How to Photograph Your Family Life - Documentary Family Photographer

You might love everyday images, and you may even hire me to document your life every once in awhile. But unless you’re my sister, chances are you don’t have someone tagging along in your normal day to photograph your family life, and probably can’t afford to have me around 24/7.

I am a huge fan of documentary family photography and day in the life photography (They’re kinda my jam), and that’s exactly what you can do every day at home!

Don’t run away from me yet – you can document your family life, your everyday moments. Here are few tips to get you started.

How to Photograph Your Family Life – Documentary Family Photography / Day in the Life Photography

Capture Interaction.

If you’re the parent that is always telling your kiddo to look at the camera, this one may take a little bit. The goal is for your children to be comfortable just having a camera around, so comfortable that they don’t notice the camera is there, and don’t pay attention to it if they do. That means step one is to stop telling them to look at the camera, pose, etc. Just let the kids be kids.

If your child is already comfortable and just keeps going about their play when a camera appears, great! Capture their interaction with their siblings, other kids, their other parent. If there aren’t other kids around, document their play.

Document the details.

While images capturing the whole scene are an important part of a story, so are the details. I’m talking the close-ups of hands holding crayons, little toes, Christmas ornaments, dishes, etc. As you photograph the details, try not to just document details for the sake of details, photograph them in a way that tells the story of the moment or day.

Small moments matter.

Remember: Just because something monumental doesn’t seem to be going on doesn’t mean that there is nothing to photograph. Your child reading quietly on the couch is just as important as when he or she is giving lines from the stage.

Consider a different perspective.

Don’t shoot from your point of view 100% of the time. Do consider what the scene looks like from your child’s point of view, what it might look like from above, from lower down on the ground. Get high, get low, use something in the scene to frame whatever is occurring.

Natural light is the best light.

Yes, you can use a flash, but I don’t recommend it. Natural light will be the most truthful to the moment and is the most beautiful, in my opinion.

Remember that messy is perfect.

Try to avoid cleaning up the space for the sake of the photograph. The more you photograph, the more you’ll realize that a lot of what you may see as clutter either tells part of the story or really isn’t visible in the photograph anyway.

How to Photograph Your Family Life / Documentary Family Photographer