You might think that the only approach to have your family photos are from these two ways: studio portraits or lifestyle outdoor/in-home family photography sessions. However, documentary family photography is another type of family photography session I offer if you are looking for something that are less posing and more relaxing.
The traditional portraits are heavily posted, look-at-camera style, and could be smiling awkwardly. Lifestyle family photography sessions are guided by photographers to bring out the authentic and real emotions within the family. It is very popular. It does a great job to preserve our memories while the kids grow so fast. Then what is a documentary family photography session? It is entirely unscripted, unposed, and undirected. Photographer will be just like a fly on the wall, observing your family and taking photos. We also call it family photojournalism.
Documentary family photography sessions normally last longer than other family photography sessions. It normally lasts 3-4 hours as a half day in the life session, or 8-12 hours as a full day in the life session. Photographers won’t direct you at all. Your photos are your real life stories. It takes more time to unfold the family dynamic and capture your family stories. Sometimes we could do a 2 hour documentary style family session. But we will need to plan things ahead. We will need to plan the activities we would do during the 2 hours.
You could incorporate your family’s favorites into these two hours. People are happy when they can do their favorite activities. For example, if your hobby is piano, you could plan to play piano during the 2 hour session. Your family could sing, dance, or just quietly listen to it while you are playing the piano. While we might have our favorites, the majority of the time are mundane. It is totally fine. Documentary family photography session is to capture your meaningful mundane life, whatever it is.
If photographers don’t direct us, then can I take photos of my family by myself? The answer is YES. You can always put a tripod there, and set up your camera to capture your family anytime anywhere while you are doing activities. The problem is that the camera cannot decide the best frame, light, and moments. It would be very random. It could end up costing you a lot of time and effort. If you are the person taking the camera, then you would miss out during your family stories.
It would be easier to have a photographer there to think about all the elements and capture your family stories for you. So, you would just need to be relaxed and let your life unfold as it is at the moment. Photographers will consider the light around you to choose their perspective and position. They will also think about whether to move closer or move further to decide what would be included in the frame to tell a stronger story. Last but not the least, they will decide what moments are the best to show your family dynamic.
Most of the documentary family photography sessions would happen at your home. It not only captures the activities you do, but also captures the environment you live with as a family. The photos on the wall. The furniture and the rooms. The decorations. Documentary family photography won’t be restricted inside your home. It could be in your backyard. It could be at an ice cream place. It could be at a lake fishing, boating, swimming, camp fire, etc. It could be at a hockey place watching your boys’ game. It could be anywhere your family goes. It captures the real life of your family. So no matter where you are, we could always capture your family stories in a documentary style.
Documentary captures all the real moments as it is happening. “Camera never lies” seems true. But without ethical practice, the camera could lie. For example, if we recreate the moments after an hour or two, then it might not be the true story. With the ethics of documentary family photography in mind, we won’t recreate the stories, we won’t delete and adjust the elements in the photos using Photoshop or other technology in our post-possessing, and we will also respect the privacy of the family. I don’t want to choose an image to misrepresent your family. I choose the photos to represent the family dynamic. I will communicate with you and see whether the photos I capture look like your family after our session.
Documentary family photography is such a powerful tool to preserve your family memories. It captures one day in your life forever, which you will be so grateful to look back on in 10, 20, or 30 years. It helps us find the beauty of the mundane routines in our everyday life. It finds the extraordinary out of our ordinary. Don’t wait and bring up your phone to capture your everyday moments. If you would like to schedule a documentary family photography session, click the button below to contact me! I will be excited to help your family preserve fleeting memories.
If you are interested in a documentary family photography session, please contact Ivy Lulu Photography. You can also explore my investment page to learn more about my photography pricing. If you want to learn more about lifestyle family photography, you could read the post here.
XOXO – Ivy Lulu Photography
Ivy Lulu Photography specializes in lifestyle and documentary family photography and couple photography in Westborough Massachusetts and many of the surrounding areas. These include but are not limited to Northborough, Southborough, Shrewsbury, Grafton, North Grafton, Hopkinton, Upton, Marlborough, Framingham, and Worcester. She also services Boston area, and Cape Cod. Her style is very relaxed and natural. Your family session will feel like a stress-free day going on a walk with old friends, who just happen to have a camera with them.
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What to expect from an outdoor family session?
What is lifestyle family photography?
What is documentary family photography?