Trying to explain exactly what a “storytelling session” is to potential clients who may only be used to more traditional portraits/ family sessions is difficult. Telling a family that I will be there to document a story that would occur in their every day life can be weird, nerve wracking, and confusing. Like why not just take the photos yourselves, right? If I am going to be there to document your everyday life, how is that any different than you taking photos yourself? Simply put, it gives you a chance to be included. You are your family’s historian. There are probably hundreds, if not thousands, of photos on your cell phone of your beautiful family. You may even have those photos printed and displayed. But are you in them?
Documentary sessions give you the chance to be included in your family’s story, so when you look back on this season of your life you’ll be able to say “I was there too.” It’s also important, as much as you may not believe so, for your children to see you in photos too. I’ve written before about why I think it’s important to be included. It’s one of the things that draws me in to documentary photography.
Two of my good friends, and fellow business owners, Micki of Warrior Body and Jodi of As You Are Boudior, joined me yesterday to film a live behind the scenes video for my Facebook page. It’s taken years and years for me to try to explain what I do. It’s difficult to understand unless you’ve had a session yourself, though. I wanted to give the public and chance to see what a storytelling session looks like.
This was an abbreviated version of a typical storytelling session for me for that reason. My main reason for being there was so that you could see and hear what it would look like to have your own storytelling session. We only shot for about an hour and the family only completed one task. However, I discuss in the video below that a typical storytelling session lasts at least two hours and is usually broken down in my head by “scenes,” because families are usually doing many things within that amount of time, and those scenes are determined by the questionnaires that each family completes.
This session was completely unposed. I didn’t guide them in any way. I didn’t turn on or off lights. I didn’t ask them to sit in a certain area. I didn’t send them a clothing guide like I may do for a lifestyle session. They simply went about decorating a gingerbread house the way they would if I weren’t in their house.
I loved the questions that were asked during the live yesterday, and I believe that they were all answered. If you have more, I’d love to chat with you!