What is Documentary Photography?

If you are looking for classic/traditional “smile at the camera” shots, I am not your gal; If you’re looking for more of a storytelling approach, read on….

from Marie Masse of Fearless and Framed

Documentary photography – photos that have been created with no photographer interaction. It often overlaps with photojournalism. Think documentary for longer projects, and photojournalism for shorter projects (news stories).

So often, these are the powerful photos you see from travel photographers documenting culture and creating images on political and social topics. But seriously, why the hell not use this same shooting style for your family photos (or your clients)? We do it with wedding photography, but for some reason, people tend to write off this shooting style so easily when it comes to photographing seniors, family, etc.

Example: Photos of connection between a dad and child building a gingerbread house together. Yes, the session was planned, but the clients aren’t being directed into any movement. The photographer isn’t intruding with direction to yield a particular result – such as laughter. The photographer is simply there, present, and ready to photograph what is unfolding.

What is Lifestyle Photography?

Lifestyle photography – photos that have been orchestrated in perfect harmony for a candid moment.

Lifestyle is how I described my sessions when I first started shooting anything unposed, because, well, it just sounded pretty. Most lifestyle sessions I have seen are similar to documentary photography in that they are not traditional posed or placed. However, it’s apparent in the photos that the photographer is giving some guidance along the way.

Example: Photos of laughter when mom tickles her child or mom and dad gazing down at baby in the nursery. The photographer is directing clients into movement to create these images.


the perfect combo

I love documentary-inspired sessions. I want to step into your world and document real and authentic connection and emotion. meaning, allowing you to be to be unposed and undirected. Yet, I also will step in with various prompts etc.. if need be therefor it being considered more of a lifestyle approach.