I love documentary photography. What is that exactly? Documentary photography is simply capturing the moment just as it is. There is no direction being given from the photographer, nothing id cleaned up around the house on purpose, the family doesn't have color coordinated clothing on. It's documenting your life exactly how it really is.
I get asked frequently about how I'm able to see these special little moments and get them photographed without prompting my kiddos or husband so I wanted to give a couple tips.
One:My easiest tip is simply to have your camera in one spot and loaded with your sd card. I can't tell you how many moments I've misses because I didn't have a silly sd card loaded in my camera and it infuriates me!
Two: Let your kids BE kids. If they're banging on something they're learning, if they're running around like chickens with heads cut off they're getting energy out, if they're playing with bugs they're investigating a new creature. Let them be kids. Those are the memories you'll love seeing later on anyway. Yes, it might mean extra clean up that day and sometimes that's the last thing I ever want to do, but it's so worth it for the memories of their littleness.
Three: Don't clean up! You're not going to care if your house was spotless twenty years from now. You're going to want to remember their messy innocent faces giving you the mean eye because they think it's hilarious. I bet you anything that once my own kiddos have babies and toys are ALL over the floor I'm going to love pulling out my own photos of them being crazy with toys everywhere to remind them that what goes around comes around, haha! All the laundry, dishes, and chaos is always inevitably going to be there anyway, so why worry about it?
Four: Look for the details you want to remember and get to capturing them. You may even need to write down some things that you love about your family as they are right now, I do that too! Right now, Emily's hair is crazy curly, like ringlets, and I want to remember that forever because I know as a curly head myself that one day she's going to hate her curls and wish they were straight. I'll have photos to look back on and remember how she says, "I LOVE when my hair is crazy!"
Five: Capture your emotional moments, too. I absolutely love the way my little guy looks with he's crying. I know it sounds crass but it's true. His sweet little baby face all emotion filled, usually over something super small like him dropping his car on the floor, I just can't get enough. I know that taking six seconds to grab my camera and snap a photo isn't going to hurt him and I'll love seeing those raw photos later on.
Six: One of the most important and difficult for me is to GET IN PHOTOS. I'm always the one seeing the moment happening and never the one being in the moment. I'm ok with that for the most part but I do want my kids to know that I was there later on when looking at photos. My tip: invest in a tripod and remote shutter for your camera! I can't stress a remote shutter enough because with toddlers there is literally not enough time to get up and set the self-timer for each photo. They just don't have the attention span!