?

to help people when they stand in front of a camera and to be able to outsmart their inner angst, that worry and that perfectionism.

Learn how to the inner angst, the fear the anxiety…like that’s what my stories are all about.

I gotta learn how to teach my kids how to learn to laugh with the good and the bad. The painfully funny obvious things that like we miss.

How did we get from point A, to point B to point C? Maybe we got to go back to point A and start again.

So we have to become better truth tellers or joke tellers.
Because when you can laugh at the joke, when you get the joke and you’re like, “Ahhhh hahhh” that means you’ve gone from point A to Point B to point C.

Trying to do the right thing, that’s the top of the sandwich. The middle is the memory. The bottom of the sandwich is…now you’ve done it, you’ve made the choice, did I make the right choice? Did I do the right thing? Did I say the right thing? Did I look the right way?

However you want to spin it, a memory, a true memory, a real memory is sandwiched in fear… look it up.
It may not be said exactly like that but you got to go into the dark crap, you got to go into the dark deep B.S. and come out transformed that is the basis of storytelling, like since forever ago.

So here we are.

Why a mocumentary friends?

I had to remove all obstacles I’d put up for myself in thinking I was not smart enough to turn what for some people is very dark and hard to deal with into a joke.

‘Cause you got to laugh at yourself. Otherwise you die crying.

Marcia Stuhler

A Curious Mind & Family Photojournalist at Love is Love Photography
Imperfect Parent ????????| Family Photojournalist | Psychology Junkie.
Photographing family life in all its real, bright, singular, and striking moments.

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