We're all familiar with traditional family portraits - everyone smiling at the camera, dressed in their Sunday best, in a beautifully scenic location. And of course, those photos are lovely. But, have you ever felt that maybe that style of portrait isn't really you? That maybe there's something out there that's a better fit for your family? If so, family photojournalism might be just the thing you've been looking for.
Let's start with what photojournalism is. It has been said that you need to follow two basic pillars to be an ethical photojournalist. Those principles are that you do not manipulate your scene, and the information you are photographing must be real. Family photojournalism is simply when you apply those same principles to family photography.
These sessions will often take place in your home, or alternatively, you may choose to document a family outing. Your resulting photos will be almost exclusively candid, featuring a lot more interaction between the subjects than a traditional portrait session.
It's also important to know what family photojournalism is NOT.
- There will be no posing. Which means there is also no bribing your children to get the to cooperate (it's OK, we've all been there.)
- You and your photographer will most likely discuss some planned activities beforehand, but on the day of your session, you will receive little to no direction. Your photographer will simply capture what is happening naturally.
- The goal is not perfection. In fact, part of the process is finding the beauty in the imperfection.
Family photojournalism is not for everyone, and that's OK. But if you feel awkward taking direction, or you're feeling frustrated trying to get your kids to pose for a photo, and you'd prefer your session to feel less like a chore and more like a play date, then you may have just found the perfect photography style for your family.
Have questions? Leave them in the comments, or send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Want to see some examples? Check out a couple of my favorite sessions.
Ready to book a session of your own?