Documentary Family Photography: WHAT, WHY and HOW
WHAT IS DOCUMENTARY FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHY?
Close your eyes for some seconds and think of your room when you were a kid.
Did you have things hanging on the walls? Did you have your toys stored somewhere or they were all over the place? Did you share your bedroom with your siblings?
All those things describe you and your family.
Documentary Family Photography is a genre that keep all of those memories for you. It celebrates the beauty of everyday life (including its chaos), and uncovers the value of it.
Think of YOUR family, what you love from it as a whole and from each of the members and their personalities. Think about all the experiences you live together, the happy moments, the challenge ones, the quiet, the noisy. ALL of those moments, and also all of that “mess”, makes your family particular and different from all the rest.
This approach to family photography includes all those aspects, because why would you have a memory that is lacking half of your life experience?
Documentary images reflect your unique family’s personality and your life as it is right now. It creates a true memory of your present, your relationships and the huge energy you are putting to give your kids the best of you.
Creating a true memory of your family and story is my main objective. A place where you, your kids, and grandchildren, will come back as the years go by… some of you to remember, but most of them to know about their family story and their roots.
WHY WOULD YOU WANT TO HAVE A DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY FAMILY SESSION? (or as is use to be call “DAY IN THE LIFE” session)
I truly believe these sessions are a treasure for the family, a chest for your story.
This kind of sessions are far from having a pure aesthetic purpose.
Is a big gift parents can give to their children. A place where they can go back, once and again, to meet their younger-self, to know how were the relationships and routines, how was the house where they lived, how hard their parents worked for them and how much love they have received. Lots of things that parents will remember but kids most probably won’t and by these photos they will keep the feeling of how those moments felt.
These sessions will remind you how beautiful is your real life, right as it is with its lights and shadows, and it will be a memory of this specific moment of your life that will change faster than you will be able to retain.
They will discover you little moments that you usually don’t see because you are too busy trying to keep the family going.
They will show the relationship of the complete family, including the one member that is usually holding the camera (whether it is mom or dad in your case).
HOW IS A“DAY IN THE LIFE” SESSION? (or as is use to be call “DAY IN THE LIFE” session)
During these sessions I spend some time with the families, in their normal routines, whether it is at their homes, or going to the park, visiting their grandparents, or even during their holidays, whatever is what they have planned for the day.
There is no need to prepare anything special, no need for special outfits or special locations. There are no poses, no looking at the camera and smiling, no forced situations, and zero judgement. Just everyday life, just you as you are.
This allow for the family to really relax and be themselves, including for the most shy ones. It might sound strange to have a camera around for hours, but believe me, it doesn’t take longer than 15-20 minutes for adults and kids to be acting as they usually do.
The length of the session is variable, it depends on what you choose. You could think “Mmm… that many hours with the camera around, not sure we would stand it”. But the camera gets unnoticed really fast, and as longer the session is, it allows for more situations to arise, and to have a richer memory.
If you still want some formal family photos, we can definitely take some minutes for that, and in this context, they will be surely soaked by your family’s personality.
WHAT DO YOU GET AFTER THE SESSION?
There are different choices of products like albums, prints to hang on your walls, slideshows. It’s all up to you!
Personally I think the best closing for these sessions are printed album which tell the whole story. That precious album that stays with the family forever, the one you check every now and then and makes you realize the course of time.
Its documentary aspect does not leave out the emergence of beautiful portraits or group photos to frame and hang on your walls. Sure there will be! and they will express what you have lived.
I hope you’ve found enough information to get the idea of what a DAY IN THE LIFE session is. And if you felt “I would love to make it happen” or “I like it but I still have some doubts”, CONTACT ME!
WANT TO SEE MORE EXAMPLES?
If you want to see more of this kind of sessions, check my Instagram account (and FOLLOW me if you haven’t yet to see my new work!)
You can also check this slideshow of a whole day DAY IN THE LIFE session.