What do you do?

When I am meeting someone for the first time and the question is posed, “What do you do?” I say that I’m a Documentary Family Photographer. Which usually leads to a conversation about how that is different than other family photographers. I’ve had other posts on this, but here’s a brief recap why I chose to capture families with a true photojournalistic style:

  • Children are messy, naturally funny, a little quirky, smaller versions of the adults they will grow to be in character, and above all they feel free to be the truest versions of themselves. Why should we take all those wonderful qualities and put them in matching outfits (unless they want to be) and force them to smile at a camera if they don’t feel like smiling just to say we have captured them in a portrait?
  • Things change so quickly for families- individual personalities, relationships with each family member, physical bodies grow and develop, and even living arrangements. Our childhood becomes brief clips of memories fortified by pictures and videos our parents saved for us. Mom might be the one hiring me to make pictures of the family, but I know that these images will not only be for her, but for her children, and their children, and so on.
  • Going further into the last point, these images don’t just stop time at the moment they are made, they tell a story- a very personal one that cannot be recreated by someone who has pinned it to their board.

That sounds great, but…..

Usually after I finish with that, I hear something along the lines of, “That sounds so wonderful to have, but we aren’t that interesting.” To that, I call BS. What you are saying is that the (mostly staged) lifestyle pictures that have flooded your feed have clouded your vision of what is a photo-worthy moment. I have two real life session options- one that covers the four hours around the morning or evening routines or the full day session. True, you’re not going to get an image for every second I spend with you, but I promise to capture those beautiful little moments of your everyday reality that is the very essence of your family and do it in a way where the mess of life isn’t a distraction but a necessary part of the story. You see, a very important part of my process to make a picture is composing an image in a way where what needs to be there is there, and I adjust my perspective to eliminate what doesn’t.

I know a lot of people who have put off getting pictures done because they want to lose a few pounds first or fear having an in-home session because of how their house looks, but I can assure you that your kids do not care at all. That when they grow up, they will appreciate having you with them in their pictures and in the home that they vaguely remember.  Life doesn’t stop and wait for the perfect picture to be made, the perfect pictures happen because life is happening.

Example of the extraordinary in the ordinary day

Below is a highlight slideshow of an amazing mom and her son going through a typical after-school/evening routine. It captures their life together right now, five years after her husband and his father unexpectedly passed away. To me, it shows expressions of love in her service of making dinner and how he helps with cleaning up. The images prove that quality time happens in small increments as well as in larger outings. Life is beautiful. Your everyday normal is something to treasure. If you would like to inquire about the truly authentic, very real, day-in-the-life sessions, please fill out the contact form.