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

Is Documentary Family Photography Worth It?

11/09/2023

I could save you a lot of time right now with a simple and emphatic yes. But that wouldn’t answer this question. Is documentary family photography worth it? Why should you have a photographer follow your family around for a full day, taking pictures of normal everyday life? Is it worth the time and investment? What, truly, does your family get out of a documentary family photography session? 

These are perfectly understandable questions, and ones you should be asking. But since you asked, buckle up. You’ve hit on my greatest passion as a photographer, so the response is going to be passionate. 

Is documentary family photography worth the time and investment?

It can be intimidating to book a Day in the Life session knowing that it means your life is an open book from morning routine through tuck in time. I totally understand. This is where understanding the heart behind these sessions is so critical. 

Day in the Life sessions are specifically designed to show you the beauty, dignity, and impact of your real life. 

It shows you all the incredibly beautiful moments you have grown blind to because you’re in the thick of it. This puts on full display the dignity and individuality of your family in artful pictures. Pictures that highlight your unique personalities and strengths. 

A special side note to moms: How many times do you sink in bed at the end of the day and lament that you didn’t get anything done? These sessions show you just how much impact you had in your day, and on your family. 

I am a mother of three kids ranging in age from 2 to 8. I am in the thick of it with you. The work you do for your family is deeply meaningful and has such a lasting impact. Documentary family photography is so worth it because it peels back the curtain on your day and will show you just how loved and meaningful you are to your family. What would it mean to have a picture that proved that you were a part of this wonderful life and how much you loved your family? That’s what documentary family photography is all about.

Now, back to the question at hand.

Is documentary family photography worth the time and investment? 

The truly artful and authentic pictures are created when you’ve grown comfortable with having a camera present. That takes time. Lots of it. In order to really showcase your real life, families need to act normal. 

You know in a movie when someone is trying to “act normal” and then they end up looking wildly out of the ordinary? That’s what the beginning of a session can feel like. It’s only when the novelty wears off, that you can really relax and be yourself. 

This is where my easy-going nature and ability to foster trust and calm plays a big part. I regularly hear from my clients that I am a calming presence and that they feel they can be genuine around and with me. It’s likely a remnant from my wedding photography days, because you know who always needs someone who can stay calm? Brides, grooms, parents of brides and grooms, and everyone else on a wedding day. It’s also part of who I am as a person.

Take into consideration the fact that the mission of these pictures is to create artful images that show you the myriad beauty of your everyday life. Spending more time together means those images have a greater opportunity to be created. With more time, we also have the chance to create pictures with different people. 

Many families have a parent that works outside the home, a caregiver or grandparent who is there for part of the day, kids in school, or a baby napping, or any other variety of event in a normal day. The all day nature of documentary family photography is worth it because these sessions allow all these daily rhythms to play out and be photographed in a beautiful way.

I recognize that this is a significant investment of time. But in a world where we look at the returns we get for our investments, these images pay dividends immediately and mature through the years as your life and family changes. 

Maybe the question isn’t “is documentary family photography worth it”, after all.

Being caught up in the nitty gritty of living, what parts of your life that have deep innate beauty go unseen? How could a Day in the Life session help you see them better? What would it mean to you to be able to see your impact now? How much would you treasure this stage of life in another thirty years? 

Is documentary family photography worth it? Heck. Yes. 

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BEHIND THE LENS

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!