what is your past experience with family photos?
First, let me ask, when you hear family photoshoot what comes to mind? It might involve matching outfits, standing in a posed group with big smiles, the photographer instructing “okay, now put your hand on dad’s elbow & tilt your head down just a bit,” stressing out all morning about hair & makeup, and in the end a canvas up above your fireplace or on the living room wall. Maybe instead it brings to mind something a little more organic…maybe everyone sitting on a blanket in the park looking at each other and laughing, wearing carefully coordinated outfits you planned and shopped for 2 weeks ago. Probably you remember how stressed everyone was…grumpy dad/husband asking again why you have to do this, both of you begging sweet baby girl to stop crying and PLEASE just look at the camera and give one. more. smile.
Have you had only great experiences or does any of this sound familiar? Often these traditional family photo shoots are stressful & sooo much work, but in the end you get some nice photos to display on the wall for a year or so until you realize the kids have grown so much they look nothing like those old photos and you work up the gumption to do the whole thing over again.
What if family photos don’t have to be that way?
why documentary family photography?
This is one of the MANY reasons families are beginning to choose documentary family photography (A.K.A. family photojournalism…sometimes referred to as lifestyle family photography). Instead of trying to take your family & force photos that conform to a certain expectation, I photograph families as they are with all their glorious uniqueness. Instead of getting photos that hang on the wall for a while as a placeholder until the next year, you get photos that transcend time & can take you back to the moment they were captured.
In particular, I aim to photograph not only your family as it is now, but also your environment at this time in your life. When you move, will you always be able to remember the details of where you live now? The walk to your child’s school? The park you frequent? Your favorite spots in town? And more importantly, will you remember what life feels like now?
what to expect during a session?
Sessions are very catered to each family. Because I really seek to document YOUR life, YOU get to choose how you want your session to go & what you want to document! We can document a lazy Saturday morning filled with snuggles in bed, coffee, a pancake breakfast, playing in the garden. We can document an outing like a trip to the Abbey Gardens or Wednesday Market. We can document quiet moments with your newborn at home, like snuggling on the couch, bathtime in the kitchen sink, pre-nap rituals (and loud moments, like when your three year old goes crashing into baby’s room wanting to play trucks with his tiny baby brother). You & I will work together to loosely plan a session that you feel best represents your family.
And when the time for the session comes, you will wear what you wear on a daily basis or whatever you are comfortable in (your son doesn’t want to take his cape off or your daughter won’t put down her ratty over-loved stuffed rabbit or your husband doesn’t want to wear a button up shirt, no problem). And I will come document everything. I won’t direct anyone or tell you what to do. Instead you simply do what you do (no posing, no acting) & I will do all the work to make photos that are beautiful representations of your real life right now.
what sort of photos can I expect from a documentary family session?
Well, for a quick look at some examples of my past work, check out my portfolio.
But you can expect to get some portrait-style photos (the sort of thing I would hang on my wall), like these:
And you can expect that you will also get some storytelling photos (these are often the ones that hold even more value looking back from a few years down the road), like these:
And you will probably also get some that are somewhere in between, like these:
choosing what is right for you
Now, I completely understand that some families prefer traditional family photos and that is 100% acceptable. No photography style is better than another! It all comes down to what is right for your family…what experience you want to have and what kind of images you are looking for.
If you are certain documentary family photography is not for you, I am not the photographer you want (although if you’d like, I can refer you to another great photographer for more a more traditional session…let me know). But if you are interested in finding out more about what I offer, please get in touch! You can use my contact form to send me a message, or just put your email below & I will reach out to you!