What Is Documentary Family Photography?



Documentary family photography has become more and more popular especially in US during the recent years. In Finland it's still quite unkown. What is it all about?


In the very heart of documentary family photography is real life. Family and it's activities are photographed as they are and happen. Photographer won't tell your family where to sit or stand or ask you to smile a bit more. Capturing who your family and indivuduals family members are is essential. Each family member can do what what they would normally do and every expression and emotion is equally good and allowed. Documentary family photography is design to capture it all.


Documentary family photography is a stess free and easy option for great family photos. There is no need to do preparations before hand. You don't need to clean the whole house or plan matching outfits for the family. Documentary family photography motto could actually be the Nirvana's lyric line "Come as you are".


During the photo session there is no need to stress about who to get kids smile or laugh because those genuine smiles and laughters will come naturally as well as meltdowns and tears. All those are equally precious and valuable.


At the regular family photo session kids often get tired for posing and smiling. At the documentary family photo session this doesn't happen because photography is a part of an ordinary day and kids don't have to smile if they don't feel like it and they defenitely don't need to pose. That's why kids love documentary family photo sessions.



The lenght of the photography session varies from couple of hours to full day. Short session can be done either at home or outside home on a picnic, a hike, visit to a museum or what ever it is you guys like to do. Full day session may include both every day life at home and a visit to where ever you like to go.


The longe the photo session the better the photos. In a beginning some of the family members might be a bit too aware of the camera and maybe even a bit camera shy. Kids usually get used to photographing quicker than adults and after a full day documentary session kids some time seem to think me as a new addition to the family.


When I photograph a family documentary I do it as inconspicuous as possible. My goal is to be an easygoing and natural part of the day and family life. I observe the family hustle and chat with family members while I do my photography. But I never ask anyone to do anything or be in certain spot.


If you wish I can give some ideas and tips what you can do as a family before hand. The most valuable photos come from the ordinary life though: kids plays, meal times, evening routine etc.


Here you can take a look to a selection of photos of one family's Day in a Life -session. With this family I spent 8 hours and I had met the family ones before when I photograph their wedding six months earlier.


If you are interested in to book your documentary family photography session just send me a message!