Documentary Style Family Photography for Real Families

Search for a family photographer and most of what Google with show you will be studio style portraits – perfectly lit, posed just so, and technically absolutely perfect. But as a photographer I can tell you that the number one concern I hear from parents is “we don’t like to pose” or “we want natural shots”. The number two concern quickly follows – “my child is a live wire!” Documentary photography flies in the face of all other kinds of photography. At its heart its simple maxim is just to show real life.

No special lighting, no studio, no posing.

Yup. They’re all live wires. That’s simply par for the course. For a long time I’ve simply adapted to the child and been happy to leg it after them through the woods.

Because trying to get a posed shot of a kid often ends like this

But when you don’t even attempt to pose kids, but simply be where they are, in the right place at the right time?


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A Strategy that creates an heirloom

A famous New York street photographer, Arthur Fellig, was once asked what his method was – how could he consistently deliver real, human shots of New York? His answer: “f8 and be there.” F8 refers to a bit of technical exposure info but the important part of the statement is about where you are. There. Where it’s all happening.

Family Photography in Nottingham & Derby

As a documentary family photographer, what this means for me is being with you, in your home or with you out for a walk. If you choose a Day In the Life documentary photoshoot you’re choosing to have your real life photographed for a couple of hours. These family photography sessions are available across Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire.

In my house that would mean lazy Saturday mornings, kids with bed hair, playing with whatever the toy du jour might be. My toddler has scribbled on some of the walls and I’ve not yet found time to redecorate. We usually have clothes drying in the kitchen, and though my house is clean I find tidiness is not my forte. I don’t apologise for any of this stuff in real life, and I wouldn’t expect to suddenly have a show home for the sake of a photoshoot.

Those smudges on the walls are my real life. My toddler won’t always be a toddler. Her hair won’t always be crazy, her fingers won’t always be pudgy, her expression won’t always be pure joy and innocence. My four year old might not always come to me for comfort. He might not always think his dad is a superhero. He might, one day, grow out of playing on all fours, pushing cars around in a circuit that only he understands. These are the real life moments I want to remember, and I don’t think I could find them in a studio.

If you’re interested in a documentary family photoshoot and would like to know more, then get in touch. You can email me at hello@carolinegoosey.com.

If you’d like to find out about my current Spring Colour Promotion and pop yourself on the waiting list for a session, click here.


You can also follow my 365 project on Instagram and see the kinds of photos I take on a daily basis.