As of March 1, 2016, I will no longer photograph "posed" family or children's sessions.
Hear me out.
I've been in this weird transition stage ever since my blog post about documentary-style sessions. Since last April I've photographed a handful of Day in the Life sessions while still shooting the poseyposey park sessions. If you've booked with me in the last few months, you were given a choice of posed or documentary - and there's been a good mix. But the same thing is true: Posing next to a tree in pretty light says nothing about your family and the relationships with the people you love.
That park, that blanket, that outfit you saw on Pinterest, the overly cheesy smiles... is that really your family? Years from now, will you think back on that hot-ass day in the middle of June and think "man, what a great day. I'm so glad we went to that park and suffered through 90 minutes of sweat and mosquitos and 37 other photographers shooting mini-sessions!" Gosh, I hope not.
I LOVE what I do. I LOVE the relationships I have with past clients. I LOVE that I have new friends because of my camera. I LOVE that this passion of mine pays my bills, feeds my cat, and lets me travel the world. But I don't love creating something anyone with a camera and a few YouTube videos can make. It's not real. It's not honest. It's not special. And to me, it's definitely not the best way to document your family.
If you take a look at my website, I've removed all posed family sessions from my gallery page. Sure, they're still on the blog, but there has been a shift in those types of sessions where I strive to capture all the little in-between moments. This doesn't mean you'll never see another "camera-aware" photo here - you will. I know there's still a need for "everybody look at the camera and smile" photos, and you'll get them, they just won't be the focus of your session - your relationship will.
Another thing that's changing: The pricing structure. I am going to do away with the session fee/credit thing. With documentary photography, I'm telling a story. I can't expect you to pick and choose chapters from the story and stress out over credits. All Day in the Life and shorter, activity based sessions will come with digital files and a keepsake album.
When's the last time your daughter's tiny hands held an album? If your phone were to fall in the toilet today, are all of your baby's photos gone? What's the point in plopping down hundreds of dollars for a few JPEGS to end up on Facebook? Will your children be able to see photos of themselves when they were six, or will they struggle with remembering your Facebook log-in like I am trying to access my Photobucket account from 2005?
Let's get back to HONEST expressions. The TRUE you. The REAL memories.
As of March 1, 2016, I'll be offering two types of family/children sessions only - 8 hour Day in the Life, or up to 2 hours of activity-based documentary photography. (And of course weddings, engagements, and events)
For more information on documentary/Day in the Life sessions, click below. And for a limited time, I'll be offering $100 off either session. Just mention this blog post and the discount is yours. (offer expires March 1, 2016. Must book by March 1, 2016, and shoot by October 1, 2016. Good for 2 hour documentary sessions or full Day in the Life.)