23 August 2016

4 Steps to Prepare for Your Documentary Session


Preparing for a documentary session is a little different than planning for a traditional family portrait session. There is no need to put together beautifully coordinated outfits, find the perfect location or stress about whether the baby will cooperate.  Here are 4 simple steps to help you prepare for and get the most out of your session.


Step 1: Pick your type of session

The kind of session you decide on influences the type of planning you’ll be doing.

If you pick A Day in the Family session planning is pretty straight forward. There isn’t a whole lot to plan for. You go about your life in a typical fashion. Seriously. Plan your day like it’s any other day, maybe throw in an extra special trip to the ice cream shop just for fun. You’ll be surprised by all the beautiful moments that happen

However, if you want a session that’s a little more focused around an activity that you family enjoys an Everyday Moments session may be the perfect fit and the following steps will help guide you in the process. They are also helpful for A Day in the Family sessions if you are really struggling to see the beauty in what you feel is the mundane.


Step 2: Do some soul searching

To get the most from your session you really need to dig deep into what makes your family special. Because the little things you do every day are incredibly important even if you feel they are mundane. How do you spend your time together is what forges your relationships.  Do you do Saturday morning breakfast together most weekends? What about those warm days of summer? Are they spent at the lake playing? Is your family really involved in a sport or activity? Get your family involved in this step. Ask them what they enjoy doing the most together. You may be surprised by their responses.


Step 3: Be prepared for an open and honest conversation.

If you want a session that gets to the heart of your family, you need to be willing to share what makes it tick. Sometimes it’s hard to open up, but sharing the moments you love gives me a better understanding of what is truly important to you and allows me to guide you in focusing your session on the moments that matter.


Step 4: Relax

It’s easy to get wrapped up in the need for perfection, but these session are real, they are honest, and they are beautiful. Don’t focus on what could go wrong or worry about what might happen. In the end, you’ll see things you never noticed before and you’ll gain a better understanding of how your family is made every day.



Does this post leave you wondering what a family documentary session is? THIS post will let you in on all the details.





16 August 2016

4 Reasons to Book a Family Documentary Session

Why should you book a family documentary session? I’m sure I could give you a list a mile long, but I know that the kids are probably begging for attention and your coffee break is almost over so I’ll keep it short. Here are the top 4 reasons you should book a documentary session for your family whether it be A Day in the Family session or an Everyday Moments session. 



1. Time moves so quickly.

Your everyday moments change as your kids get older. The things you cherish so much today may be happening for the last time. One day you’ll pick your son up for the last time because soon he will be too big. The sippy cups that you find hidden between the couch cushions will one day no longer have a use. Little hands that hold yours so tightly will one day let go running ahead saying “I can do it on my own.” Documenting these moments gives you a tangible reminder for you to look back on and a visual story starter for years to come.




2. Unstructured moments.

Being free from the structure of traditional portrait photography allows little moments to unfold. Your kids are free to let all their personality shine through. There is no need to “cheese” for the camera. There is no bribing and begging your kids to look at the camera. You get to be in your home or a location that you love and you have the freedom to relax and slow down. There is no preplanned set of poses to get through. The moments that happen are the focus and a lot of times the moments that are documented are ones that you may not be fully aware are happening. Gentle touches, loving looks, the things you love but sometimes get buried among the chaos.




3. It’s easy like Sunday morning


Your family gets time to adjust to having someone new around. You have time to feel comfortable in front of the camera in a place you are used to.  You can stick to your daily routine and give your kids a sense of security in the face of something that might be new to them. You can also focus on doing something you love doing together instead of focusing on the camera in front of you. Slowing down and enjoying the moment gives your family time to bring your special connections and relationships to the surface and allows them the honor of being documented.




4. You

This is the most important reason. Giving your family the gift of you. You in the picture with your family doing what you love. Being part of the moment happening instead of stuck behind the camera. It's a gift that is sometimes hard to give. You wish you were ten pounds lighter, or your house was decorated nicer. Basically, you're waiting for the perfect timing. To be honest, that time may never come. Your kids will not notice those 10 pounds or the cluttered house. What they will notice is you in the picture with them. They will notice the love that radiates from you as you hold them in your arms. They will notice and remember how much time you poured into their lives.

Bonus Reason. 

Take a peek into what a Day in the Family session meant to a past client. How she came to it with a preconceived notion about her daily life and walked away with a newfound understanding of just how important her everyday moments really are to her.


You can check her family's session in this POST


09 August 2016

In Case You Were Wondering

What is documentary photography? Do you know or have some vague idea. Are you completely lost when I talk about being an “everyday photographer for down to earth families?” Type that question into google and you’ll most likely get the response,

Documentary photography usually refers to a popular form of photography used to chronicle events or environments both significant and relevant to history and historical events as well as everyday life.” 

That great, but what does that really mean for you and your family and how does that apply to a family photography session? It means that you get to see your favorite moments unfold. The moments you love, but are too busy enjoying to document. It means you come away from your session with a visual reminder of your every day and why you love it.

A documentary session is unposed.  It’s unforced. There is no bribing you kids to behave and smile at the camera. There is no grumpy husband forced to stand there while trying to get a postcard perfect photo. There is no frustrated you. There is just your family doing the things they love and being themselves. It’s the ebb and flow of your life as you move about your day. It’s the little moments that bring joy to your heart. It’s the early morning snuggles on the couch. The afternoon family adventure to the lake. It’s the evening bedtime routine. It’s the memories in the making. A documentary session is about the life you live, the things your family does, and the ones you love. This is what family documentary photography is.





If you are looking for ways to capture your own moments, HERE ARE TEN TIPS TO PHOTOGRAPH YOUR OWN EVERY DAY


Are wanting to dig deeper into photographing your own everyday SIGN UP FOR THE EIGHT WEEK PHOTO CHALLENGE

29 July 2016

Focus on Your Moments


Family is made every day and moments we share are where strong relationships are made. In your daily life and in your adventures. Documenting the moments between the big events of life tells the story of how you become the family you are. It’s the story of a life well lived. 

Sometimes it’s hard to see the awesome through the chaos of everyday life. It gets buried beneath stress, sleepless nights and the not so great parts. When we are struggling with the heaviness of the not so amazing, it gets harder to genuinely appreciate moments that are wonderful. I always tell my kids (and even myself) on bad days that there is at least one thing to be thankful for. In the moments that are overwhelming or on days that go downhill fast, finding the moments that make your heart happy have a way of making the hard to handle just a bit easier. Those moments remind us how each day our family is made little by little. Just like Rome wasn’t built in a day neither is your family. It is built in the moments that speak loudly to those we love the most. It is made in the moments where we find what we are most thankful for.  It’s made every day little by little.

To hone in on these moments I've created a weekly focus email challenge. Each week for 8
weeks, I will send you an email with a prompt to get you thinking about and documenting the moments in which your family is made. It’s nothing crazy, I promise. It’s not intense or super in depth. Just a quick email once a week with two choices. One that gets you thinking about and documenting the daily and weekly moments that you cherish and a simpler version where I suggest moments to document.  I know some weeks, there isn’t enough coffee in the world to keep the brain functioning let alone thinking. For these weeks it’s just easier to know exactly what to do.  You can do one or the other. Combine them and do both. It’s really up to you how far you take this.  I want you to see your moments. I want you to have them as part of your visual history.

If you post on Instagram use #familyismadeeveryday or #seeyourmoments. I'll be checking in on these tags every week. I'll be following along and can't wait to see the moments that matter most to you. Sign up now to join the fun.



If you are wondering where to even begin, check out my Ten Tips to Photograph Your Everyday