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Newborn, Family and Branding Photography Blog

Your Guide to Lifestyle Family Photo Sessions vs. Documentary Family Photo Sessions | Jen Joseph Photography

Little ones grow so fast, and the family dynamic changes in the blink of an eye. Family photos are a great way to hit pause and to treasure the moment forever. 

Are you ready to book your family photography session in Washington DC, but you’re not sure exactly what you are looking for? There are different approaches to family photography that produce gorgeous memories. But one style in particular may best fit the needs of your family.

Lifestyle Family Photography Sessions

Lifestyle family photography focuses on capturing photos in a planned, but natural way. As your photographer, I will guide you through poses and activities will yield beautiful results. A lifestyle photography approach works well for annual family photos, maternity photo sessions, and newborn photo sessions. You can read more about my lifestyle family photography sessions here.

Lifestyle family photo sessions can be held at your home, or at a location we select together – and either way we will capture beautiful results. Your photos will showcase emotional connection and your family’s personalities while you have fun together.

Washington DC Family Photography, Jen Joseph
Washington DC Family Photography, Jen Joseph

Documentary Family Photography Sessions

Documentary family photos are in-the-moment, unposed photos. Life can be crazy, messy, and delightful, and during documentary family photo sessions I aim to capture just that – the realness. These photos require little planning and tell your story in a unique way. For my documentary family photo sessions, I often recommend that you engage in an activity together because it helps to facilitate interaction and engagement between your family members. Some examples are: playing a game, cooking, or a trip to a favorite place.

When photographing documentary family sessions, I blend into the background and look out for quirky, fun moments as they happen. Documentary family photography offers you unfiltered photos to capture your family’s interactions with one another in an unscripted way.

Documentary family photography is ideal for families who are seeking photos that feel real, honest, and unscripted. We just let life play out and I capture the inevitable special moments. You can learn more about my documentary family photography sessions here.

Washington DC Family Photography, Jen Joseph
Washington DC Family Photography, Jen Joseph

Ultimately to decide which one fits best; consider what essence you are trying to capture during your photoshoot. Consider your family members personalities, and the occasion you are trying to document. Do you want a little guidance on what to do or do you want a fly on the wall to catch spontaneous life-happenings as they occur?

If you would like to hear more about these styles, I was a guest on the Sustainable Photography podcast, and talked about Lifestyle and Documentary approaches – you can listen here.

Regardless of which one you prefer, either one will present you with beautiful mementos of this time in life.

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Storytelling with photographs in Washington DC and Beyond

As your trusted Washington DC newborn photographer, I am proud to serve the vibrant families of Washington DC and its surrounding communities. Together, we will create comfortable and emotive memories of your baby's earliest days.