The most memorable photos are not ones where something amazing is happening. Usually, they’re just beautiful ones where not much is happening at all. A well-made photograph contains a richness and depth that allows us to read it like a book. It stops us first with its striking beauty, but it keeps us looking because it reveals so much about that moment in time.
This time of year, I start getting semi-panicked inquiries from strangers on the daily:
“Can you squeeze us in for a quick family session in October or November, pretty please?”
Immediately, I suspect that I know what this is all about.
So I tell people: if ALL you want is a set of beautiful, luminous photos of your family hugging and smiling, looking photogenic and color coordinated, I am NOT your gal.
You know you’ve thought it: is my family even right for a documentary session?
In a nutshell, below is a list of THIS photographer’s six dream clients. How do YOU measure up?
1. The one whose family traditions are prized above all else.
In case of flood or fire, the one thing you’d grab from your house is your photographs, because they hold the key to all that’s sacred in life. Sure, you may really love that baby blue vintage truck, your custom-built pool, or your collection of great dresses from Anthropologie. But when you think back across the years, the thoughts that get you all weepy are the traditions you’ve established with your loved ones
When I walked into this beautiful Austin home this spring, nobody was uncertain about how our documentary family session would feel. One of my favorite things about repeat Day in the Life clients is the ease with which we fall into the day, comfortable and trusting, excited but relaxed. The last time I photographed this family, Finn was a wee toddler full of big feelings. The family was renting before buying into this Travis Heights dream home some months later). There were questions. Lots.
But it turns out, these questions aren't just on the minds of scheduled clients -- they're also on the minds of those still wondering if a documentary family photo session is for them at all.
So, here’s how it went down. The kids were newborns, then infants, then toddlers. They were a ton of work, and honestly not very good companions. So I did what we all do – I sought out the company of friends with kids to pass the time with. The kids would play (or cry, or sleep), and we’d talk, laugh, day-drink. It was delightful. They had friends, I had friends, we didn’t have to spend every waking second with one another . . . win win. And then the kids basically grew up.