Misconceptions about documentary family photography

Let’s talk about some common hesitations and misconceptions that I’ve heard some people say about documentary family photography:

The photos will be messy because our home is messy

While the photos will honor and showcase what your life looks like right now, there are often opportunities to make real moment photos with a mess-free background.

And while a mess might be the stage for a lot of photos, you might notice that focus still stays on the moment, the people, and the feelings – not the mess.

…. and sometimes the “mess” is exactly what you want in your pictures – to remember the things that made up your home.

A Day In The Life Of Emilia And Carina | San Jose And San Francisco Bay Area Documentary Baby And Family Photographer

Mom sleeping on couch

There won’t be photos of details

The fun thing about capturing details of your home, your kids or your pets during a documentary family session is that they’re incorporated into your real life instead of artificially put together or posed.

The photos won’t include the entire family

Even though a lot of your photos may focus on an individual or on dynamics between a couple family members, I always strive to get photos of everyone together in the same frame – including the fur children.

Dad, mom and baby eating breakfast

Mom watching dad tucking in their newborn baby

A Day In The Life Of Emilia And Carina | San Jose And San Francisco Bay Area Documentary Baby And Family Photographer

Family gathered on couch

The photos won’t be pretty or flattering

Because documentary family photographers strive to capture moments, emotions, and gestures, we do not always get to the traditionally “most flattering” angle. We sure as heck do our best so that you will have beautiful photos.

We see the beauty in real, and want you to see it in yourself and your family members, too.

Mom watches as dad sleeps on couch with baby

All the photos will be black-and-white

While it is true that many photographers who do documentary/street photography prefer black-and-white – myself included – I recognize that sometimes a color photo tells the story better than a black-and-white one could.

Dad sleeping on couch with newborn baby

Mom holding newborn baby, toddler sleeps on floor

Because every photographer has their own point of view, they photograph different things and post-process the photos in different ways. The important thing is to find a photographer who’s photos and approach you like – and to not worry so much about the labels.

You can read more about what I believe documentary family photography really is – which is to hold space for who you are.

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Documentary newborn and family photographer serving San francisco Bay Area, San Jose, Oakland, Berkeley, Santa Cruz and surrounding areas