Why Documentary Photography?

Molly Rees Photo - Black and White Documentary Family Photography - Father and baby portrait in kitchen at night by M. Menschel

For most of my childhood my dad traveled the world as a photojournalist for a major US newspaper.  Bringing my brother and me home pieces of the Berlin Wall, small stones from the dead sea, a chunk of rubber that came straight from a rubber-tapping tree in the Amazon rainforest.  He wasn't covering birthday parties and baby showers - he was reporting from war zones and third-world countries.  But even in the stories that were difficult to tell, he always found the humanity in the story.  His photographs salvaged small pieces of beauty from situations that were wrecked with devastation.  The warmth of a woman's smile as she leans against the door frame of her sisters shanty-home in a South Africa Township.  A shaft of light shining through a Czech flag raised above a sea of people during a rally for independence.  The intense beauty of a stark, foreign landscape.  These were the images I was raised with - this profound example of what photography can do.  How it can shine a light into even the darkest place and show that there is still the enduring story of human kindness there.

My love for Documentary Photography comes from a deep conviction that there is a profound beauty in this world, and that we are meant to be witnesses for it.  To be moved by it, changed by it, and to allow it to fill up our souls until we are brimming over with the sheer abundance of it.

Molly Rees Photo - Documentary Childhood Photography - Portrait of boy smelling orange tropical flowers on Big Island, Hawaii by M. Menschel

This is how I approach all my documentary family sessions - for my camera and I to be witness to the unique truth and beauty that exists within your story.  Kids being kids and all the innocence,  discovery, frustration, tears and laughter that comes with childhood.  Mothers and fathers trying their hardest.  The simple and complex nature of siblings.  The chaos and the quiet moments that take place in every home.  And all the love that keeps a family afloat.

Why Choose a Documentary Session for your Family?

Documentary Family Sessions are for families who want more than just a "perfect" photo to put in their holiday card.  Who want their family life to be remembered in photographs that tell a story, that make you feel something. 

Documentary Family Sessions are relaxed and stress-free.  Unlike traditional portrait sessions, there is no wrestling your children into their best clothes and bribing them to smile for the camera.  Unlike a Lifestyle session, you don't have to sit on a perfectly made-up bed in a white-washed room pretending to read to your child and hope that they are looking engaged and not picking their nose.  There is no posing, there is no putting on a show.  The only thing required of you is to be you, and to trust me to see the magic in your everyday that you might not have even noticed yourself.

Photographer Berenice Abbott said, "Photography helps people to see."  Documentary family sessions help you to see your family and yourself in a way you might not have been able to see before.  To see the love on your toddlers face while their small arms are wrapped around your neck, their chin over your shoulder.  To see the way your husband is watching you with adoration from across the room as you are bent over the kitchen table, helping your son with his homework.  To see the sweet and silly moments between your children that you may often be too busy to appreciate.  To help you laugh at yourself, to shake your head at the catastrophic messes, the small household disasters.  To slow down for a minute and truly see yourself being a mom, a dad, a husband or a wife - how much love you give, and how hard you work. 

Documentary Family Sessions will capture beautiful, candid portraits of your family being a family.   The love, the laughter, the joy, will all be genuine.  And in twenty years when your children are home for a visit and they take down the album from that day you let a photographer into your lives to tell your story, they are going to be remember what it feels like to be a family.

Molly Rees Photo - Black and White Documentary Childhood Photography - children outside window M. Menschel
Molly Rees Photo - Documentary Childhood Photography - girl crying on paddleboard on Plum Island in Newburyport, Massachusetts by M. Menschel
Molly Rees Photo - Black and White Documentary Family Photography - mother putting daughter to bed M. Menschel