Molly VanDamme Photography | What to Expect when You're Expecting... A Documentary Session!

What to Expect when You're Expecting... A Documentary Session!

February 23, 2016  •  1 Comment

So, you’ve realized that you want to have a documentary photo session!  You know this time in your life is pretty awesome and you want to have these memories to look back on 5, 10, 20 years from now.  [Yay!] 

But now what?

Maybe you’re not familiar with how these sessions work, or what to expect.  Don’t worry about a thing- that’s where I come in!  Here are some of the most-asked questions/concerns I get from clients about this type of session, and the answers I hope will put your mind at ease!


Does the session have to be at my house?

Absolutely not!  There are hundreds of places that we can do a documentary session, and I’m more than happy to brainstorm the perfect place for you!  Think about a place that is meaningful to you and your spouse/family– it can be a house, park, store, restaurant, beach – the options are literally limitless!  The idea is to have the session done in place that feels “normal” to you.  We don’t want to just pick a park that had super gorgeous flowers and a nice lake – we want to go to a place/do an activity that will invoke a feeling when you see it in photographs. 


These sessions are very laid back and are basically dedicated time for your family to be together!


I did one family documentary session at the local zoo!  The son LOVED animals, and the zoo was one of his favorite places in the world.  The family made regular outings there, so the mom thought it would be a great place for a photo session.  Everyone felt relaxed and it was a great place to capture the joy in her son’s eyes, and such a cool way to document this time in his life. 


I like the idea of having the session in my house, but I’m afraid it will be too messy.

I get this one a lot – and I can relate.  I promise you my house is not spotless – and I will NOT expect your home to be!  I also promise you that your house will not be the focal point of the photographs – your family will be.  When you look at the photos from your session, you won’t notice the things out of place, or the puzzles on the floor (that’s not just my kid, right?).  You’ll notice your child’s smile as they play with their train, or the way that your husband looks at you as you help prepare dinner.  You’ll see love.  You’ll see joy.  You’ll see your real life – presented in a way that is unique and beautiful.


Sure, these pictures are nice, but will I want to put them on my wall?

I, for one, love documentary style pictures and think they look amazing on the walls!  Sure, your kid might not be dressed to impress, and they might not even be looking at the camera – but who doesn’t love photos of your kids being kids?!  These photos will provoke feelings to those that see them, and they will truly take you back to a moment in time.  It’s so fun to have documentary style photos displayed – it’s like displaying the stories of your life for you to reminisce over.  In fact, I think these type of photos look particularly great in large prints and compiled to create a gallery wall!


Some of my favorite family pictures I have displayed in our house are large prints of my family playing in the rain and splashing in puddles.  When it was scheduled to rain during our family photo shoot, we decided to do it anyways (our photographer was great to agree to this!) and I absolutely LOVE the results. One of my favorite photos is my son, Liam, being pushed on the swing by my husband.  Liam has the biggest smile on his face, and it truly captures the magic of being one year old.  Another picture we have is of Liam walking between me and my husband.  He was just learning to walk, and it’s truly priceless to have photos of him taking some of his first steps between us.



My life is boring – what will you even take pictures of?

Everything! J  You may not see your life as something interesting and beautiful, but I do!  I don’t want to you to worry about what you’ll do or what you look like.  You can go about your day and trust me to capture your story. 


Do you still notice how your daughter stands on her tip toes to watch you cut strawberries at lunch?  How about the way your significant other loves to wrap you in his or her arms?  These are things people too often take for granted, but will miss when they change or are no longer there.  These are the real memories I will capture for you.


Won’t it feel weird to have you just watch us?

This questions makes me smile – trust me that it won’t feel like I’m just watching you!  We’ll have communication beforehand, and by the time I get to your session, it will feel like you’re welcoming a friend into your home! 


After we have our initial email and/or phone conversations, we’ll have a brainstorming session during which we will figure out what your day will look like (where we’ll be, a rough outline of what will be happening, etc.).  This communication can be over the phone, but it could also be in person or via Skype – depending on what is best for you and your family.



Let’s Recap:

 -  I’m glad you’re excited about a documentary session, I truly can’t wait to work with you.

 -  Your session can be anywhere, but if it is at your house, there is no need for it to be spotless!

 -  These pictures will be memories you want to display and pass down to generations – they will capture your life as it is now.  You’ll see the love between you and your family, and it won’t be “boring”. 

 -  The sessions are so laid back, you’ll feel like you’re just having dedicated family time!  And bonus – your friend is there to take pictures!


Ready to book your session? 

Click here to contact me and get things started!










Awesome idea!
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