July 31, 2017

DOT TO DOT | July

For those of you who know me or follow my work, you know that I’m dedicated to preserving my family’s history.  I started a personal project called “Stories of Family” back in September 2016, pairing a photograph with words of my family.  This spring I took a beautiful workshop with the thoughtful, generous, and awe-inspiring Heather Robinson called “The Family Historian.”  (Side note: for anyone interested in learning how to thoughtfully document your family, I highly recommend Heather’s course!).  This is my second month joining the collective.  I’m so grateful to be a part of this community.


“You were the first, rescued from the small-town streets when I was barely two weeks into my first year teaching middle school in rural Mississippi. That first night I scratched the back of your neck and you tucked your head into my body as we sat on the kitchen floor. Despite your general disdain for most people, ever after you were fiercely protective of me. You have always been my dog. All my roommates despised you; likely it was your piercing bark whenever they entered my presence that did them in. Of course, you never cared. But you took to Brian right away, chasing him up and down the halls of my small Madison apartment building – your game with him. Even if I didn’t know he was a keeper, you did. But the boys. You never knew what to think, always giving them a wide berth. Mostly indifferent, although occasionally incredulous that you now vied for my attention.

“Today we said goodbye; to the dog who would follow in my wake nosing the back of my knees until I relented and filled her dish; to the feisty pup that chewed through the gearshift of my car and had our 90-pound beast of a puppy bowed to her will within minutes; to the one who would bark indiscriminately at everyone, spit-shine our floors after every meal, and couldn’t walk 10 feet without stopping to sniff. When I miss you, I’m going to close my eyes and dream of you flying through the air chasing a soccer ball through my Mississippi backyard. And remember you. Always.”

Click here to see the rest of this month’s collective!


Sylvie Grahan is a documentary family photographer located in the Twin Cities, Minnesota.  Her passion is documenting real life and the little things — because she believes that one day they will be the most important things.  She lives with her family in Minneapolis: a husband who becomes twitchy without a daily run, a four year old who prefers to speak at ear-shattering volumes, an 18 month old often chants “I do I do I do,” and two lab mixes whose favorite pastime is equally split between cleaning up the floors after dinner and barking at the mailman.  Follow her on Instagram @sylviegrahan to see more of her recent work.  If you’re looking for a photographer in Minnesota to document your family’s story, please contact her for a session!

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