Franklin, Tennessee Family Photographer | How do I get authentic family photos?

April 14, 2023

Over the years, photography has been slowly moving away from posed family photography… But in replace of that, it has moved to “lifestyle” family photography. Lifestyle can be done indoors or outside, but it is another form of staged work. While the outcome can be beautiful AND meaningful… Is it capturing the family as they really are? From my experience with many photographers … No.

Nuno Silva, director of content at 500px, defines authentic photos as “the documentation of something real and actual—not a posed model and not post-processed into a hyper-stylic interpretation of reality.”

What Lifestyle Photography Misses out on…

Lifestyle photography is another form of cookie cutter photography. Most photographers have a shot list. They follow that list for every family. (Hey, I’m not bashing it, I used to do it!)

But what I realized when I found family films was that a shot list misses out on capturing REAL MEMORIES.

Maybe not every family snuggles in their master bedroom? So why do we do this in every in home lifestyle photo session? I know most family certainly dont snuggle on a quilt in a field…. so why do we do this every fall for family photography sessions? What does a quilt in a field have to do with your family memories? Nothing…

Your life is absolutely beautiful. Even if you have weight to lose or your home needs remodeled. And if you are waiting on those things to be perfect, you will miss out on all of these beautiful moments in the meantime.

I get to know my families.

Me and my clients get to know each other. I want to know what your favorite moments are RIGHT NOW. I want to know what crazy things are happening every day that may even drive you crazy but you know you will miss (hello, stepping on legos!)

I want to know how you met your spouse and what your favorite memories were when you were kids! I want to know all of the weird parts, the messy parts and the best parts. Because to me, its all absolutely amazing. The story is beautiful.

When you choose a lifestyle session rather than a documentary session (unposed, real life)… You are actually ignoring memories. I remember when my first documentary session happened in my home and the photos came back. A photo of my son laying on his belly, on a bench, reaching behind him putting on his shoe made me cry… Why? Because I almost lost that moment by choosing perfect photography sessions over real life. (and for the record, when he acts silly putting his shoes on in the weirdest way, it does drive me crazy! But the kids will grow up and learn to properly put their shoes on, so I try to soak up the moments anyway!)

There are moments you may not even see.

Inevitably, there will be some really fascinating in between moments on your session. I see these tiny fleeting moments that you might not even see because you are busy living your life.

That’s why you hire me. So that I can capture those for you and you can revisit them for years to come. Whether you hire me for documentary photos or a family film and photo session, Im going to spend a lot of time with you. Don’t worry, the sessions are easy. Dads LOVE sessions with me, they say it’s the easiest session ever, because I do not force posing or inauthenticity. If a child is uncomfortable, you can trust that I am going to give them time to warm up. I know how to back off and wait. and it has never failed. It helps that I have two degrees in child education and psychology. I never force children. That is the #1 way to ruin an authentic family session.

If you want to try this type of family session, please … let’s chat! I would love to talk it over with you.

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