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What to expect at a Documentary Family Photography Session

Updated: Jan 27, 2019

I get it. It can be anxiety inducing to invite a new friend into your home. I say new friend, because by the end of the session, that's just what I'll be. After the first fifteen minutes of introductions and chit chat, I promise time will pass so quickly that you might even ask me to stay for dinner. Just in case you do, I'm an omnivore.

If you're also wondering what types of images you can expect from a Documentary Family Photography Session, then read on as I present to you the 5 image types you might find in your gallery.

5 image types:

1. Beautiful moments

Let's be honest. The possibility of capturing beautiful moments between you and your family is most likely THE reason you booked a Documentary Family Photography Session. Maybe you have a special Saturday morning pancake making tradition you want to document. You’re hoping that I’ll photograph your kids sweetly playing at your feet or helpfully setting the table. You’re wondering if I’ll notice the kiss your partner gives you and the thankful smile you return as you’re handed your morning coffee. Will I capture the smiles on all the faces as the steaming tower of pancakes arrives at the table? Yes, I definitely will. I’ll see those moments and many, many more.

Dad holds baby on lap, Kin and Kid Photography, Boston, Family Photographer

2. Kids being kids

But beauty can be found elsewhere. I'm talking about the beauty in the every day and in our kids being kids. And I think you might also want a few images of them doing what they do best: Trying to help in the kitchen and making a mess. Clinging to your leg because they want to be picked up. Stealing a bite of food from someone else’s plate. Taking mouthfuls that are too big. Being slightly grumpy because they wanted eggs instead of pancakes. Running around the table instead of sitting in their chair. This list could get long, so I’ll leave it at that. But I promise you that there is no judgement from me. I have kids too. And these are my MOST favorite images to capture.

Brother sits at table while sister runs around, Kin and Kid Photography, Boston, Family Photographer

3. Environmental portrait or Story portrait

In addition to your family, another star player in your life is your HOME. When you look back through your photos, your rooms, furniture and belongings will provide the backdrop to your life. Do you have sports equipment organized near the door? A desk covered in art supplies? Do you live in a home you’re hoping to renovate or one you recently redesigned? Either way, your home and the town where you live sheds light on your family’s lifestyle and personality.

Little girl plays with toys in playroom, Kin and Kid Photography, Boston, Family Photographer

4. Details

Here is when I quite literally get into the minutiae, the details that make you and your family members unique: their feet, their hands, their hair. The way your daughter tucks her legs under her as she works on an art project. The way your son plays with his hair. The bear/bunny/blanket they can’t live without. Do they skateboard, play basketball, dance or play an instrument? Sometimes the details are connections, a touch or a look. Sometimes the details are a refrigerator full of artwork and calendars, shoes by the door, an unmade bed or a carefully curated dresser. I’ll be searching for those too.

Pile of baby books with pacifiers on top, Kin and Kid Photography, Boston, Family Photographer

5. Posed portraits (if you choose)

Let’s talk portraits. If it’s important to you to have a few pictures of everyone (or almost everyone) looking at the camera then we will work together to make that happen. We can take individual portraits too! And we can definitely make time to get one with you and your partner. Because when is the last time you took a photograph of just the two of you? We’ll take about 15 minutes during our time together to find nice light and a special location to gather together and create some casual portraits for the grandparents. But I hope that by the end of our session, you’ll see that ALL the photos are for the grandparents or the holiday card or hanging on your wall. Because ALL of your moments are beautiful to me.

Sister hugs brother, Kin and Kid Photography, Boston, Family Photographer


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