What is Documentary Family Photography?

What is Documentary Family Photography?

Documentary Family Photography is photojournalism for families. No matching clothes, no awkward poses, no fake smiles, no mom's and dad's yelling at kids to give fake smiles. :)

Documentary Family Photography is visual story-telling. Telling the story of your real life. Helping you to remember what your life is actually like. How your kid really laughs, (or pouts). How your husband holds your baby up in the air and gets deep belly laughs from the baby. How your child strokes and snuggles with your hair when you sit together to read a book. All of the stuff that you do every. single. day, but no one is there to take pictures of. Times where you wish you could get a photo of the whole family sitting on the floor laughing at a board game- but obviously the fly on the wall doesn't have a camera! 


What happens during a Documentary Session?

I come to your house, or a familiar and special place for your family. What if you still want the traditional old-fashioned family photos? During the first 10-15 minutes of your session, we will take a few loosely posed pictures of your family. The rest of the session time will be documenting your real life. I'll get up close and personal with your and your family, and I'll blend in like I'm an old friend of the family. I'll respect your boundaries, but still capture intimate, and quiet moments. 


At home, we don't really DO anything. Will the session be boring?

I guarantee you do more at home than you think you do! Do you ever sit at home with your kids and think about how bored you are? Probably not! And if you do, maybe we need to trade houses! ;) The most ordinary moments create the best pictures. Reading books, cooking dinner, paying barbies or monster trucks are all great family moments that you probably do every day, but never think of them as anything special. They are special though. Each ordinary moment in your child's life sets them up for the days and years ahead. What you think as ordinary, they think as special. Outdoor activities are great also. Riding bikes, catching butterflies, planting a garden and playing on the swing-set are all great things for families to do together. When we schedule your session we can talk about activities for your family, and I can throw out other ideas if you are still feeling stuck. We also don't have to "plan" anything. I can just come to your house and see where the session takes us. 


What will I do with all of these candid images?

My goal for this type of session is for you to have an album with all of your images. I picture each album having the date or year on the spine, sitting on your bookshelf in chronological order. Once or twice a year you will contact me for a session, and each session will end up on your bookshelf for years to come. Of course, you can pick a few of your favorites to put on your wall- but my main goal is to have a tangible memory of that day. It will be so fun to see what you were doing in April 2018 vs what you did in April 2019. Kids grow fast, but these memories will last. 


I don't know any other photographer who does documentary sessions like this. Why do you love this type of session?

I love this kind of session because the WHOLE family is in the pictures. It's not just mom with the kids, or dad with the kids. It's the whole family interacting with eachother. The whole family together, just like the spend their days. It's awesome to remember your whole family in matching outfits, smiling at the camera. But it's even more awesome to see how your three rowdy kids eat their pancakes together in the morning. How you breathe in the smell of your new baby while you snuggle on the couch. How your husband plants a little kiss on your neck and you think no ones watching. Those small, little moments would be overlooked. Completely missed. Never documented. Not remembered. But you want to remember them. You want to remember the summer your kid learned how to ride a bike. The dirt on your kids faces when they explore in the woods. The way your children look at you when you bring a big glass of water outside to them on a hot summer day. 

The days are long, but the years are short. Don't blink.