Sweet Summer Storytelling Sessions Illustrative Documentary Photography

Changing the way we document our lives.

Children are amazing little people with very big ideas. I love including them and incorporating their artistic visions into the session. When they feel included they have so much more fun. Then the session becomes a poem that flows with a natural rhythm from beginning to end.

What are Storytelling Sessions?

These are sessions that remove the stress of sitting and posing with a backdrop and a lot of props. They incorporate the real family dynamics into your sessions by capturing emotional moments, laughing, snuggling, walking, running, and playing. They also capture details of the session such as what everyone’s wearing or holding hands or eyes, hair, and feet. These sessions also stray away from the “Say Cheese” and "Smile" Era. Capturing a heartfelt expression for a memorable and realistic experience is the goal.

I love photographing Storytelling sessions so much because there’s no pressure to sit and pose or smile at the camera. These are becoming my favorite sessions because children are happy and parents are stress free. Its also so rewarding to capture natural emotional moments between family members.

Illustrative sessions document the natural surroundings and location of the session in a subtle yet artistic way such at your home, neighborhood, local beach, favorite park, city street or a rustic farm. Backdrops and tons of props are not the focus of these sessions. Rather an authentic simple environment meant to enhance the setting.

Hosting a session in your own home can be comfortable and cozy for all involved. Whether you have a new baby at home, are baking cookies with the kids, or just snuggling on the couch with popcorn these moments can be so fun to share together and keep as portraits for the family.

When going for a session outside of the home plan what activities your children will be doing. Playing a sport, going for icecream, searching for treasure during a scavenger hunt, playing in the water or on the beach. There are so many ideas. What is your family involved in? What hobbies or games do you engage in or play together as a family?

Hold a family meeting. Why not meet together and get the children's ideas. This will help them feel more involved and engaged and less like their forced into something they do not want to do. Forcing children into any situation can make them feel insecure and unsafe. Including them in the process can reassure them that that they will be safe and have fun.

Giving them a choice in their wardrobe can also help them feel independent and assure them that you respect their opinion and individuality. Make it a simple choice between two outfits you approved of in advance. Or bring both outfits for all family members and allow time for a wardrobe change.

How can parents help?

Make it a YES Day!

Try not to tell your children to smile, look at the camera, pay attention, behave, or stay clean. Refrain from fixing children's hair or clothing during these sessions. Life is messy. Children are messy. Allow them to get wet or dirty. Let their hair fall where it may or if it bothers you put it up before the session. Band-Aids, scratches and bruises are allowed.

When children are allowed to express their individuality and assert their independence during their session the natural smiles and expressions will come out. Allow them some space to roam and explore the environment on their own.

Don't forget about parents. Mom got her spotlight during this beach session too. During your Storytelling Session I can capture photos for your own story with your children and spouse, solo photos to boost your spirit, portraits for your social media pages and business profiles, or just for fun.


Down by the water in the Summer Sun.

A walk on the rocks is so much fun. I can see past the horizon to where the boats run.

If you look all around, treasures can be found. Dip your net in the sound where creatures abound.

Did that little crab bite your feet? Or is he a new friend for us to meet?

Did you bring your bucket to collect some shells? Oh wait, is that peanut butter and jelly I smell?

After lunch we can play in the sand and listen to the melody of the music band.

Look over there its the icecream truck! Help me up my feet are stuck.

Throw the beach ball over here to me, I will catch it before it drifts out to sea.

One last splash like a fish. Swim like a mermaid and make a wish.

All good things must come to an end.

I will see you tomorrow my Summer Friend.



Each hour you select includes one wardrobe change and one location.

Created By
Karrie Knowles