Documentary Photography | What, Why, and How?

 

Documentary Photography 

My mission as a photographer is capture your family just as they are. My goal is to document the way you love and are loved in return.

 

What is documentary family photography?

Family docu is my heart and soul. It is the realest and most accurate way to capture and portray your beautiful family in this phase of your life. It captures your kids doing what they do now.

Does your 1 year old sit in his high chair and eat fruit and eggs every single day right now?

Does your 8 year old love gymnastics so much you find them constantly flipping all over the furniture?

Does your family always cook together and sit down for meals together?

Is your life beautifully imperfect?

Do you tell yourself every day that you have to remember these moments?

Then documentary photography is for you.

 

Why would I want my life and family documented? My house is small, dark, and imperfect. My kids are messy. I just don't get it.

I have spent years narrowing my "niche," as they say. I have been through nearly every style of photography and every condition. I've done weddings, portraits, and lifestyle. I've shot with several brands of equipment. I've shot with flash and without. I've shot indoors in studios and outside on location. I've shot in the rain, snow, and sunlight. I've shot on the beach, in the mountains, and on the curbside. I was always searching for something that I couldn't seem to put my finger on.

Then one day, years ago, I saw a photo. It was by a wonderful documentary family photographer I now look up to daily. The photo was of a woman standing at a counter with her baby in a carrier against her body. She was cooking dinner for her family. She looked so happy and content.

 The first time nursing my son again after his heart attack at 3 months old. Although not perfect, it's a photo I'll cherish forever.  Click here for his story.

The first time nursing my son again after his heart attack at 3 months old. Although not perfect, it's a photo I'll cherish forever. Click here for his story.

In that moment, I guess I was instantly aware of my "niche." The hunt was over. I had never tried this style of photography, but I was head over heels in love with it. 

I realized, after shooting documentary for a while, that I had been partaking in documentary photography for years. I have always loved taking great photos of real life. It was how I captured the subtle beginnings of my husband and I. It was what healed me of my son's scary hospital stays. It was how I made sure my memories of my son were preserved forever. I had been doing it daily. 

Fast forward to today, I now offer micro documentary sessions, full day family sessions, as well as vacation documentary and "New Normal," which is a special ongoing series I do for families adjusting to the new normal of a chronically ill child. 

I will never turn back. Since I was a child, I have always been obsessed with photos of times gone by. My mission is to preserve life as it is now so that you can cherish it later (and the photos make beautiful wall canvases, too!)

 

So, how does documentary photography work? I feel like we'd be awkward and boring. We don't do a lot.

 Some "personal" cartoon time on the floor. 

Some "personal" cartoon time on the floor. 

Do you know how often I hear that people feel boring or not "ideal." I don't care whether you prefer hiking up mountains or cuddling on the couch with your kids and watching cartoons. Your life is not boring. These are the moments that define you and your family. It has absolutely nothing to do with what anybody defines as boring or fun. These are documented moments of now for you.

Keep in mind, these are not "portrait sessions," nor do I shoot every single second in a full day session. There will be down time. AND after 30 minutes, you and your kids will be able to forget I'm there.

At the end of it all, you will have a gallery you never believed was possible. You'll see that your "boring and dark home" suddenly feels a little more beautiful, your "messy kids" are exactly how they should be right now, and your life in this moment is absolutely imperfectly wonderful. And then, like therapy, you'll want to have it all done over again and again.


I hope this helps you understand what documentary photography is and what it means to me. If you are interested in sitting down for a no obligation meeting over coffee to see if documentary would be right for your family, visit my contact page and send over a little note. I'd love to chat more. 

<3, K