Documentary photography might sound like it belongs in the world of media like news and television, so the idea of using photojournalism in an everyday family setting might seem odd or even a little scary. In reality, all it means is that as photographers we strive to capture the real you, in your own environment. Capturing everything from giggles and fun to meal times and tantrums; the things that are part of your everyday life. It is real life. It’s the glue that sticks your world together! No artificial backdrops, stiff poses and impersonal props here!
Read below for my 5 top reasons why you should think about hiring a documentary photographer.
1. To actually be in pictures with your children and family.
Parents (especially mothers) never have trouble in taking photos of their babies and children, especially when they are little. Unfortunately though when you are behind the camera you never get to exist in that memory. Yes you know you took the image but you miss out on seeing the interactions and connection between you all. Images such as a parent comforting a crying toddler, reading a favourite book, with Grandma or sharing a favourite snack with a sibling… these are the images that always mean the most. I wish I had more images like this with my eldest children! Also, it’s important for your children to have these images with you in them. For them to be able to have these pictures and remember the little quirks that you had, the sound of your laugh, the love you shared. For them to then be able to show their own children and their grandchildren is such a precious gift.
2. Blink and you’ll miss it.
Life moves so fast, but you only notice it when you look back. It doesn’t seem two minutes since you were doing late night feeds and nappy changes, then it was first days of school and now it’s high school options evening! Where did the time go? And how things change! Sure you can remember certain things, but the memory is hazy and will only become more so with time.
3. Your images will be truly unique as they are YOUR memories.
Many photography trends soon become very obvious and a little bit monotonous, especially when you see the same pose or style appearing over and over. It might be a beautiful image with a different family but everything else is just the same… same backdrop, same pose, same angles. These images only help people to remember how they looked, documentary sessions, however, are different EVERY TIME. Your family and your lifestyle will be completely different from another family. So although editing style might remain the same, every session is completely unique, capturing true memories which spark the memory of smells, sounds and feelings.
4. Ordinary is beautiful.
Lots of people feel that their family is too boring or that their mismatched furniture, lived in homes are not “Pinterest-worthy” enough and therefore not good enough for this sort of session. This is really not true! Life isn’t made up of just the big events, the best bits come from the everyday interactions, the elbow grease of keeping house, relationships, and for some raising kids. Real life is enough and you and your family are perfect just as you are, and when you look back the love and connections that these images show will be more important than the messy bedroom, undecorated walls or piles of laundry!
5. The shoots are relaxed and easy.
The best bit about the sessions I think is the fact you don’t need to pan it. There’s no need to have special clothes or perfectly placed hair or to try and find a time around the baby’s nap time. If the toddler really does not want to sit still, that fine too! Nothing from these sessions is ever wasted and all you have to do is be you and just do everything you normally would. What could be easier than that?
So I invite you to give documentary sessions a try. I promise you will love it and will want to do them over and over again to keep adding to that story!
If you’ve already given it a go, let me know what your favourite thing about the session and our images.