WHAT IS DOCUMENTARY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY?
Documentary family photography is about capturing your family just as you are right now. It captures your daily life and all of its beautiful moments, especially those that happen amidst the routines and challenges of raising kids.
At its heart, documentary family photography is about documenting the real, unscripted moments that make your family unique and tell the story of your family. It’s not as scary as it sounds. I promise. I spend as much time laughing with you and getting to know you as I do taking pictures of your everyday.
There’s no posing or directing during a session. I come to your home, hang out with my camera, and let things unfold naturally. We pick an ordinary day and document what you love doing together and the unique moments and rituals specific to your family – all those things you will want to remember in 20 years.
Let me start with my story.
After my first son was born, I took photographs at lighting speed trying to capture and preserve all those fleeting firsts. However, I felt like my photos were missing something. I couldn’t figure it out.
The art of family documentary photography came to me over cereal. I remember grabbing my camera one morning on a whim and taking a picture of my oldest son reading Outside magazine with my husband, Brian. This had been their tradition for months – flipping through the magazine and talking animatedly about kayaking and mountain climbing over their bowls of Cheerios, while the littlest one would sit transfixed by their antics. “Yook Papa, yook!” my oldest would exclaim excitedly, pointing to one of the pictures. It was unspeakably adorable.
A week or two after I took those photos, my son stopped reaching for Outside magazine each morning. That tiny tradition vanished as quickly as it had appeared. I am so thankful to have it documented. Without this visual record, I know it would be lost forever among the thousands of other moments in my addled-mother brain.
In that moment I realized that these were the pictures I wanted to be making – pictures that would tell our story honestly and artfully.
So I began to take pictures of our life. Our real life. The messes, the tantrums, the milestones. All of it. Things I wanted to grab hold of and remember forever. How my oldest insists on “compadee” when using the toilet so that invariably the entire family ends up packed like sardines in our tiny bathroom. The battle of wills each night when my three year old insists on sleeping on the hardwood floor by his bedroom door. The tongue out in concentration (always), the nose scrunch in laughter, and the big fat crocodile tears over the smallest things. The moments of memories. The moments of life.
I make pictures to remember. And I make pictures so my children will remember.
Now, I want to document your story, too.
THIS SOUNDS GREAT! I’LL DO THIS AS SOON AS I (INSERT EXCUSE HERE)
I get it. There are days when your house is dusted in dog hair and dishes are piled precariously in the sink. There are the days you may wonder 500 times, “Who replaced my sweet child with this tiny tyrant?” And I know the thought of someone coming into your home to take photos of your daily life is down right terrifying (because, if we’re honest, self-care always takes a back seat to all the other competing needs). I’m right there with you. Believe me, I get it.
But I promise you, when you look back on your images you won't see any of that. Instead, you'll see the connections, the love, and all the little moments that make your family so incredibly special; moments and traditions that are here today and gone tomorrow.
My advice? Don’t wait. Time certainly doesn’t. Before you know it, these moments will be gone.
Tell your story. Preserve your history for you and your children. These days can be long but this time and these moments are too precious to lose.
Contact me to set up a day in the life session for your family!
Are you still feeling nervous about getting in the frame? Read this article about the consequences of putting it off.