Category: Diary of Documentarians

Documenting Mitzvahs as Part of a Thriving Photography Business with Susan Kalina

I am a documentary family and event photographer. However, I didn’t start out that way. I majored in photojournalism at Mizzou and worked at newspapers and magazines for ten years. Thirteen years ago I made the decision to step off the career track to stay home with my children and quit my job as a photo […]

Photographing a Moving Story + Thoughts on Memories

When I was five we moved an hour up the road to the house I would live in for the remainder of my childhood. I remember standing in the bathroom on our first night. The sun was setting and the sky was glowing pink and orange out of the kitchen window but in the bathroom […]

Documenting Real Stories: A High School Senior with a Love for Aviation

When clients contact me to inquire about a session, they often ask for either a specific location that reflects Germany, Europe or a location they’ve seen in my other images. Of course, to break the ice, I always joke and say, “of course, we can go there and of course I do everything… except underwater photography… LOL.” Early this past summer, […]

Documenting Real Stories: Photographing Employment Hardship + Lessons Learned

Weeks before I was married, a friend’s mother warned me that my marriage would never work. Little did she know that comment wouldn’t deter me. It challenged me. I think she meant well, really I do, because I was 19 and my husband, Joel was 20 when we were married. When I look back now, […]

The Photographer’s Perspective of the Women’s March on Washington

Photographers within our community were all photographing the same event, at the same time, all over the country, which I found to be extraordinary. Saturday evening as the photographers in our community started sharing their 2017 Women’s March photos, I was blown away watching photos pop up from cities all over our country. I did not […]

4 Tips to Being Present While Photographing an Experience Simultaneously 

A couple weeks ago a group of girlfriends and I took a weekend away.  We went to a no-name town in Wisconsin and rented a house in a quiet neighborhood on a quiet river.  The leaves were painted by the brush of fall and we couldn’t have asked for better weather.  If you would have […]

16 Inspiring Family Documentary Photography Sessions of 2016

We’re pretty thankful to be involved in a photography community where individual core values are celebrated.  In 2016, we watched some photographers blossom, met new photographers who have become friends, and lifted each other up in taking documentary photography to our clients. This blog post is to give a shout out to a handful of […]

Day in the Life | Documentary Photography

Thoughts on Photographing Your Own DITL with Alaina Miles

We’re surrounded by photographers shooting their Day in the Life projects and offering these sessions to clients. If you’re anything like me, you’ve become too busy to do your own and too “I really don’t want to invest in a photographer when I can take our family photos myself with a little strategy to get […]

When Street Photography Becomes Less Scary and More About the Stories

Staring out in the distance, I’m always daydreaming. Seconds pass; I never realize why I catch myself doing these things. Always imagining myself as someone else, in someone else’s shoes. Wondering how a person’s life is so different from mine. People and their lives fascinate me. My upbringing was very different, which probably contributed to that. I was very reserved and I felt comfortable being in the background just watching how people behave.

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How Photos Can Reveal Feelings That Would Go Unnoticed Without Them

It has been several weeks since I started writing down words to tell the story behind the photographs from the shoot I did at my father’s studio. I had no idea these images would bring back my childhood memories, and it was absolutely unexpected when they stirred up so many emotions in me. This little […]

No Food, But There Are Family Photos

A few weeks back I was visiting my parents, and going through boxes of old photographs. Some faces meant nothing to me, but others did because several years ago I sat down with my grandmother and asked her about our family history (what she remembered of it anyway), and who was who in some of the photos – and noted the names and relations down at the back of each photo.

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Photos Because I Miss Them Before They’re Gone

My dad likely only has a few good years left. I’m scared to death about what life is going to be like without my parents. I miss them before they’re gone. It terrifies me daily. It had been a constant stressor for me that I hadn’t ever attempted to take photos of them. It’s ridiculous how few photos have been taken of them, in general. By anyone. So this past weekend I FINALLY photographed my parents for the day (okay, maybe half a day because they talked to me so much).

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