As a family photographer (I’m based out of Delhi and do projects in Delhi NCR), it’s important for me to clearly communicate the style I adopt for creating family portrait photographs.

These photographs are not all strictly posed for, boring, old-school photographs which you see up in heritage houses – while many of them make great photographs and I do take some formal, traditional photographs, but that’s not what I’m here to talk about today!

The approach I follow in photographing people in my sessions is the Documentary Style. This style requires the photographer to observe and photograph what is happening in the scenario in a natural, non-intrusive way, rather than actively “setting up” each and every “pose”. The photographs resulting from a shoot done in the Documentary Style are:

  • Natural
  • Casual
  • Genuine and Expressive
  • Tell a story
  • Insightful and spark memories

In other words, this is slice of life photography. Or call it “candid” photography which is not happening in weddings, but in everyday life. It documents and preserves an important and fast changing phase of life to be looked at, rejoiced and re-lived later. And also for sharing instantly with friends and family!

With a little bit of direction, I guide my subjects on posture, angle and orientation to get their best profile in the frame and to avoid unflattering poses. Direction is important because the person being photographed doesn’t have a clue on how that particular pose is actually looking in the camera through those lenses! They often have little or no information about which distance they’re being shot at (thanks to zoom lenses) even though they can see where the photographer is positioned. So it’s important to make sure that they are aware of how their orientation is affecting their photographs and if there’s a way to enhance the photograph.

During the shoot I arrange for my subjects to engage in one or more fun activities which is meaningful for them. Through that and by engaging them, and getting them to engage with my lenses, we create a session which is full of joy and is memorable! And as a bonus, they also get happy family photographs to decorate their gallery wall with.

Abhai with the Girls  Mirrorworks 26

Kanika + Aubrey 55

Sital Family 8

Sital Family 14