Day in the Life Session | DC Family Photography

For millions of commuters, the DC metro system is just another mode of transportation, but for Adam and Caleb, riding the metro is an adventure. And a pretty inexpensive one at that. So it made perfect sense to photograph their family taking a typical Saturday morning metro ride to a museum on the National Mall. I so enjoyed spending time with this family and capturing their sweet relationship.

Here are a few of my favorites from their session.

David Burke - Lovely work – so much prefer this sort of approach to family photography rather than everyone in a studio, on a white background, in a pyramid shape….

Briar Patch B&B Inn Wedding | Saule and Shawn

I love Saulé and Shawn’s story because it’s beautiful…and rare. Saulé and Shawn first met when they were just a couple of kids one summer on vacation. In a time before Facebook and email, they wrote letters to each other for several years. And then they lost touch. They reconnected in 2006 after Saulé found Shawn online…she still had the letters he wrote and the first gift he gave her.

Finally, on a cool day in November, they celebrated their marriage surrounded by family and friends at the whimsical Briar Patch Bed and Breakfast Inn in Middleburg, Virginia. It was one more sweet chapter in their story together…one of many more to come.

I so enjoyed capturing the moments of their day. Here are a few of my favorite photos from their wedding.

Tiffany - Gorgeous work!

Nancy - What great photos to capture their ongoing story. There are so many good ones, but I especially like the one with the mother in focus watching her daughter get married. Her face says SO much. Also, the last one by the fence is just beautiful.

Shawn - Great work Mary! I love them!!

Children and Chickens | Maryland Family Photography

I’m not sure what it is about farm animals, but kids love them! And for this sweet family, a trip to a local “farm” was the perfect thing to do for their family photos. We managed to squeeze this session in right before superstorm Sandy touched down. Thankfully, we didn’t get a lot of damage in our area–and we even got some sun for their photos!

Here are a few of my favorites from the “W” family outing to Old Maryland Farm.

nancy - What fun! That family looks like they love life….and the kids are adorable. I especially like the photo of the little girl on dad’s shoulders and the sweet smiling baby in her mom’s arms.

What is Documentary Family Photography?

It’s a regular morning. Harriet sits in her highchair, half of her Cheerios on the floor–the other half spilled in her seat. Remnants of yogurt and oatmeal stick to her hair, rubbed into her tresses by slimy little fingers. It’s almost time for me to wash her up–an activity she now greets with screams and loud protestations, squirming and wiggling to avoid the wet cloth on her face. But I wait a moment–I hear Jay’s shoes coming down the steps. It’s time for him to head out. “Say goodbye to Dadda, Harriet!” “Daddy’s going to work.”

And then without prompting, she waves. It’s more a flapping of her whole arm…but it’s a wave. Her first wave. “Yes!! Good girl! That’s right, Harriet! Wave goodbye to Dadda!” She looks at me, surprised at the reaction her hand flapping has garnered but obviously very pleased with herself.

I guess it’s not a regular morning after all. It’s the morning when Harriet first waved.

If only I could pause that moment, soak it up, see the delight in her face, and remember our morning routine together. I know I’m going to forget it. I know we’re going to have new routines and new firsts…but oh to hold onto those little moments just for a bit!

documentary family photography

What are the things that makes your family special? What memories do you hold most dear? Of course we all love to look back on highlights–family trips, vacations, new places we discovered together. But what about the day-to-day? The ups and downs…the laughs…yes even the tears…of every-day-crazy-life together? Those are precious memories too.

That’s why I love to shoot documentary photo sessions for families. It means capturing those little moments, those daily routines that so quickly fade. Documentary family photography goes beyond cute pictures of everyone looking at the camera to meaningful, story-telling moments. It’s more than “here’s what we look like all dressed up for pictures.” It’s “here’s what we look like when we’re laughing at our corny jokes and juggling our one-year old.”

Don’t get me wrong–having great portraits of your family is also meaningful, and it’s something I often take during a documentary photo session. But having pictures that in some small way “pause” those sweet memories and passing moments is a wonderful gift to your family for many generations.

So what is documentary family photography? It’s your family: unscripted, beautiful, real, incredible.

Natalie - Mary! I love this. Harriet’s first wave story brought a tear to my eye :)

Rosaura - Oh you said it just so perfectly it made my heart ache and smile at the same time. Thank you Mary! :)

Milla - This is SO PRECIOUS. I love this post, Mary, and I can’t wait to be part of your every day routine next week! :)

Crystalyn - And that’s what I cherish so much about the photos you took of our family. They were our chaotic, messy every day. Something we don’t capture enough (at least with me in the photos!) Unscripted. Perfect. and photos I’ll cherish forever.

Ashley - I wish I had you to document our dinner last night…Keegan was manipulating Matt into feeding her dinner and dropped her fork with a face and screech that said “I am the master of Chaos! Bend to my will!!!” I would pay good money to go back in time to capture that face!!!