The Unscripted Life Sessions focus on your family in an environment that holds significant meaning to you. I create stunning photographs of your everyday life in all the beauty, chaos, and love that it involves.
My sessions are unique and unlike traditional posed photography. I intend for the images to grow in meaning over time. As your children age and life changes, you may discover yourself coming back to particular images. One that captures something exceptional unfolding in their personalities, or even, in yourself.
I booked a traditional portrait session a few years back. My little family looked so posh. We appeared as though parenthood did not come with all-nighters, belly fat, dirty hair, and stress levels unimaginable before baby. I was my own insecure client. I was unaware I was altering our TRUE life - the interactions and moments that are priceless to me - for the camera. In retrospect, I am sure I sought these pictures so I would receive outside validation that I am doing beyond well as a parent, as a woman, as a human.
This was before I could see my honest life worth documenting as it is. Today, I see life through a different lens, and it feels like a best-kept secret I get to share with my clients.
Although documentary photography is becoming more and more popular, I still received many questions about it. With this in mind, I put together a few tips for preparing for your upcoming Unscripted Life Session.
What To Wear
Wear whatever you feel comfortable wearing, even if everyone is not matching. If you want to match, then do so. Just make sure you are comfortable and that your clothing is not a distraction or an element of stress.
For children, I believe it is best to let them have input. Children - especially toddlers - love to exert their independence as they discover the world around them. I have given up trying to negotiate with my daughter over why her Moana pajamas are not school attire. And yet, the photographs I have of her in outfits of her choice are some of my favorites. The goal is to have everyone happy and relaxed - especially the little ones.
Do your usual makeup and hair. If the idea is to capture a normal day in the life, you want to look like you usually do. I want you to avoid feeling that the photos may seem a bit inauthentic to you later on.
For adults, there are a few things you can do to make your Unscripted Life Session more enjoyable. Avoid haircuts the day before. Have a haircut a week, or so, before the session. Men shave right before the session in case you regularly experience irritation.
There may be details that you are uncomfortable with or honestly do not want visible. I want you to love and treasure your images forever, so please feel free to speak to me if you have a scar, tattoo, or something of that sort that you do not (or that you do) want noticeable in your images.
What To Plan
Plan simple, easygoing activities… or, alternatively, plan nothing at all! The Unscripted Life Sessions are intended to capture whatever is regularly going on in your life or at your home. It may be as simple as a family meal, baking cookies, a crafting project. Maybe a guitar lesson or an outing to the park. Possibly bath time or taking the dog for a walk. Savor the moments of your every day and use the time to create lovely, lasting memories preserved through imagery.
I am very organized, and I like to keep a schedule. Other parents may wish to play it by ear. This is your time, your life, your photo session. So during your Unscripted Life Session, any approach works for me. When in doubt, let your kids choose at least one activity!
One of my favorite Unscripted Life Sessions was this one, featuring little Henry and his parents on a quick trip to the playground after school. It was an uncomplicated activity, but it fits in naturally with their daily routine and what they desired to capture about their lives.
I will work with you and your family before your session to nail down the perfect place and activity. The key is if you have something "planned," you are likely to act more openly in front of the camera, and in turn, so will your children.