Your kids only get one childhood.  My job is to document it.

Instead of photo shoots that are posed or staged and often feel unnatural – I offer an alternative: documentary family photography sessions.

My family photography sessions allow you and your family to be your true selves in your own home, on your own time.  Nothing is scripted or choreographed, and there are definitely no forced “cheese” smiles.  Your family – just as you are, just as you always are.   My promise to you is that your session will be hassle-free, stress-free, and no drama.

What is a Photo Session like?

The goal of my photo sessions is to create a story using a series of pictures with no influence from the photographer.

It is an artistic rendering of real life by celebrating the normal every day “rituals” and routines you have as a family.  Whether it is making pancakes every Saturday with Mom, shooting hoops in the driveway with Dad, or the evening bath-time/reading/bedtime routine…these are the ordinary everyday moments that define childhood.  They change over time and as your child gets older.

While these routines may seem ordinary and un-photogenic – I would argue that it is in these seemingly “ordinary” routines and rituals that we express the love we have for our children, the depth of joy in our relationships, and beauty and emotion of family life.

Washington DC Family Photography

Mom giving her daughter a quick bath before bedtime

What does a Family Shoot Look feel like?

I had my friend Carl come along and video me with a family.

Take a look at what a typical family photo shoot looks and feels like.

A Family Photo Session with Emily Weiss from Emily Weiss Photography on Vimeo.

Where to sessions take place?

Washington DC Family Photography

Aunt Alison gets one last kiss before her nephews leap out the door to hunt for Easter eggs

Sessions can start where-ever your weekend begins but typically they start at home.  If we start early morning, I like to be there for the wake-up – make breakfast – morning routine.  Yes, that may mean I am at the foot of your bed while you cuddle your kids in your PJs.  Then, I follow and document you throughout your day.  If that includes a trip to the grocery store, the park, ballet lessons, a favorite dinner spot…then I am along for the ride and I document it all.

Will it be weird to have you and your camera in our home?

Washington Dc Family Photography

Twin babies in twin feeding chair

In the beginning, some families are very camera aware and self-conscious, which is normal.  However, pretty quickly you kind of forget about the camera and that is when the good stuff happens.  I just blend in and become part of your family for the day.

What should we as a family do?

Washignton DC Day Family Photography

Mac and his mom making zucchini muffins

What you would normally do if I was not there.  But if you feel stumped by this concept, let’s talk and I can help you figure out how to structure our time and give you ideas.  It’s not as hard as you think.

What do we wear?

What you would normally wear if I were not there unless you all dress in matching outfits or white shirts and khakis all the time. Then we need to talk. (And maybe set up a fashion intervention.)

Washington DC Day in the Life Family Photogrpahy

Walking through Eastern Market to pick out dinner groceries

How many photos do we get?

It all depends, on you, your family and how you all interact. I don’t like to give hard numbers on the final number of photographs because each family is unique and different.  The longer the session the more images I am able to create.  But on average I deliver between 60-90 final finished photographs for a longer session. and  20-30 for a 1.5-hour session.

But I saw you take way more frames than that.  Can we see all the frames you took throughout the session?

No, and you don’t want to.  They are the frames I needed to make to arrive at the perfectly composed photograph.  The extra frames may be the same scene with minute micro adjustments I made until I arrived and THE ONE frame that was the best.  And that is the one I deliver to you.  You don’t need to see my almost there attempts at the right one…you just need the ONE.  Part of my job is to comb through and pull out only the best using my trained eye and skill to tell a complete story.  Anything more and you would be overwhelming.

Do you edit all the photographs?

Yes!  I spend almost as much time if not more after the shoot as I do on it.  I go through everything I have captured, choose just the right frame and artistically edit them one by one and decide what is the best for the story.  Some may be in color and some are in black and white.

I’m ready to book – what are the next steps?

Get in touch!

I prefer the phone because as we chat we I can get a sense of you and your family and we can look at our calendars together to find a date but we can also start the process over email.

Tel: 202-270-4424