Most simply, it's real life - beautiful and unscripted.  Documentary family photography celebrates the life, spirit, and connections we make as human beings - as members of families, of communities, and as friends and loved ones.  Each session honors family life and your family's story.  Everyone has a story to tell.  One that is unique and meaningful - to us and, especially to, our children and, someday, theirs.

Why documentary photography?  At the risk of sounding like a greeting card, every day is special - not just birthdays and holidays.  And not just every day, but the “everyday.”  The little gestures, interactions, and activities that may go unnoticed, but that make up our days.  As the writer and poet, Annie Dillard, said so simply,

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”

It’s these small moments along with the big ones that add up to something profound.  This type of “special” can’t be orchestrated.  It just is.   

I love taking pictures that tell a part of this story.  Little moments, big ones, surrounding details – they all come together to make up the unique fabric of our lives.  Life evolves so quickly and capturing these real, honest moments is a way for us to treasure months and years from now both the joys and sorrows we experience and the love we share.

How I’ll capture your family’s story - no posing or forced smiles required.  A documentary-style session is unscripted.  I simply hang out and get to know your family for a few hours, photographing you in your home or other location that’s special to you.  The session can take place on a normal day where we just go with the flow or a day when you’ve planned a more specific activity that your family enjoys.  I’ll work with you to develop a session that’s unique to your family and captures your personalities and story best.

Session Details

Family Documentary Sessions

Each session includes:

  • a personal consultation to develop a session that best reflects your family and story
  • a 2-, 5-, or 8-hour documentary session at your home or other location of your choice
  • an online gallery of individually-toned, high-resolution storytelling images for you to download and share
  • a digital video slideshow to share with friends, family, social media

2-hour Session (50+ images) - $475

5-hour, Half-Day-in-the-Life Session (120+ images) - $625

8-hour, Day-in-the-Life Session (200+ images) - $850

With the Seasons Package - $2250

Life changes so much in a year and picking just one day for photographs that will represent your family's entire year can be daunting. Sometimes one day just isn't enough. A seasonal package takes the pressure off of choosing a single day or activity and instead allows you to capture the essence of your family in four sessions over the course of one year. 

Does your family have a favorite summer activity outdoors or a treasured holiday baking tradition? A love for fall bonfires in the backyard or maybe a friendly board game rivalry? Have you ever wished you could bottle up those special moments to savor when one day new traditions have taken over or your kids have grown up and moved away? Can you imagine reminiscing about these times with your kids when they're older or even sharing these memories with your grandchildren?

This package includes:

  • ongoing personal consultations throughout the year to plan four seasonal sessions that reflect your family's story and growth
  • Four 3-hour documentary sessions at your home or other location of your choice
  • For each session, an online gallery of individually-toned, high-resolution storytelling images for you to download and share
  • For each each session, a digital video slideshow to share with friends, family, and on social media
  • At the end of the year, a beautiful, professionally-printed, archival-quality album that showcases your favorite images and tells the story of a year in your family's life

This package may be purchased at any time during the year. It's a wonderful option for any family who wants to preserve the beauty of life's everyday moments without being limited to choosing just one day in your family's life.  This package is also a wonderful way to document the journey of pregnancy and arrival of a new baby, or to capture the marvels of baby's first year. 

Have something else in mind? Contact me to develop a custom package or to inquire about special events such as birthdays, anniversaries, or baby showers. 

Grandmother and baby watching dog from window by Northern Virginia Family Photographer Nicole Sanchez