One of my favorite things about photography is that it gives me the chance to meet, and get to know, some of the sweetest, most genuine, families around. Immediately upon entering their home, Amanda came to the door to give me a hug, their little girl told me all about life as a four-year-old and showed me some of her sweet dance moves, and the birthday boy invited me to see his new toy. That was all within the first five minutes of me being at their house. I was invited to Pennsylvania to take some lifestyle images of this family outside. They wanted some family photos done at a local park. When Amanda and I began planning their session she revealed to me that she had seen a blog post of a recent documentary session I’d done, and she loved the idea of it. (You can see that Evening In The Life session here.) Which led to a discussion about the difference in lifestyle and documentary photography. So I’d like to take a moment to talk about that here as well. I believe that I probably have a little different idea than some other photographers, but I will do my best to explain what I do. First, there’s lifestyle photography. When I say lifestyle, I’m thinking of the more traditional family portraits that you’ve seen all over facebook. The family is all close together, but they’re interacting with each other. I will stage certain activities, and do some gentle prompting. You’ll hear me say things like, “Tell your brother something you like about him. Let’s move over to the window for better light. Run up and give mom a hug. look at me. Now, tickle fight!” Second: documentary photography. This type of photography is done with zero posing or directing. I don’t influence the scene, I just capture what happens naturally. I don’t adjust lighting or prompt kids to do specific things, I just photograph. Amanda loved that idea, but like a lot of people, she was nervous about having a purely documentary shoot, so we decided on a hybrid of the two. The following are some of my favorite documentary images from their session.
I am a wife and mama to two little miracles from Morgantown, West Virginia. I've had a passion for photography my entire life, but when I had my daughter three years ago, I felt a deep urge to capture her every move. Her tiny baby feet and hands were changing every day, and I wanted a way that I could hold on to those memories forever. Photography is a gift that I provide my family with. I want my children to have authentic documentation of their childhood. I, wholeheartedly, believe that photography is an heirloom. I am living my dream by getting to know other families and telling their story through a series of photographs. I love to learn about, and document, what you love about your family. Babies change fast. The beautiful chaos of life is something you'll want to remember the rest of your life. Helping other families provide an heirloom for their children is my life's mission.
This is a great shoot, and I great explanation of you two different styles. Side note – I love this family!