Why do I shoot “documentary’ style photography?

August 18, 2017

Since my website indicates that I do “documentary” style photography, what does that look like and how is it different than “normal” photography?

Say “Cheese-e-e-e-e”

We’ve all grown up hearing that request when someone takes a picture. And the purpose is to get someone to smile. Most of us adults realize that it is more of a “cue” to smile, and not to actually say the word.  Children, however, will actually say the word. Look at yourself in a mirror and say “cheese”. Your face doesn’t look normal, and it definitely isn’t a “real” smile.

Posing for a photograph has been done for decades, and it has it’s place. But when I shoot an event, individual or family, my favorite thing is to capture “real” moments; “unposed” moments.

A year ago, a friend I have known since the early 1990’s when she was in elementary school, asked if I would take some photos of her and her daughter.

Below are some of the images I made of Kelby and her daughter Reese.  I hope you enjoy them as much as I did in making them.



Before the day of the photo shoot, I think I had only seen Reese once or twice when she was much smaller. I was curious to see how she would react to having essentially a stranger take pictures of her.


Kelby suggested a beach location, because it is Reese's "happy place".  My approach was to chat with Kelby and let Reese play on the beach and in the sand.






After about ten minutes, I became just another person hanging around.  That's when I was able to capture some fun images of her by herself and the two of them together.







When shooting, I didn't "pose" them, but rather let them behave as they normally would. I only suggested a few times to move to a different location. There is nothing wrong with "posed" portraits, I do them some times.  I just prefer capturing candid, natural expressions and moments.


If you'd like for me to capture some similar images of you and or your children, family or friends, please contact me.  I would love to talk with you about some possibilities.

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