I would like to share with you about my approach to my family and baby photography sessions. In a nutshell, you will learn the number one benefit of working with me. A documentary photography experience that is authentic paired with organic and beautiful family portraits. The result? A collection of images that documents your family’s everyday stories in a meaningful and beautiful way.

When I was planning my wedding and searching for a photographer, I noticed a trend. Some images had a pleasing aesthetic. People looked beautiful. The light was stunning, and the colors were well coordinated. But these images often lacked feelings, stories, depth. Then I found images that were real and emotive. They made me feel something. But I did not like the aesthetics of images. They were too vibrant or too dark and moody, or they were not very flattering.

Once I became a family and baby photographer, I realized why there is often the need to choose between feelings and looks. As it turns out, it is technically challenging to capture images that showcase emotions and beauty. Because they typically tap into a different set of photography skills.

Documentary versus portrait photography

When capturing those real moments in a purely documentary way, the documentary photographer will not direct families into beautiful light. He or she will not guide them into a flattering pose. Documentary photographers are after stories. They want to capture strong emotional expressions. The goal is to make a photo with that one fleeting moment. And turn it into a well-composed and balanced image that will deeply speak to the viewers.

Documentary photographers like myself will not move objects out of the way. They will not tell parents and children to turn, so families can be facing beautiful light. Instead, they will work around the scene and problem-solve until creating something that works. It is much more challenging to make an image when there is less control over the environment. But the resulting work is much more authentic because moments are not fabricated for the purpose of making a photo.

They document life as it is. And let’s be honest, there is nothing better than real-life stories.

Portrait photographers, on the contrary, want families to look their very best. You know those lifestyle images that you see on Pinterest? They look candid, but at the same time people also look perfect, AND the light is gorgeous? Well, 9 out of 10 of these images were heavily posed. Yes, true. Portrait photographers will guide families into beautiful light. They will also tell families exactly what to do, when to smile, where to hold. And the result is images that make people look the best version of themselves. 

Documentary photographers usually don’t like (and don’t know) how to pose. I heard many say so. And portrait photographers do not necessarily want to capture real life as it is. But what the ideal life looks like. There is no right or wrong in these approaches. It is really about personal preference and taste. 

But what if we can have both?

Do we really need to choose between real moments and beautiful family portraits?

A new approach to family and baby photography

With this in mind, I set out to learn both family documentary photography and clean, beautiful and authentic portraits. I invested time and resources to learn from the best as I truly believe that we can have images that are both authentic and beautiful. I developed an eye for soft colors, flattering light, and clean compositions, which make the aesthetics of my work to look timeless and truly unique.

Because I am a storyteller, my main goal during a photoshoot is to document families’ everyday life as it is. During 95% of my session, I do not direct or pose children and parents. I never tell a mom to stand in a particular place while breastfeeding her baby. Unlike many family photographers, I do not bribe a toddler with sweets to get the image that I have in mind. I also do not interfere with the moment as it unfolds. I simply observe. And then I document the story in a way that is honest and truly captures the essence of its people. Here, I’m after emotions. I want to capture real moments of playfulness, love, joy, and fun. I also document those everyday moments of chaos and everything else in between.

But I want families, particularly moms, to look back in their photos and find themselves to be truly beautiful. For this reason, I offer families an optional 15-minute portrait session. This portion of the photoshoot is when my primary purpose is to make families look their very best. I will place them in beautiful light. I will shoot most, if not all, with film because of its flattering skin tones and pastel colors. But, because of my documentary photography background, I will direct in a way that is organic and genuine yet flattering. 

This balanced approach results in a family session that is relaxing, stress-free, fun, and truly meaningful. And in a set of images that makes families not only look beautiful. But, above all, it truly captures the love and connection that they share for one another. 

Here are a few examples of documentary versus portrait images

This is a good example of a storytelling image that I love to capture during my family and baby photoshoots. I love documenting what I call ‘real love stories’ – those small, everyday moments that children, parents, and couples share of connection. Because of my documentary photography background, I know how to see and anticipate a moment. And position myself ahead of time to capture it as it unfolds naturally.


Here is another example of a storytelling image that documents what life feels and looks like with a young child. I love to capture these moments that showcase the mess and chaos that is part of an everyday life with a toddler.


This next image showcases the type of portraits that I include in my sessions. This options is available for families who request it. Although he majority of the families that I work with actually prefer to have a entirely documentary photoshoot, some families do love their formal portrait time. During the 15-minute portrait portion of the photography session, I rely on my knowledge of posing and how to best flatter families. But, because of my documentary photography background, I am still drawn to the natural, in-between moments. I love capturing “that” private look between husband and wife. I also love those moments of children showing off mischief, quirkiness, and signs of impatience to go out and play. As much as I aim to deliver a beautiful portrait image set, my ultimate purpose remains to capture genuine moments of love and connection.