Anyone else stoked about cooler weather, sweaters, hot coffee all day long, and fuzzy slippers? No just me? I love how the sky seems so much bluer in October against the yellow and red leaves. The kids have been having a blast collecting leaves and sticks on our walks. We may have a small horticulturist on our hands!
The other day we ran into our good friends at the pumpkin patch for the third year in a row (creepy right?) and we were both taking pictures of our kids. I couldn’t help noticing how sometimes kids are so eager to ‘say cheese’ for the camera that it’s their immediate reaction when the camera is pointed at them. There’s nothing wrong with that, kids pick up on small consistent reaction from us and we’re all programed to a certain degree to want to smile and look our best for the camera. I know I am!
Often times when I tell people that my sessions are unposed and mostly documentary they kinda cringe a little. They love the idea at first, but then quickly start wondering what they’re then suppose to do when the camera is pointed at them. What do I do with my hands? Do I smile, I look angry if I don’t smile. As much pressure as posing puts on people to look perfect, unposed can be just as terrifying and stressful.
So I’m busting a few myths that almost every one has about an unposed documentary session.
My home needs to look Pinterest perfect.
NO WAY my friends! It does not need to be perfect in any way. It just needs to be your home, the place that you spend your time, the place that you have created as a safe haven for your family. Our home is as much a part of who we are as the clothes we wear and the things we do. We all remember our childhood home (or if you moved around you remember parts about each home). My parents still live in my childhood home, but that home and it’s smells, the big living room, the multiple china hutches filled with heirlooms from both sides of the family, are all etched in my mind. I remember my grandma’s house and the extra bedrooms with dress up clothes in the closet. Grandma had an old 70’s era TV that we’d watch Fried Green Tomatoes on every time we visited. We sat on the floral couch while the sun streamed through the lace curtains. A home has a profound effect on your memory no matter if it’s perfect or not. Don’t hide who you are.
If clutter bugs you, take a laundry basket and collect clutter before I arrive and then hid the basket in a closet. 🙂
My husband is just not on board with this idea of a photographer following us around.
When I told my husband we’d be doing family photos again for the third time this year, he looked at me like I’d lost my mind. He hides from me most of the time when I have the camera out unless he’s with the kids. The kids bring out a side of him that was hidden before. A sweet and playful side of him. Our kids can have such a magnetic effect on us, can’t they? It is hard letting in a stranger into your house to photograph moments that are intimate and personal. That’s outside a lot of people’s comfort zone! I am witness to the hard and blissful moments that every family has and for that I’m grateful. Photographing in an unposed documentary way breaks down barriers which can feel overwhelming and scary at first.
But I’m not here to judge. I’m here to be witness to your story and capture moments that make your heart explode with joy. The moments that you want to always remember. The moments that get you thru the tough days and long nights. These are moments that don’t happen if I direct you. They have to happen organically.
One of the things I’m really good at, is reading people and the energy of the room. When to pick the camera up and when to put it down. I’m asking you to trust me. All you have to do is love on your family the same way you would if I wasn’t there. I’ll find the magic.
I have no idea what we should do!
I had the same thought when we decided to do our third family session of the year, and I’m a photographer! Totally understand. But honestly it’s not about the activity, it is to a point, but it goes so much deeper then an activity. The activity is the jumping off point. In your pre-session consultation we talk about life in the moment, what you do on the weekends or for fun. We talk about the small things that happen every day that make your heart explode and make you want to stop time just so you can hold onto that moment. We talk about what you want to remember most about this stage of life. I want you living the best life possible and creating memories (and hopefully photographing them!) so you have a tangible record of your life. I want tangible photos to hold in your hands as you tell stories of years gone by. It’s so easy to get caught up in that life will always looks this way. We’re in the trenches, it’s hard to see across the field! But if you could step into the future and look back, what means the most to you? That’s what we photograph.
If you’re still unsure of what you’d photograph, download Session Sparks below. It’ll help you find those memories and special things in life that you want tangible proof of.
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Curious what other families have done for their photography session? Click a story below.