5 reasons to book a documentary family session

Documentary family photography is quite recent. Although, outside of Portugal it is more common for families to hire a photographer to document their daily life, here this approach to family photography is still making its first steps.
Because of that, I compiled to you 5 reasons on why a documentary session may be the ideal choice for your family.

 

1 – There is no posing for the camera (I know how that can such a pain)

mom and kid not posing during a documentary family session

That’s right, in a documentary session there are no posed photographs. You won’t hear me say things like “smile for the camera!” or “hug each other!”, and I will not place you in the perfect “happy family” pose. Instead, I will photograph your day as you live it without interfering in your moments.

 

2 – The photographs are real

real tender moment between brother and sister

As I spend a whole day with a family, the kids (and grown-ups) are comfortable to be themselves, wether during the playfull moments or during the calmer ones. It is during these everyday moments that their personalities truly arise and it is possible to capture their unique expressions. It is also in the day-to-day life that the most genuine gestures of affection happen.

 

3 – There’s no need to wait for the best light of day to make the best photographs

mom and baby in low light situation

A “Day in the life” session begins very early in the morning, when the kids are getting up and ends at night, at bedtime. During this time, we will have amazing light as well almost no light at all. The only constant are the people and their moments. And those do not have a schedule.

 

4 – You don’t need to tidy up your home

family home during a documentary session

One of the concerns that may come up is this one about how messy our homes can be: “my home is such a chaos, the photos won’t be pretty”. With kids, I’m sure that keeping a house neat and clean is almost impossible. I don’t have kids (yet) and that’s already a very challenging thing for me to do, but the good news is that for a documentary session, you mustn’t worry about that. The goal is to photograph your family in your home, as messy as it usually is.

 

5 – How much you will value the photographs in the future

dad holding his son in the kitchen before heading to work

The result of a documentary family session is a carefull selection of photographs that are focused on the people, their emotions and relationships. In a few years, those photographs will have an invaluable importance, specially for the children. When they grow up, they will love to see how they used to play, how they used to pout; what they loved to eat (or hated); the spaces such as the home they grew up in, their room and the details, or even their favourite restaurant.
And there are emotions associated to all these photographs, such as joy or affection, and it is certain that by looking at them years later, you will feel all of that all over again.

Expofoto 2018 – The Way Photography Conference in Portugal

This past weekend, I was at The Way – Expofoto 2018, a major photography event organized by APPIMagem – Associação Portuguesa dos Profissionais da Imagem. It was 5 days of talks with some of best in the industry. It was also the opportunity to meet and see photographer friends; talk, get and give advice, share ideas, experiences. You can see here the amazing video about the event.
To me, one of the highest points was the last day, where I attended a workshop with the amazing Tamara Lackey. Major reference ever since I started to photograph families – four years ago (!!!) I had done another workshop with her in London.
To be able to learn with her once again, this time right here at home, was a golden opportunity I couldn’t miss. Thank you APPImagem and Tamara!!

participantes do workshop com tamara lacky durante a expofoto em portugal

Documentary or Lifestyle Session: what are differences between them?

Lifestyle is a term that’s been used to describe those photo sessions that are known for the lifelikeness the pictures present.

In lifestyle sessions, the best conditions are created in order to get beautiful photos that, at the same time, reflect that lifelike feeling.
The time and place are chosen, as well as the clothes that can be purposely selected for the session. And, during the session, the family is directed and posed to get a better composition and lighting. There is also a lot of interaction between the photographer and families to get authentic expressions and reactions.

 

Family with two kids having fun in Ribeira do Porto
In a family lifestyle session there is a lot of fun and play, as well as some more calm and tender moments. This is what you can expect when booking a short session, where part of the session is dedicated to make this fun natural looking portraits of your family.

 

In a documentary session, the approach is very different.

The purpose is to make photographs that truly reflect your family life – your day-to-day, who you are, what you’re feeling, how you relate with one another. So, interference will be minimal, I won’t pose you and won’t direct you in any way.
It is obvious that only by being there, there will be some interference. And that is the reason why this kind of sessions last longer, like the “day in the life” sessions that last for a whole day. It takes time for kids (and grown-ups) to get used to the presence of someone that is there to photograph their day. I do talk and play with the kids, but I don’t pose them, don’t change the environment by, for example, turning lights on or off, or ask anyone to move. I’m with the family like a guest, and by being a natural presence in their day I’m able photograph them as their life truly happens: the tender moments, the fun and chaotic ones as well as the tantrums.

 

kids jumpping on bed while mom tries to make the bed
The result is very very special. Your kids, when they grow up, are going to love to look at these pictures and relive these moments as kids. Just imagine, you having photographs of your childhood that show the chaos of your family meals, the bath time or even the tantrums because you didn’t want to get to bed.
That’s what documentary family is all about: your family in awesome, honest photographs.
 
If you’d like to book your session or know more about them, drop me an email at info@anapratas.com .

New year, new look!

ana-pratas-rebranding

 

I know, I know, the new year is long gone, but to me, today has also that new beginning taste: it’s my birthday!
I figured today would be perfect to launch this brand new look as well as the renovated website. It was a very well thought out and a much expected change.
This new image is different, and it amazes me how much I see myself in it: relaxed, tomboyish and, at the same time simple and bold. Thank you so much Joana for the awesome work and for all the patience!!
I also want to thank the families that welcomed me in their homes so that I could photograph their lives. These were the sessions that allowed me to practice, gain experience and create portfolio. Many accepted this “weird” idea and I’m very happy with the result.
The website was renovated as well, and is now more focused on documentary family photography. It’s filled with images and information on what are these sessions all about.
Go, check it out, explore everything and don’t forget to book your session!
I want to photograph “Your family, as is. Awesome and real!”.