Family Documentary Photography: A day in the life of the Crowe Family

Since moving to the Asheville, NC area from NYC at during the pandemic I have been thinking through the kinds of photography I want to pursue here.  I’m sure I’ll keep shooting weddings, but I feel excited to try offering new specialties in this new place. A few years ago I became enthralled with a documentary style “day in the life” concept that might be thought of as a sort of revolution in the family portraiture genre. I saw Kirsten Lewis pioneering this style and I know there are folks whom it resonates with, and I’m hoping to find those families and clients here. If you dread the standard family portrait sessions and love the idea of having beautiful authentic moments between you and your kids preserved for remembering this special time in your family’s life, this might be for you! 

My first sample family shoot was with Todd and Heidi and their sweet daughters Aziza and Nehara. They recently moved into a new house and are just such a fun bunch. We planned for me to hang out all day on a Saturday when they’d be all together, and I spent the day documenting moments unfolding as they just did (without any activity-planning or direction). I arrived at 8am, when Heidi had said they typically get started with a routine where Todd makes breakfast with the girls while Heidi gets time alone to do some yoga, and indeed they were all more or less freshly awake when i tiptoed in the front door and got my cameras out. They day saw lots of fun spontaneous activity– playing inside and out, the girls spending time with Todd in his workshop (I love these shots! Editing was so hard!) and some soil test science experiments while Todd planted some boysenberries. I was totally in my flow state with shooting, and of course I took breaks from the camera at various points (nap time etc) when it felt more appropriate to be there or hang out and chat a bit. After a late lunch / early dinner the whole family walked across the street for a casual party at the neighbors’ yard and the girls enjoyed seeing the fish in their pond and roasting marshmallows at a bonfire. I concluded the day with them by capturing the bedtime routine’s high points of reading, teeth brushing, reading the books the girls chose that night, and tucking them in for bed.


I loved how relaxed this family was able to be while being photographed — Though we’ve been becoming friends before I suggested this the kids barely knew me, but they quickly got used to my presence and the occassional click of the camera.  I think this sort of session can be way less stressful on parents because you’re not expected to look perfect or do anything particular for my camera, and the kids don’t have to “behave”– the whole point is to capture what their life is like, “flaws” and all! I found so much satisfaction and delight in being allowed in to observe and capture moments that preserve the unique family relationships with all the love and hard work and patience and caring and fun between these parents and their children. A million thanks to the Crowe family for being my first subjects in this style!

I’m looking for more families to do this work with– do get in touch if you’re interested in applying to be one of my sample families as I build up a small portfolio to start marketing this style shoot at full price. Due to the long hours of shooting and editing involved, will be priced as a significant investment, but of course I plan to make it worth every penny! 


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