What Does Documentary Photography Look Like?



Documentary photography is the art of capturing real life, as it unfolds. There are no posed moments, only the raw truth. And you know what? It’s absolutely beautiful!


A documentary photo session takes place in a location that is special to you or your family. Often times that’s in your own home. Sometimes it’s a place that you enjoy going to, like the library, ice cream shop, your local park, the river. Basically, any spot that makes your heart sing. The goal of this type of session is to capture memories in an artistic way – to translate these moments into something physical that you can look at, hold, laugh at, cry with.



One of my favorite things about documentary photography is its ability to show a piece of childhood, something that your kids are sooooo into right now. The image below shows my youngest with his dinosaurs. He is OBSESSED. Like, straight out insane about dinosaurs. Everything about them. He plays with his dinos every day, talks about them all of the time, wears clothes with dinosaurs on them, and we plan special events for him that allow him to see dinosaurs. I love that documentary photography allows me to have photos that will recall this short time for me in the future. When I’m 70, and he’s in his 40’s, I can pull these photos out and say “oh, yes, that dinosaur phase. You were always our Sullysaurus!”




Another thing that I love about documentary photography is that it lends itself so easily to capturing connection. Not just posed moments, but real, honest connection. A small touch between two people, siblings bonding over a shared interest, a quick look between parents. These small pieces are captured beautifully in this genre.



But….what if our story isn’t interesting? It IS! I promise! The details that make up your life are the details that you will long for and remember years from now. Everyday life is more beautiful than you know, and your story is begging to be captured. I’d be honored to put your family’s story into photo form for you.




Contact me today so we can begin to plan your documentary photography session in Northern California!



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