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{documentary} my 12 favorite real life moments in photos | washington DC documentary family photographer

a friend of mine,

and fellow photographer, calls herself “a serial moment-seeker” –her artistic soul is drawn to the beautiful, meaningful moments that unfold in her presence.

If learning meditation and mindfulness has taught me anything, it’s that we are far too likely to cast our minds forward and backward – thinking about what’s next, or dwelling on what’s past – than we are to let the present hold our attention for long. What does that possibly have to do with my photographer friend’s serial moment-seeking?

The connection is this: seeing the moments requires being in the present, resisting the pull of the future and the past, and letting Right Now seduce you with its beauties.

I’ve come to love family documentary photography

because it’s a way to fall in to love with the Right Now and see it with new eyes. When I spend a morning or a day with a family, we’re living in the moment. Me, with my camera training all my attention on the rituals and routines of parents and children. Them, playing out their every day activities with a heightened awareness of the significance and loveliness and craziness and joy infused in every hour.

kids live in the Right Now,

better than any of us – as long we don’t drag them too soon into the adult world of time and worry. They awaken and play. When they’re hungry they eat. They create games, they feel their feelings, they don’t check the clock or think about the next appointment. When they’re tired, they sleep. Following kids around with my camera pulls me into the Right Now in a way that no other meditative practice does. Physically, mentally and creatively, I’m in the Right Now and so many amazing real life moments appear in front of me.

I wish every single family everywhere would spend half a day or a full day with a photographer, letting real life unfold, capturing it, celebrating, and one day – when our right-nows are all back-thens – looking back at those moments and reliving the beautiful story that is their lives.

Here are my 12 favorite real life moments that I’ve captured with families.


During a trip to a farm, this little boy whispers to the pony, and the pony wrinkles his eyes at the shared joke. 



Tender moment with a little boy and his lovey.



I’m drawn to the gestures that connect one person to another. Both the mama reading, and the daddy tucking a curl behind her ear, connect this family eloquently. 



I’ve been known to wait with a camera to my eye for minutes on end to catch a baby’s irresistible yawn.



My son, having some kind of moment with his dragon, while a summer rain scours our neighborhood. 



Putting on sunscreen is her least favorite thing in the world – and we’ve got the photo to prove it. 



 Big sister looks on as her new baby brother gets a bath. 



There’s a lot of waiting when you’re four. And the whole world is before you. 






Meeting the pigs on grandpa’s farm (ok, I love kids and animals.)



Best friends, and each are only children.

I hope you always take time to see the beautiful moments around you, and, if you’re ready, call me and I’ll help you preserve them in photos you get to keep forever.

xo, Katie


PS. If you love these real life sessions, take a look at a few others:

Art Play at Little Loft: a morning with my son

Hot cocoa + wander through the garden

PSS. If you love lists, take a look at this one:

6 Reasons to book a Fresh 48 Session

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