The final type of photo session I am going to discuss are documentary family sessions. This is probably the most unfamiliar type of session to most people because it's not about posing, looking or acting a certain way. These sessions are sometimes called storytelling sessions or day-in-the-life sessions.
DOCUMENTARY photos show the world WHO you are!
During a documentary session, the photographer will not interact, interfere or give any instructions to your family. The goal of documentary sessions is to tell the story of your everyday moments and tell the story in an impactful and beautiful way. Documentary sessions usually take place in your home, in your backyard, on your porch, at your favorite neighborhood park or really anywhere that is special to your family.
Documentary sessions can also take the form of "adventure" sessions where I, as your photographer, join your family for a special event or activity. Think: an afternoon at Deanna Rose Farmstead, or blueberry picking at your favorite orchard, or at your kid's soccer game, or playing in the creek throwing rocks, looking for frogs and fishing. It's about doing something your family loves to do together and capturing the details (both big and small) of those moments together as a family.
It's not about the perfect evening light. Or coordinating outfits. Or flawless make-up and hair. Or wonderfully behaved kids. It's about HONEST, REAL, AUTHENTIC images that show the world who you family is. These images will be treasured photos for your kids as they grow up. How fun will it be for them to see photos of themselves in their favorite outfits, playing board games at home with their dad, and wrestling with their siblings in the living room? These are the moments I know I wish I had more photos of from my own childhood.
There are no rules with these sessions. Ok, there is one rule - you have to be open and honest and ready to be authentic in front of the camera. But, really, my goal is that you will forget I am even there and will just enjoy this time with your family. And if the kids have a meltdown or mom/dad is yelling at the kids, I promise there is absolutely no judgement from me. I am there for the real moments and will tell your honest story (but don't worry I won't invade your family's private moments).
This post is the final in a three part series explaining the differences between the different types of family photo sessions available and can help you decide which is right for you. Find the other posts in this series by searching the tag #sessionlessons on the blog.
Tell me in the comments below why you've never had documentary photos taken of your family. Is it because you didn't even know it was a "thing"? Or are you scared/embarrassed about being "real" in front of a stranger? Or do you think your life is too boring? (I promise it's not!) Tell me, I really want to know!!
(And me on the lookout for 2 documentary model calls I will be putting out soon. You'll have the opportunity to grab one of these sessions at a super discounted rate.)