These are the days you will look back on years from now and wonder where they went. Remember them vividly with artful and authentic pictures.

Family Photojournalism

Artful Yet Authentic | Documentary Family Photography


Who else remembers the family pictures from JC Penney back in the *90’s*? Hello entire websites dedicated to bringing back memories we’d rather suppress. Memories of neon windbreakers, matching track suits, terrible facial hair, and the most awkward, cringey family portraits ever.

We may refer to these “works of art” but we all know there was not much by way of art happening in those studios. Not knocking the photographers who made their living this way – cameras being so expensive and there were few places to go to get the family portrait taken.

Oh how things have changed in the last thirty years. Perhaps one of the most radical ways is the idea that family pictures can be works of art. Documentary family photography is how I realize this idea. My tagline is artful yet authentic. I’ll tell you why.

What does it mean to be artful?

Hoo boy, is this the age old question or what? What is art? There’s roughly 29461269393 different points of view on what art is and what it is intended for. I have no formal education on this, but I do have some strong opinions. Art incorporates beauty. Art illicits emotion. And art is intentional.

Whenever I pick up my camera, I carry these convictions with me. During documentary family sessions, I use my years of experience to see the beauty & emotion within the real life moments, and then create an artful image with intentionality. It’s not enough to simply capture a snapshot of what’s happening. In order to create pictures with emotional gravitas and true beauty, I have to see the light, frame the image, and execute the technical.

I bring the artful, but it’s you who brings the authentic.

What does it mean to be authentic?

Artful yet authentic images are a symbiotic relationship. Authenticity depends on trust. Trust is critical to establish to allow the authentic moments the freedom to happen. This blog, our initial discovery call, all our interactions are about building trust.

This is also why documentary family photography sessions are so long. Trust takes time. It’s not easy to transition from inviting someone into your home to being 100% yourself in an hour or two. It takes a long time to feel comfortable and really let loose. And when you do, the magic is there. Every single time.

So being authentic is really letting you and your family be themselves, completely, with no reservations. It’s knowing that I’m not there to judge or find fault, quite the opposite in fact.

Artful yet authentic.

When you bring the authenticity, I create the art. Art that is completely personal to you. You’ll get to see the beauty that surrounds you to which you may have grown blind. In the moments that feel overwhelming or challenging, you can see your impact. Family photojournalism shows you just how much you matter. These artful yet authentic images are your legacy, built in the here and now.

Ready to cherish these artful yet authentic pictures as your very own? You’ll find all the information here! Or skip ahead and send me an email and we’ll schedule a discovery call.

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I'm Rachel

A whole-hearted believer in the incredible power of photographs.
Especially of family.

When I was in high school, I wanted to be a journalist. I relished the idea of telling the stories of people and places. As I neared graduation, my love for photography took over and I began my career as a photographer.

When I became a mom, I realized that the picture perfect Instagram families didn't map onto my own life. It seemed boring and inauthentic. I found that I craved authenticity and connection. I needed to know I wasn't the only one with wildness and chaos running around my house.

I picked up my camera and began to photograph it. Maybe someone else could relate.

It was then that I discovered my true passion: telling the stories of every day family experience through beautiful images. Also known as family photojournalism. A perfect blend of my journalism dreams in high school and my life as a professional photographer & mom.

Now I get to live out that passion by serving families like yours in San Jose and the Bay Area by creating artful yet authentic images you'll love forever!