What does FAMILYNESS mean to you?

FIVE PHOTOS YOUR KIDS WILL CRAVE WHEN THEY'RE GROWN

AND HOW TO START COLLECTING THEM

They grow up fast, and when they do, they'll come searching for THESE photos of their childhood.

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austin family lifestyle photographer

At the end of last year, I met Jordan and her family. She needed quick holiday card photos, so we set up a casual downtown session in time for her to print her cards. We paused a couple of times for a more “traditional” portrait, but the rest of the time just let everybody be. It was lovely.

But the more we talked about the documentary approach to family photography, the more Jordan got thinking – when are we most OURSELVES and most TOGETHER? What makes us really SHINE?  It wasn’t long before she coyly mentioned an idea: would I be up for shooting their weekend tradition of backyard play, fire pit, and family bubble bath? It’s a cherished ritual, and she knew that in a blink, they’d outgrow the family tub and it would be over.

Um, YES PLEASE.

austin documentary family photographer
austin lifestyle photographer

This is the precise kind of idea that makes a documentary photographer’s heart sing. Not because it’s unusual and photogenic, but because of the way Jordan talked about it – as though she were thinking forward five years and already missing it. Like she loves the experience so much that she wants to memorize everything about it before it’s gone.

austin documentary family photographer

The great value she puts on this tradition makes it the perfect subject for a family photo session.

And so I met them at their home on a balmy winter evening, and we had ourselves a party. They danced and chased and splashed and laughed until mama had tears in her eyes.

austin documentary family photographer
austin lifestyle photographer

Granted, not everybody’s family has such a visually striking tradition. At my house, "family" means everyone all piled up in my son’s bed reading stories (dog and all), or playing together in the muddy creek. But if you dig deep, you might find yourself identifying when you feel most connected – what FAMILYNESS means to you.

And when you do, I urge you: find a way to hold on to it, before it slips away.

austin documentary family photographer