Three Reasons to Try an Outdoor Documentary Session with Your Family in the City | Washington, DC Lifestyle Family Photographer

A few weeks ago, I wrote about how awesome in-home documentary sessions are. Now I'm here to tell you how awesome outdoor sessions are.  This may seem incongruous, but one of the best things about documentary photography sessions is that they're adaptable and unique to each family.

One of my favorite things about being a photographer is working with each client to create a session that reflects their family, whether that's chilling at home, exploring the outdoors, or a combination of the two. I love documentary photography because it reflects a family's lifestyle and interests at any given moment. We all know life changes quickly, and having beautiful images tell us the story of a particular time in our lives.   

 Family in window of coffee shop in Georgetown, D.C. | Washington, D.C. Family Photographer

Here are three reasons outdoor documentary sessions are a wonderful way to preserve your family's memories.

1. Location, location, location.  I mentioned that lifestyle documentary sessions are adaptable. With outdoor sessions, the sky is the limit.  (Okay, perhaps not literally. I might actually draw the line and say you may not see me documenting a family's skydiving adventure, but never say never. :-D ).  You choose a location that is meaningful to your family. For this session in Washington, DC, it made perfect sense to photograph their family in Georgetown.  They're always on the go and taking advantage of all the family-friendly things to do in the D.C. and Northern Virginia area.  Grabbing a coffee and walking around the city is what they'd normally be doing on a warm, fall weekend. Documenting candid moments like these, highlight the beauty in the everyday, because the everyday is what makes up our lives.  So whether it's a stroll through the city, a visit to a museum, or checking out the many outdoor activities that the D.C. region has to offer, all that matters is that it's a place that your family enjoys and connects over.

 Family in window of coffee shop in Georgetown, D.C. | Washington, D.C. Family Photographer

2. Variety and spontaneity. A city setting like Georgetown has endless variety and room for spontaneity. This is especially beneficial for kids who are active or like to change things up. For this session we started at a coffee shop, walked along the C&O Canal, and then ended at a park with some restful green space.   It could just as easily have been a walk by the waterfront and a stop to get ice cream.  There's no limit to the variations and the city offers so much to do within short distance, so it's easy to make up a plan as you go.  The most important part of family photos is capturing emotion and connection between each of you.  Having a variety of options and allowing for spontaneity can take away the stress of trying to orchestrate that "perfect" shot and makes the whole experience more enjoyable.  When you focus on having fun and enjoying an experience with your family, photography magic happens. :-)

 Family walking along C&O Canal in Georgetown, D.C. | Nicole Sanchez Family Photographer

3. Seasonal bounty. An outdoor session, whether in an urban setting like this one in D.C. or in a rural area like a park or even your backyard, can be a beautiful way to capture seasonal family fun. Cozy fall weather and foliage, holiday traditions and snowy days, spring blossoms and energy, or long summer evenings and lingering light are wonderful settings to document your family adventures.  I love the variety that changing seasons brings so much that I'm offering a new multi-session package for 2017.  Details will be posted on my Session Information page soon. :-)

 Mom snuggling baby with Dad watching | Nicole Sanchez Family Documentary Photographer

What fun urban settings do you have in mind for family photos?  One goal I have in 2017 is to document a family vacationing in DC and Virginia. It's such a wonderful area to visit and I love seeing it through a visitor's eyes.

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