July 1, 2018

Over the years I’ve heard all the excuses about why people can’t or won’t book a documentary family session.  If you’re someone who keeps putting off a shoot, or you feel like you’re on the fence about a session, this post is for you.

What’s stopping you from booking a documentary family session?

Is it because you don’t see anything resembling what your reality looks like on the carefully curated social media accounts you scroll through everyday?  Are you worried your kids won’t behave, or you think your everyday ordinary is mundane and boring?  Do in-home sessions scare you because you think your house is too small, or too messy and you’re worried about what people will think? Are you waiting until you lose those last 5, 10, 20 pounds? Maybe you just don’t have enough time right now because your kid’s schedules are crazy and you’re always on the go.

little girl sitting on potty next to minivan

Hey, I get it- and believe me, I’m not judging.  I’m just asking you to think a little differently about the importance of these sessions.  Time moves quickly when your unit of measurement is childhood, and the things that are happening right now are already in the process of changing.

father kissing baby holding pacifiers in hands and mouth

mom pouring water out of plastic tub with little girl inside and brother looks on

So let’s talk about some of those excuses, shall we?


Yeah you are! I can fix that with two different options…

  •  Bring me along to document the busy stuff  to show how your role in this crazy busy life does not go unnoticed (I’ll even pack us some purse snacks and keep you hydrated).   Added bonus- you’ll get pictures of your kids doing whatever it is they do that makes you so busy (unless your kids work with or near clowns. I can’t. We can talk all about that in the car while you’re driving the kids to all the places).
  • Go rogue and block off  a few hours  for  your whole family to be together  to do WHATEVER you want, and I’ll show up to document it for you. Of course you’ll need faith that nobody’s life or future professional sport career will get railroaded because someone had to miss something just so you could get some real family photos.   Because guess what you’re all going to miss someday?  THIS TIME.  Childhood is fleeting– we don’t get these moments back.  Give yourselves a break and a couple of hours to preserve this crazy beautiful life of yours.  That’s it.  Think about it.


dad pointing to water while kids look on little boy in life jacket

mom, dad sitting at kitchen table with teenage son and daughter


Seriously? No.  I promise you’re not as boring as you think, it’s just harder for you to recognize because you’re in the thick of it right now.   Your everyday ordinary life is filled with so many awesome little details that make you guys shine.  You need to see this  through fresh eyes and a different perspective.  Let me show you.  I promise you won’t regret it.


dad putting sunscreen on little girl's legslittle boy and girl sitting on patio watching older sister perform


I go into every session fully anticipating that the kids will misbehave at some point, so let’s just let it happen.   I’m not expecting it because I heard rumors about them, it’s just how kids roll.  I shoot right through temper tantrums, crying, fighting, pants peeing,  you name it.  That usually gets kids to either turn things around, or get even crazier which makes for some pretty memorable photos.

little boy crying with sunscreen on facelittle girl hurt on swings with siblings looking on

No joke- 90% of the time after each session ends, parents will say some version of:  “Were we the worst family ever? The kids ruined it didn’t they? We’re so boring.  I can’t believe how bad the kids were.”   Trust me, it’s never THAT bad.  Anyway,  the point of your session is to capture the reality of your life right now– not some made for social media version.  So you better believe that includes all the messy stuff that comes with relationships, parenting and growing up.  Got it?

two kids fighting over a doll

one brother stepping over two brothers fighting on the ground


Good news, I get a little uncomfortable when I walk into a crazy clean house.   I have 3 kids who make my house look like a different superstorm blew through every single room. Your house is fine the way it is, and it’s where your family is most comfortable. 

little girl in pink tutu and polka dot vest reaching into closet with mess in background

When you look at pictures from your own childhood, can you tell whether the house was clean or messy?  Would you even care?  You probably strain your eyes to inspect every little detail of the background, not because you’re criticizing the way your parents kept your home, but because you are aching to remember ALL the details.

little girl reading in a rocking chair in her bedroom

Your house is part of your story and deserves to share some of the spotlight.    If you think your house is too small, or too big, or too whatever– that’s just life, right? You’ve made it your own over the years and everything inside helps tell the story of where your family is at this point in time.  Leave the mess.

father kissing daughter while mom looks on holding babychild's handwriting listing room rules on doortwo young girls climbing on the kitchen counter


Ok, I hear you, and this is probably the only valid excuse of the bunch.  Sessions aren’t cheap and I know custom photography is more of a want than a need for a lot of us, but the value is pretty much immeasurable based on the incredible images you’re left with.  (Maybe you can start an Awesome Family Photos jar and put all your loose change and dollar bills inside just to get the ball rolling!)

young girls picking up money from the floor of their bedroom

Oh! You should know that every documentary family session with me includes a set of 4×6 proof prints to ensure you’re left with something tangible when it’s all said and done. 

basket of printed photos

Think of it as an investment for your future when your memories start to fade and your kids grow bigger than you can keep up with (or handle).  I am happy to set up payment schedules for session fees and/or products to make sure nothing is too overwhelming or breaks the bank, so please let me know if that’s something you’re interested in.

family on swingsetfather and son walking with arms around each other while dog and daughter walk behind

young girl climbing on crib next to father


This excuse needs to GO! Have you ever looked through your own childhood photos and thought, “Geez, I really wish my mom lost weight before she got in the picture” or “It’s annoying how many pictures I have from childhood with my parents.”?   Of course not.  You’re just happy to have those photos, right?

mom spraying hair spray on little girl's hairmom on rope swing with two little kids and girl climbing up tree

We’re overly critical of ourselves but our kids aren’t going to care about anything except having real photos of themselves with their parents. I’ll say it again, time is fleeting and this chapter of your family story will be over before you know it.   Think about it this way-  you do SO MUCH for your family-  how great will it be to have a visual record of what a rockstar you are!  You were there too, leave your kids with something awesome to remind them. 

smiling woman on a boat with husband and son sitting behind her driving

family laughing together eating outside by the oceanmom and daughter holding hands jumping into pool


Great!  I always make a little time for a few posed family photos at the beginning or end of each session.  I also partner with Minted to offer my clients some pretty stunning options for their holiday cards so I’ve got you covered in the holiday card department.  The best part is you can request ANY of the photos from your session to be uploaded to your Minted account, so you can design your holiday cards with ease!

You’ll get your pretty holiday card photo AND the real life photos that depict the love and chaos that is your family, unfiltered.

mom dad son daughter sitting on steps laughing for family picturefamily standing on green buoy in middle of the oceanfamily sitting on deck

There’s no better time than now to schedule your own documentary family session.  If you still have reservations or an excuse that I didn’t cover, get in touch with me and we’ll talk it out.  Otherwise,  go ahead and hit that button below to get started!

mom and dad sitting on beach wall at sunset with four kids in matching pajamas

You do you, I’ll take care of the rest!