Documentary Family Photographer

January 5, 2020

One of the most incredible aspects of being a documentary family photographer is witnessing the honest, authentic moments that create who we are. I spend the whole day or a few hours during a family photography session watching and learning about how you interact with each other, what you focus on, and how that manifests in what you’re doing—which is a representation of who you are and what you value. My clients continually teach me about what matters not only to them, but to all of us as human beings.

When you ask me to be your documentary family photographer, you are asking me to tell your authentic story, made of seemingly tiny moments, in the images I make for you. Because I don’t stage anything, you get to really see your family. Things you perhaps never noticed, or maybe didn’t think mattered in the grand scheme, somehow become more present and have more impact.

Take the photo above. Jenn, the woman in red shoes, is giving her dogs treats when they listen to a command. How the dogs respond to her hand gesture reveals how close she is to them, and how much care she takes in their relationship. To the right of them is her husband, Nate, and their two kids, Milo and Paisley. You can tell from the photo that when Jen is busy cultivating well-behaved dogs, Nate mimics that with the kids… or vice versa, of course! There is symmetry here in what each parent is doing. It’s a meaningful photo because it illustrates the care Nate and Jen take in looking after the little ones. And it’s an interesting photo because there is a pleasing visual repetition in each group.

Documentary Family Photographer

I explained in depth the above photo because I want you to understand how I observe your day. I’ve studied photography for a long time, and have ultimately won multiple awards, to learn how to see what makes us who we are, so I can then make interesting compositions and use light to reflect that back to you. If an authentic documentary approach to family photography is what you value, please connect with me via my website. I sincerely hope I get to meet your family!

Below is the whole slideshow from their documentary family photography session. Enjoy!