I HATE having my picture taken!

The more you put something off, the more you dread it. The more you dread it, the more you put it off. It’s a vicious cycle, and it’s scientifically proven to be a real thing.

  • Cleaning out your sock drawer (me)
  • Tossing out the mismatched, long-disfavored toys (my friend)
  • Replacing that lightbulb (me)
  • Going to the dentist (everyone)
  • Donating those too-tight jeans (me)
  • Having family photos made (you)

Did you see what I did there? I made an assumption about you, and for about half of you, I bet it’s a fair one.

You think: Family photos are awkward. They’re cheesy. They’re ridiculous. They’re unnatural. They make me look like crap.

I’m here to tell you: nope, nope, nope, nope, nope. It needn’t be so.

austin documentary family photographer

Take this case study. Amira and Damon hadn’t had photos made since their son Sacha was a tiny babe (he’s now 3.5). On top of the general feeling that they “should” have photos made, they’re now running their own business – a nascent biodynamic farm in East Austin. They have grand plans for the space, which will include a meeting space and retreat center in addition to the lovingly handworked farm.

But first on the agenda? A functional website.

Amira, as you could’ve guessed from my foreshadowing, hates having her photo taken. H A T E S it. She always has. In our meeting a few weeks before the session, she made sure I understood just how awkward she feels in front of the camera, and how much she absolutely dreads looking at photos of herself.


austin family documentary photographer

Between the grandparents and the lightning speed at which Sacha is growing and the bonafide need for website photos that add some personality and character to the business, it had to be done.

I assured Amira before our session that it would be easy, stress-free, and that she would enjoy it. She politely smiled and told me OK, but I could tell she wasn’t buying it.

The morning of our session broke sunny and glorious, and remained that way for the duration of our time together. In just a quick morning we toured the farm, checked on the berries, peaches and onions, played with the hose and in the mud, built the roof of a beehive, and had a generally delightful time.

There's something special about documentary family photo sessions, and it's this: by have your real life photographed, you're shifting the attention from you-vs-the-photographer to you-and-your-family. It's a more natural equation -- one you participate in every day. Without stress, awkwardness, or pretending.

So when it was time to part and the family walked me back to my car, Amira admitted, with surprise, “THAT WAS SO FUN AND SO EASY!” and we had ourselves a good laugh.

austin lifestyle photographer
There is kind of no way to overstate how much I HATE having my picture taken. It’s really A LOT. I booked Aleks for a family farm project after I saw her work with children’s portraits. They were just too good. Anyway, our session together made me miraculously un-selfconscious and the images she got out of us are undoubtedly family heirlooms.  She’s the real deal. Bottom line: it’s worth the money and initial nervousness. We now have something priceless.
— Amira
austin family lifestyle photographer
austin documentary family photographer