“I remember when she was all cheeks and thighs / when he had to carry his old blankie everywhere / how he would pretend he was sleeping so I’d have to carry him out of the car / how she would laugh and light up the room…”
A glimpse in the life of your family
Documentary family photography
is a “day in the life” type of shoot that is a modern alternative to the family portrait.
It is undirected & unposed—think National Geographic vs. reality TV— this means you get photos that are organic, honest, and tell your real story, the real deal, with all the feels. You don’t have to go buy new clothes or put up pretend decorations (not reality TV, remember?) and bribe your children to smile. This is a different kind of photo session, one in which every image you’ll see in your gallery is not only a moment in time but a piece of the story that tells how you lived and loved today. Your very own visual time capsule of a slice of life: sibling rivalries, sports practice, dance classes, toddler tantrums, heart-bursting hugs.
Family documentary photography is all about authenticity - no manufactured moments or forced smiles.
With a photojournalistic approach to your traditional family session, you remember how you felt over what you looked like (no Pinterest pressure!). You will remember how you felt (the exasperation, the relief, the joy, the expectancy) and those moments of loving your kids so fiercely you feel your heart is going to burst.
When you see your photos, I want you to feel all the pride and joy (and general relief!) welling up when you see how your kids grow, reveling in all that is good about them and all that they can become. The image gallery you’ll receive from your photo shoot is a library of your memories to pull from and hold close.
Want to include the extended family?
Your family’s history and traditions
A family legacy session is perfect for when the family is all together, whether it be cooking a traditional feast, a big reunion, visiting your ancestral village or enjoying each other and the little things in the everyday.
Recent Family Photo Sessions
1. Choose Your Services
Your session fee secures your booking and includes pre-session consultation/planning; documentation of rituals/rhythms in your home or at a place that represents “home;” time for 1-2 playfully posed family portraits; a curated gallery of artistic, professionally processed images revealed to you in a gallery for ordering only what you truly love. Digital negatives and print products are not included in the session fees (more info on the “Collections” page of the Client Guide).
Half Day Session | 4 hours | $400
Slice of Life | 2 hours | $200
2. Choose Your Collection
Choose your collection after viewing your gallery - you get to choose what you need and love. Three collections have been thoughtfully arranged to suit different needs and budgets.
DIGITAL IMAGE COLLECTIONS BEGIN AT $500
Family films +$800 to the session fee
This is not your typical home video.
This is life in motion.
A film adds an additional dimension to all the layers of memories. It allows you to time travel to when your babies were still babies, memorialize little quirks, and remember all of your loved ones and their legacies in the personal history of your own family.
Films are 2-3 minutes in length set to licensed music, delivered on a custom USB drive and hosted online forever. This is an optional add-on to the photo session fee.
+ We're kind of boring. What would you photograph?
My favorite part of family sessions is holding up a mirror to the family's life to show them how special it actually is. The session doesn't need to be about doing specific activities; this documentary shoot is meant to highlight the connections and interactions between family members and the daily routines are simply vessels for these natural moments to occur and to tell the true story of the family at this particular moment in their lives. Know that a documentary photo session doesn't have to be an action movie! You know those moments that you glance over from the kitchen at the kids playing and feel that all is right in the world? Or when you just prevailed over a massive toddler tantrum and feel like you deserve a badge of honor? Or when you catch a whiff of your baby's milky sleepy breath and breathe in deep? We all know these everyday moments, and none of them are boring. They're all little pieces that will go into your family's visual time capsule.
+ My house is too messy! There's no way I'll be able to Konmari before a photo session.
HA! My house is too messy too! I cleaned up like crazy when I had my own family documented and realized that my kid was really into helping me sweep and vacuum & I didn't get any photos of him actually cleaning up. Leave your house in whatever state it’s in! Remember that the session is about the moments/interactions between your family, and not an interior design shoot :) Have you ever heard of scruffy hospitality? You can just pretend that your sister or best friend is coming over. No need to dust or do all the dishes, but you might wanna throw out the poopy diapers ;)
+ Does the photo session have to happen in our house?
Yes and not necessarily… your session should occur in a place that is particularly meaningful to your family. Home is usually where the heart and soul of the family are, but I have followed families everywhere from sports practice, orchestra rehearsal, grocery run, beach playgrounds, on a hike, in the pool, etc etc.
+ I/my husband/my kids hate having photos taken. Are you just going to stare at us? Will this be awkward?
So if you've had a chance to read through my Google reviews, the main theme is that most of my clients have said that I put them at ease or make them feel at home (I should hope so! I was literally in their houses!). I’ll be alternating between being a photo ninja (I will be following you with a camera as inconspicuously as possible, and be in funny positions like laying on the floor or standing on chairs) and a friend with a camera, hanging out with you, chatting, or resting in social silence while you carry on with your day as usual.
+ I still haven't lost the baby weight.. I should wait, shouldn't I?
I haven’t lost my baby weight either… can we be friends that don’t look at each others’ waistlines? You have friends like that I hope! But in all honestly… 6 months is nearly half of baby’s life during that first year, and I know she is doing things right now that are making you laugh and cry and need to be remembered before she no longer does them any more. Hold fast to the idea that you deserve to be in your family’s photos rather than always the one behind the camera or the phone. (This is the speech I had to tell myself when I was in the thick of postpartum hair loss and of course had to be in family photos!)
+ What if my kids don’t behave?
Rubs hands gleefully then you will have AMAZING photos to use for blackmail later, ahem... I mean you will look like an utter champ. Or, know that documentary sessions are long enough that kids will usually come around! At this point, I’ve photographed almost 300 families and I have seen it all. You aren’t the only one who will have a kid have a public outburst, and I will be the absolute LAST person to judge you (as I photograph it all for posterity, of course). Relax! Children tend to follow their parents' lead and if you feel stressed or nervous they may feel a lot of pressure. There is absolutely no need to tell the kids to smile or to look at the camera (and even during the portrait portion, please leave that up to me! I can't tell you how many times I have photos of the kids smiling and parents' mouths moving because they are worried about the kids' behavior).
+ Can we get a photo where everyone is looking at the camera and smiling?
Yes! Don’t worry - I will make sure you get a couple of portraits either at the very beginning or sometime in the middle of the session when everyone is good and comfortable.