What Is Documentary Family Photography?

Documentary , March 30, 2018

Documentary family photography is a genre of family photography that aims to capture natural moments as they occur, rather than staging or setting up the scene.  There is no posing or directing.  Everyday family life is a worthwhile subject.  The philosophy is that it’s the real moments that we want to remember, so let’s get that.

A documentary photo session basically feels like having a friend tag along while you go about your day.  This friend has a camera and is taking pictures, but will never interrupt a moment or ask you to ‘say cheese’.  The photographer must anticipate moments and get into position to carefully compose each image.  It’s kind of like having a photojournalist ‘covering’ your story.

The results are authentic photographs of your real family life.  Photographs that will make you laugh, and probably make you cry, too. 

Memory-invoking images of your life.

Part of my own philosophy is that I deeply value that which is real.  I can make truly beautiful portraits of kids, just being themselves.  Authentic moments in time that could never be replicated or contrived. 

I believe this has to do with my own desire for connection over perfection. Beauty is found in the chaos of parenthood – we love to look back and reminisce about the good times, but also laugh at the struggles.  

Documentary family photography is an unapologetic visual diary of your life.  

Find the extraordinary in the ordinary.  Life is art.


Allie xo


I'm Alison, a natural documentary family photographer, based in Calgary, Alberta. If you feel like something has been missing from your family photographs, it just might be authenticity.

I specialize in creating beautiful, storytelling images of real family life. I believe in the importance of family memories. It's not about looking picture perfect, it's about your real life, which I promise you is MORE INTERESTING. Families hire me so that they can have memory-invoking photographs, professionally finished & in their hands, ready to pass down to future generations.

What are you waiting for? Get in touch! 403-464-6333

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© Alison Lapczuk Photography 2019