“Just don’t give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there’s love and inspiration, I don’t think you can go wrong.” —Ella Fitzgerald
Since the birth of my daughter two years ago, I’ve captured every moment of her childhood that I could. I’ve found beauty in the mundane and sometimes chaotic moments of our life. Just two years has brought about so many changes for our family proving that each moment is fleeting. I have preserved these memories with each photograph. I also like to think that when I’ve left this world, future generations can enjoy these snippets of our every day lives and have a vivid history of our family.
This past year has brought amazing growth to my business and with each session I did, I found myself encouraging the children I worked with to be themselves shying away from over-posed images. As part of my standard family sessions, I tried my best to capture the spirit of the families I was photographing.
I have followed other photographers whose passion is documentary photography and I couldn’t stop that voice in my head that was telling me to follow my passion. So here I am, taking a leap of faith that other families feel the same way I do about preserving these moments. I’m adding documentary family photography in 2017 because I believe in the beauty found in chaos. I believe that every family has a story to tell and I believe that I can make an impact on your family.
So with all that said, I know you have questions. Probably a lot of them. So I came up with a list of what I think will be FAQ’s and I’m answering them below. If you have a question that you don’t see answered, please text or email me and I’m happy to answer them.
What is a documentary family session?
These are photography sessions that show your real family, doing real things, and making real memories. Candid photos that show life as it is happening now. These sessions are a way to freeze and preserve these moments for future generations. Think of it as a way for your children and grandchildren (and future generations) to see what life was like in your home and with your family. We will carefully plan the activities that you want to do during your session and talk beforehand about your routine and your expectations.
Who are these sessions meant for?
I believe these are meant for everyone. All families, no matter what their makeup, have a story to preserve. Don’t have kids? Who cares! Let’s go play with your dogs and do whatever you enjoy doing as a couple! Kids no longer live at home and grandchildren are coming for a visit? Let me follow you around while you do special things with your kids and grandchildren. The possibilities are endless.
What if my kids are in a bad mood that day? What if my toddler throws a fit?
Kids are human just like us. They have good days and bad days but rarely do their bad moods or fits last for more than a few minutes. I get it, I live with a tiny, emotional human too and you’ll receive zero mom-judgment from me. I’m very purposeful with the images that I will take and that you’ll receive. Plus, we are going to plan to document activities that your family loves to do so it should be a great mood lifter.
When should we schedule our session?
This one is totally up to you. Think about your family and the story you want to preserve. If you spend a lot of time outside in the yard, let’s choose a month that’s usually more pleasant like May or October. Do you like to go swimming or play in the sprinkler? Let’s schedule for summertime. But if you want to show your family in your home, snuggling on the couch or making pancakes or cookies then the month doesn’t matter. If you want to include other family members like grandparents who don’t visit very often or live far away, let’s pick a date that they will be visiting. Life is changing constantly and time is fleeting so I say the time to schedule is now!
Will you turn my house into a studio?
Nope. These will be natural light sessions and I’ll be bringing minimal equipment. The purpose of these sessions is to invoke emotion and to show life as it happens. I may suggest that you read a book or play a game in a room with better lighting or I may open all the curtains in your home to let light in but there will be no lights set up or equipment laying around to distract your kids. Some of the lower light off the cuff images may result in some grainy images but the beauty in those can help set a mood for the photograph.
Does it have to happen in my house because I have lots of clutter and my house is small, full of toys (insert something here)?
Your home and all its imperfections is real life. It’s the story of your family and I encourage you to embrace it. I promise the photographs will rarely reflect the chaotic mess that can be a home with kids but there’s beauty in that chaos. My home is full of toys, laundry piles, unopened mail, and dog hair so please don’t ever feel self-conscious about it around me. If you want to pick up and de-clutter your home before my arrival, I won’t stop you but please don’t feel like you must. And if you just can’t get past it and it stresses you too much, let’s go on an adventure! Let’s go have breakfast, let’s go to the park, let’s ride bikes, or go for a hike, or attend a festival….the possibilities are endless- it’s your time to use as you please and anything your family loves doing is fair game, I’m just an observer of your life happening.
What should we wear?
Wear your everyday clothes, wear your pajamas, wear whatever you’d like but please don’t dress in a way that presents only your most perfect self. These pictures are meant to reflect your everyday life as a family and you should be comfortable as well as normal. You might want to put on some pants the morning I come over, but that’s totally up to you.
Will all the photos be black and white?
No, I’ve always loved color and bright light and these sessions will be no different. However, you may get a lot of black and whites because I believe that they are great at showing the emotion of the moment. There is something simple and unassuming about a candid black and white.
How much does it cost?
These sessions are not meant to be the kind of pictures that you have taken multiple times a year. These are an investment for future generations. Many families have multiple sessions done throughout the year and spend a lot of money on professional photography during that year. I would encourage those families to put all their picture money into one of these sessions for one year. My cost for a 4 hour “Story of Us” session is $900. This includes my time with your family, editing of the images after the session, the digital negatives through a download, a coffee table book, and a $50 print credit. I really want you to have these images “in hand” and printed. The purpose of these sessions is for these images to be looked at for years so I’m going to make sure that you have them. If you feel that 4 hours is just too much for your family, I also offer a 2-hour “Short Story” for $600. This session is 2 hours of my time with your family, editing of the best images after the session, and the digital negatives through a download. A coffee table book and prints can be ordered after the Short Story- books start at $150. BUT if you book a Story of Us session before January 31, 2017 the cost will be $800- payment plans are available. $150 deposit due upon booking.
Where are you located?
I’m based in the Mississippi Delta (Greenville to be exact) but I’m not restricted to a certain area. I’m now covering Memphis, TN, the state of Missisippi, Louisiana and parts of Texas and parts of North Carolina. Travel fees will apply.
Are you still going to do your regular, family sessions?
Of course! I’m cutting back this year and focusing on quality over quantity so get on my calendar a few months before your planned session!! I want to give each client my full attention and the time they deserve. One hour family sessions will start at $350 and will include tons of new perks. Mini sessions will be offered two times a year only (two dates in spring and two in the fall). I have new price sheets for newborns and first year packages so be sure to inquire a few months before your due date if you want a traditional newborn session. Want to do a combined lifestyle and some posed pictures? Let’s talk!!!