Capturing Family Portrait
Photography Documentary Style

Why our unposed, informal, reportage photography style is the perfect way to capture your family memories, whether at home, on a day out, or even on a family holiday…

What if your family photo album was full of real memories and real personality?

Flipping through your family photo albums always brings back incredible memories, as well as the usual series of questions:

“Who’s that?” “Do you remember that day?” “Where was this?” “What on EARTH are you wearing in that one?!”

A family album is a treasure-trove, an archive of your personal history, a record to pass on from generation to generation. It’s how we learn about our great-grandparents, how we remember loved ones, how we record key moments in our family life.

But what if the photographs didn’t just remind us of how our family looked or where we’d been, but actually showed us a little of their personality? What if instead of everyone doing their best to smile as they stand in a carefully orchestrated line in front of a landmark, the photographs showed the real stories behind that day and those precious memories?

Family photoshoot in a garden. Girl drives a push play car in the foreground. Behind her and framed around the roof of the car a mother and son hug to the right of the frame and on the left a girl bounces on a spacehopper
Family Photography outside a Yorkshire home. Centre (rear) a woman is framed in the doorway. Right of the frame a young boy is silhouetted behind a sandpit. Left of the frame we can see a woman's legs and a small silhouetted dog

That focus on real moments, real interactions between people is where documentary photography really shines. Unlike the more traditional family portraits the photographs are captured spontaneously, directly in the moment, and usually over a period of time. That sense of spontaneity, the fact that you as the subject don’t know precisely when the photographer is going to press the shutter means that even the most guarded in front of the camera can’t help but drop that learned frozen response and show a little bit more personality in the photos.

Nowhere is the idea of exploring personality in a photograph more important than in family photography. These photographs are not just to be enjoyed now, they are for your children to enjoy later, to relive a part of their childhood, to understand more about the members of their own family and what they were like at a different time in their lives. These are a personal record of your family and that’s why we believe they should truly represent you and the relationships you all share.

Family photography captured in Nantucket USA. A man stands on a boulder attaching blue and white balloons to a signpost that reads Old Farm Road. Below the sign a man in shorts, T-shirt and a baseball cap looks for something in his pocket. On the left of the frame a girl holds a blue balloon.
Family Photoshoot in a garden. At the front of the frame is a rideable red toy car with facial features. Behind and slightly to the left a boy stands holding a spacehopper in front of his face. The spacehopper has eyes and a smile, mirroring the face of the car.

Family Photography Documenting Life At Home

The beauty of taking family photographs on location rather than the rather more abstract surrounds of a white box in the studio is that we can photograph not just the essence of you as a family through your expressions and connections but also through the way you interact with your home environment.

Looking back at those family pictures in years to come isn’t just interesting because of the people who are there but because of the way your surroundings will have changed. To us as family photographers, it’s endlessly fascinating to look back over the changes in style and fashion that affected our lives – the way that seemingly insignificant details from the past now seem extraordinary. In 30 years time the car you drive now will seem alien. In 40 years time the way we dress now might seem equally bizarre. The fashions of our homes may not be timeless, but the memories that are created within them truly are. These photographs show the genuine fun you share together day-to-day as a family, and to us that’s far more powerful than just a smile in an empty white room.

I LOVE them. You are geniuses. Thank you so so much. I am totally blown away. I can’t tell you how glad I am that I asked you to do this. Thank you a million times over. There are so many wonderful, meaningful and funny moments. I don’t think I’ve taken them all in yet. I know how good they are too - it’s like I’m looking at them with two heads - I appreciate them just as much as I love them. Everyone loves them. Thank you so much for doing something so very special for us - Alice

Family photograph taken inside a home looking out to the garden. A little boy holds onto the doorframe, a pacifier in his mouth. Framed on the left we can see to the garden outside where a pop-up tent is setup, a Postman Pat toy propped up against it
Four children play limbo dancing below a garden cane balanced between benches. Around them are 3 adult members of their family.
Professional family photograph captured on a family holiday in Nantucket. A small child looks out from an upstairs window in a typical Nantucket home

Our Approach as Family Photographers

Whether your family photoshoot takes place at home, out on a family day out or even on holiday, our approach is always the same. We don’t want you to stop and smile at the camera, we look to capture you as a family in full flow, embracing the spontaneity and all the little individual characteristics that make your family completely unique and completely fantastic!

Our family photography embraces the best traditions of street photography to capture not just any old family picture but a piece of art with you at the centre. Our work has received numerous accolades and taken us all around the world sharing our ideas but really the focus of our photographs is simple: it’s about people and relationships, and nowhere is the relationship more interesting than between members of the same family.

We allow plenty of time for our family photoshoots so you have the chance to get used to us and to relax around the camera. Unless you’d like one or two posed group shots we won’t ask anything of you at all on the day, we’ll just watch, observe and shoot the action as it happens, moving our own feet and making creative compositions in our trademark York Place style.

Find the latest shoots from our multi-award winning family photographers on the blog!


We'd Love To Capture Your Family Memories!

If you’d like our brother and sister team of family photographers to spend some time photographing a day in the life of your family at home, on a family day out, or even a family holiday we’d love to connect with you.