Desiree Walters Photography | What is Documentary Family Photography?

family inside their colorful living room, dad sleeping, mom cooking, young boy playing legos

What the heck is Documentary Family Photography, and is it right for my family?


What is a “Day In The Life” Session?

This is a documentary family session that allows us to artistically express your family’s connections, unique personalities, and relationships, making your real moments shine and unapologetically showcasing your family.  I’m just an added element to your day, in no way altering it, just creatively documenting it.  


The day you choose can be an ordinary day or an extraordinary day (for example a vacation, end of life, or extended family gathering).  Your session can be as short as 3 hours or can span multiple days, weekdays or weekends.  After our session we will get together again to review your photos and plan the best way for your family to enjoy them.  Your gallery will include images that will make a perfect album as well as images to display on your walls!

Girl in her dance class in the sunDocumentary Family Photography



How does it work?

Simple.  I will become a friend of the family for the time I’m with you – engaging, playing, talking with you.

You will love the whole experience as much as the final result.

 It will change your perspective on family photos forever!


dad squishing his daughter while she laughs hystericallyDocumentary Family Photography



A documentary session is perfect for you if…


…you hate your annual family session because of all the stress - getting dressed up, trying to get somewhere on time with your children (and failing), bribing grumpy kids to cooperate, and after all of this you now also have to show the camera your best “smile.”  


…you want your children to have a visual proof of how hard you work and how fiercely you love them.  Right now you are probably absent from all of your daily family photos.


…it is a priority for you to have a visual history to pass on to your children and grandchildren, showing what their childhood felt like – all the laughs, tears, eye rolls, mess, and unique connections.


…you want the photographs of your family to be both truthful and artful, finding the beauty that exists in your reality.  You want these printed, made into albums, hanging on your walls – for you all to enjoy now and heirlooms for your children.


Little boy's silhouette in front of NYC skyline and bridge against the sunsetDocumentary Family Photography




But is it really that simple, you just show up and hang out with us?


Yes, and I take photographs

You can expect me to…


… bring my camera, experience, and vision to creatively document all of the vital moments of our time together

…engage with your family, chatting so everyone is comfortable

… laugh with your kids when they are being ridiculous, flinch when they get hurt and cry, then take the picture!

 … anticipate a full range of emotions to surface during our time together


Young boys climbs on counter behind mom's back while mom breastfeeds a newborn and dad is on the phoneDocumentary Family Photography



The important bits are what will not happen.  There will be no…


…guiding, directing, posing, or altering your environment

…picking out a pretty spot in the park

…getting all fancied up (in fact you might be in your PJs for some of it)

… expectations on my part for you to be anything other than yourself


And I will NEVER ask anyone to look at the camera (although I'll catch you looking anyway).  



Little girl laying in her backyard among the toysDocumentary Family Photography


When is the best time to do this type of shoot?


Anytime you like!  

Season, light, time, location – none of this matters.  See, its all so freeing, right?

I typically suggest including a morning or a bedtime routine, or both if we do full day!

A touch of routine rounds out your story well.  It is when you make so many of those little moments together as a family, things that drive you bonkers now perhaps, but that will be gone in a year and be remembered fondly.  


Little girl on the training potty watching an ipad and picking her noseDocumentary Family Photography


Do not wait until you feel like it’s perfect, because it just never will be!

And that’s the best part of it anyway.

If you'd like a better sense of what your experience would look like please check out some collections form a few of the families I've photographed here, keeping in mind each family is unique!

Ready to get started? I'd love to talk to you, sessions are easy to book.  Feel free to call me directly at 561-350-1351 or I can get in touch with you if you provide me you number here.