documentary photography

Seattle Sunday Documentary Photo Session

making jam, feeding chickens, hanging around the house

I spent a Sunday afternoon with the Zelig family in Seattle. Mom is pregnant and she's due in July, so this is one of their last weekends as a family of four. I love telling the story of a time either right before or right after a big family transition, like the addition of a new family member. Even if there wasn't a baby on the way, it feels good to capture days like this. Everything about this day reminds me of weekends when I was young (okay, minus the chickens). It makes me realize how these storytelling sessions at home are not only wonderful to have for the parents (especially the moms, who may not always make it into the photos they take), but for the kids to look back on. If they ever want to remember what it was like living in this house, at that age, on a hot summer day in Seattle, they'll be able to.

Weekend Trip to Port Townsend

You know you've been traveling with a 2-year-old when you come back home way more tired than when you left. That's pretty much what happened to us on our long weekend get-away to Port Townsend. Things that we've learned as we try to take little trips with him are: sleep is going to be rough, and make a plan but don't plan on sticking with it. Sure we might have found some easy toddler hikes to go on, but sometimes you scrap the whole idea in favor of throwing rocks into a lake, following ducks around, and running up and down piers. 

toddler boy throwing rocks into water seattle family photographer
toddler boy running down a pier
Port Townsend diner Seattle family photographer
sleepy toddler on ferry
ferry ride seattle family photographer

Family Lifestyle vs Documentary Photos

As I’m establishing myself as a photographer, I want to make sure all the families I work with have an understanding of my approach. Some of the photos in my portfolio might fall under the “lifestyle” approach, while others are definitely more “documentary”. I want to talk a bit about what these different sessions look like.

In posed family portraits, the photographer directs the family members where to go and what to do. You won’t be seeing this in our sessions.

In lifestyle photography, the photographer does some directing, but it can be much less. The photographer might stage the setting, telling the family where to sit, or removing clutter from the frame.

In documentary photography, the photographer does not influence the scene in any way. There is no posing or directing, only what happens naturally. It captures simple moments in your everyday life. This is the type of photo session I strive to offer. For more information, check out the Your Session page, or send me a message!