Getting Ready For Your Documentary Family Session


Wondering how to get ready for a documentary family session? I got you! You already know you don’t need brand new matching outfits or props or possibly to even leave your home..

But what do you need to do to get ready?

documentary family session
documentary family session

Plan on wearing something comfortable

This is a two parter. Most importantly, I want you to be comfortable. I don’t want you pulling at your shirt every few seconds or feeling constricted. Of course you will be more conscious than normal of your appearance, you are being photographed after all. But physical comfort will minimize your uneasiness, especially during those awkward first few minutes (real talk).

Secondly, we want to get that candid, this-could-be-a-regular-day vibe. And if you’re over-dressed or matching that it going to be a dead giveaway that it is not. If anything, go get yourself a new t-shirt to wear with your favorite jeans. Then you’ll get that brand new feeling and still keep the vibe low key.

documentary family session
documentary family session

Clean your house as if a good friend is coming over

I know, you have kids. Who can keep up with those things?! Don’t think you need to do a deep dive cleaning of your entire home. Clean as if your good friend is coming over. You don’t want them to trip over things and impale themselves, but you know they aren’t going to be judgy about your home. Which by the way, I am not either!

This is not an interiors shoot. And you know what, maybe stay off Pinterest for a week or two. It’s for your own good.

I mostly photograph around the clutter, which is usually pretty easy for me to do and not something you should be overly worried about. I will use a mess if it’s part of the story. So if you toddler decides to, say, pull ALL OF THE BOOKS off their shelf in 30 seconds flat, you'll end up with something like the above right photo. Which says a lot about the age and personality of your kid and --let’s face it-- is just plain funny.

documentary family session
documentary family session

Tell your kids a friend is coming over to take pictures

And leave it at that. Since I am photographing your family candidly they do not need to be prepped. Let them know I will be visiting your home or joining your visit to the local park to have fun and take some pictures. This way they will expect me to be there but not feel like anything is expected of them.

I will talk and interact with everyone throughout the session to keep everyone comfortable and learn a bit about your personalities, snapping pictures along the way.

It’s going to feel like you’re doing nothing and that’s okay! I’m there to work, not you.

I hope this helps give you a better idea of what (little) you need to do ahead of your session. If you have any questions ask in the comments! If it's juicy enough it may just get its own blog post.