The documentary style
There is something refreshingly different about documentary family photography. Once you experience it, it may be difficult to go back.
After you reach out to me and decide to book, I will start getting to know your family. This is a crucial step, because it allows me to capture your family in an intimate way. I will send over a questionnaire asking about each family member and how you usually spend your days together. I'll follow up with any other questions I have as I continue to get to know you before our session together. A Facebook friend invite helps too (so I can stalk your family...in the best way possible, of course).
On the day of the shoot, there is no need to prep your house or kids or schedule out the block of time. You can prepare the house like you would for a guest or leave it as is! The point of this session is to freeze your life in this time and season. In 10-20 years, you'll be glad the toys are out in the kids' room so you can remember the mess you cleaned three times a day. You'll remember that the dishes didn't get touched until the kids were in bed. Likewise, I ask you not to dress in a special way and DEFINITELY NOT matching (unless you dress everyone matching every day, then that's cool and unique and I would welcome that fun characteristic). You can have the kids dress themselves. You can stay in your leggings and t-shirt. I actually love getting there right as the kids wake up so I get pajama time and morning routines. Imagine an awesome shot of you pulling the brush through your daughter's curls in the bathroom. Please realize, this shoot is not about you looking crappy, please don't feel that way. I just want you comfortable and dressed like a normal day, whatever that looks like for you. When you are comfortable, your beauty will shine through. I will be aware of angles while I'm shooting, but I will keep the photos that tell a story whether everyone looks flattering or not.
Like I mentioned earlier, you don't need to plan and schedule out this block of time either! If your oldest has a t-ball game during the time frame, I'll come along and cheer him on! If you usually do chores or go visit the grandparents, let's do that! I like to ride in the family car on excursions if there's room. Lots of fun stuff happens in the car.
When I walk in the door, I'll talk to the kids and gain their trust before, or as I start shooting. I get along with kids really easily. It's one of my favorite parts, to see their personalities, interests, quirks and smile. I try to see them with your mom and dad goggles on so I can capture what you love most about them too!
I'll try to integrate myself into the family for the time I'm with you. (No need to worry about a meal though; I run on protein bars.)
I won't suggest activities or move toys out of the way or position anyone. I act like a photojournalist when photographing. I objectively capture what is going on. No judgement here (I'm a parent too). Please feel free to parent using the full spectrum. Yelling, disciplining, comforting, and teaching.
Many people feel that they are too boring for a shoot like this. No family is boring, believe me. I do ask that screen time be kept to a minimum. Though it can be fun to shoot.
Sometimes I will be alone with the kids and they may get into trouble. I won't stop them and interfere unless their life is threatened. If they are running out into the street, I'll grab them. If they pour a whole carton of orange juice on the dog, I'll just keep shooting. Naughtiness is one of my favorite things to capture. It's so typical childhood.
Speaking of dogs, pets are totally included in this shoot! They are part of the family. I love seeing the relationship kids have with their animals.
While I'm there, I'm focusing on relationships and emotions and photographing those. I'm focusing on details that won't be around forever. I'm focusing on beautiful light to make the ordinary seem extraordinary.
Once our time ends, I'll head home and get the photos on my computer to start editing and toning them. I stay true to life and don't edit out stray hairs, distracting toys, or slim anyone. I edit them like real life, just a little better. The photos in the session examples are how yours will look. I will include some black and white photos and some color.
I'll post a sneak peek on my Instagram feed and my Facebook business page within a day. My turnaround time is super fast and you'll get the photos back in 2 weeks. I sort through the files and choose the best ones, so expect around 60 (less if we are only with each other for a shorter session).
They will be available via digital download at your own home or you can come to my home for a slideshow reveal set to music and see and hold the products that I offer.
Some of my sessions include a product credit to order a tangible version of your photos. It is so important to me that my artwork doesn't get forgotten in your hard drive. I want to see the photos of your kids blown up on your walls in a beautiful matted frame. I want to see proof photos in a keepsake box that you pull out and thumb through on Sunday afternoons. I want to see them in a beautiful story book or album on your coffee table. You won't look at them much if they are just on your computer.
Then later, invite me along while you go get ice cream or while taking the kids to the grocery store. Let me capture how hilariously chaotic that can all be. This is why I offer Slice of Life sessions, for these quick fun family outings.
If you're ready to reach out, contact me below!