Documentary family photography is a form of photography that aims to capture the beauty in the little things that make up family life. Whether it’s the first day you bring your newborn baby home from the hospital, or simply an evening helping your children with their homework at the kitchen table, there are thousands of moments that can get lost forever if we don’t think to record them.
Many of us like to use our smartphones to take pictures or selfies on a day-to-day basis. However, no matter how good your phone camera is, they almost always fail to capture the beauty of what we see before us.
We all like to take family photos at important events. Weddings, birthdays, college graduations – having a visual memento of these occasions can be a wonderful way to remember your special day in the years to come. But have you ever wondered about the small everyday moments you never get to capture? What about your child’s bedtime stories, or all the nights you’ve cooked dinner with your partner? These might not be once-in-a-lifetime milestones, but all too often, it’s easy to take them for granted.
The point of documentary family photography is to capture things just as they are, not the way they could be. It finds the beauty in the mundane and helps you treasure the ordinary moments we often don’t think to commemorate ourselves. The moment your partner comes home from work; the half an hour you spend sharing the washing up; the goodnight kisses from your kids as you tuck them into bed. We don’t photograph these because they happen every day. But one day they might happen for the last time – and that’s what makes this type of photography so precious.
There’s also often a practical reason why we don’t photograph these moments ourselves. When we’re looking after our kids or carrying out domestic chores, it’s not realistic to stop what we’re doing to get the camera out. (Imagine trying to supervise your children brushing their teeth from behind a lens – it would be messy!). Documentary family photography is the perfect way to ensure you can remember the little things while putting you firmly in the frame of your own life.
Whether you choose to have a one-off session or decide to take documentary photos every year, you can guarantee that the resulting pictures will become some of your most treasured possessions.
Documentary family photography aims to capture your family life as organically as possible. As a result, it’s not like booking a photoshoot or organizing a portrait session.
Instead, you will arrange for your photographer either to come over to your house or to meet somewhere like your local beach. This means they can take photos of you and your family in an environment where you feel natural and relaxed. For some sessions, we’ll need to meet first and get to know each other, this is important, so every person feels as comfortable as possible with my presence.
The session can last anywhere from an hour or two to an entire day – it all depends on how many photos you want and which parts of the day you’d like to capture.
Also, unlike a formal photoshoot, you don’t need to worry about having an expensive makeover or putting on your best clothes beforehand. With documentary family photography, it’s generally the case that the more natural and spontaneous it feels, the more honest – and therefore precious – the photos will be.
Family life isn’t perfect. If you’re a parent to young kids or hormonal teenagers, you might end up with pictures that commemorate the moment you told your toddler ‘no’ to an extra cookie, or the face your fifteen-year-old pulls when they can’t find their phone. But remember – even these are things you might miss once your children grow up, and you’ll always be glad that you captured them.
Documentary family photography is a unique and very intimate photo experience. With sensibility and empathy, I’ll spend the morning or afternoon, sometimes the whole day, with your family, just observing and photographing. I’ll document your typical family day, those routines that make your family special and unique.
With un-staged everyday life, you’ll be able to keep candid memories that will last and tell your story to generations to come. Starting as los as $240.
Did you like what you read and saw here? Please don’t hesitate to contact me. You can book a Family Reportage session for your family or dear friend.
I shoot all across Southwestern Ontario, whether you live in London, Hamilton, Kitchener, Windsor, Sarnia, Niagara or even Toronto.