family photographer

What the heck is Documentary Photography?

First lets talk about the literal definition of documentary. Whether you use this word as a noun or an adjective, it simply means official pieces of written, printed, or other matter or a factual record or report. This is Google's definition. In my own words, documentary, is a real life account of events. No choreography or staging. It is not a fly on the wall approach for me, because let's be honest, flies are always right in the middle of everything. While I do observe and anticipate what might happen next, my goal is integrate into your family, get close and step back, as any self respecting toddler with the a camera in their hand would do. 

 
richmond family photographer offers documentary photography to create images of parents and their kids.
 

While I have studied posing, lighting, and have followed all the rules to learn my craft; rules are meant to be broken right? In a documentary session there are no rules, no posing, no guided interaction, or intervening (unless someone is doing something that may kill or seriously harm them self or another). I am hands off and integrate as another kid in your family.

You read right, I become a kid. I'm on their side, even though you paid for the session, because it is their trust and unique character and how they interact with you, mom and dad, that we want to capture. There perspective will give you insight into their world. It also give you the unintended consequence of gaining confidence in who you are as a leader, as their mom or dad! It's honestly pretty cool if you ask me!

 
Nicoleinbold, arichmond family photographer offers documentary photography to create images of parents and their kids as seen here in a father and daughter mirror pose during lunch while at Children's Museum of Richmond.
 

Documentary photography is the observation of real life emotions and connection throughout mundane tasks and adventures alike. After all, it is those everyday moments, the goofy, sticky, tantrum filled moments, that you are going to want to remember so many years in the future. Why will you want to remember these in between moments? Because I promise you having photographic evidence as you regale stories of your everyday or grandiose adventures will bring them alive like you would believe. Seriously, your future self and your future children will thank you.

Unscripted moments documented are proof you lived, proof you tried and failed, proof that you existed with your children. Documentary photography is powerful in the moment, in a couple of years, on that rainy day, and when you are recounting life in the much more distant future.

 
Nicoleinbold, a Richmond family photographer travels to West End and Glen Allen to offer documentary photography to create images of parents and their kids as seen here in as this toddler give me the stink eye in her backyard.
 

Think of it this way, a yearly school photo may capture grow, but it can't capture you or your children's unapologetically being as member of your family and as a human in this world. I don't mean to bash school pictures, they have their purpose as stated above; growth, a record of a hair cuts and missing teeth. Documentary photography goes beyond growth to capture their fluid place in this world, as a member of your particular human unit.

That was a lot about kids, but documentary photography is also an account of your parenthood. It is a series of still frames that show your strength, perseverance, and love. We don't often have the opportunity as parents or even adults to see how much we are loved, how beautiful we appear in our surroundings, yes, even if that is a messy kitchen or toy infested living room. Sure we are tired most days, exhausted on others, but our journey with our children and partners is astoundingly profound.

Whether it be your child's unparalleled passion to share their emotions or your unmatched desire to remember the good and the bad, I hope you consider a documentary photography session with me or an artist in your area, because your story matters in this crazy adventure called life.

Family and Business Busy Season

Observations of Parenthood

It is the season of giving, thankfulness, and love. However, when you're in the thick of business and family busy season it can feel like the opposite. I noticed myself getting cranky with my husband and Miss Bit last week. Then I got upset with myself. My bank of patience was depleted, and I was just not myself. Why was I being so cranky? I started make excuses and had to stop myself. The day job is stressful during the holidays; with last minute proposals and the creative job was bleeding into family time. In short, Long days are long, yet still feel not long enough. This was my fault. Have you ever heard someone say "you have time for what you make for." This was finally sinking in. I love my creative job, but at times I get ahead of myself. However, left unchecked, laundry was undone and sleep was pushed aside, eventually turning me into one hot curmudgeon.

This past Friday, after taking part in a wonderful online summit (thank you Rising Tide Society), I decided to set things down and focus on my family. I have a couple of sessions to edit and deliver, and I still pushed the laundry aside, I can't lie, but it will be there. My daughter on the other hand, is growing like a weed and my husband was starting to feel disconnected. This is not what I want. It is not why I was working so hard. So, we went park hopping, saw the local holiday parade, and watched movies (even if it was the same one over and over again. Anyone else have a toddler like this?). Family cuddle sessions are the best!! I struggled a bit, just being honest, but worked hard at not getting on my phone or social media in anyway.

By Sunday, I realized I needed to live the life I talk about with my clients. A huge part of my mission is to capture you where you are at now. Not in a few months, after you lose 5 pounds, or when your child grows their teeth back in. The everyday life, the seemingly mundane elements, is what I want to slow down. That is when we are real and authentic.

Getting vulnerable: I’m the heaviest I have ever been right now, I’m slower and don't have the best wardrobe right now. With that said, I have grown so much in the past year as a wife, mother, and business owner. Priorities are different for each person and each family. However perception is our only reality. If it won't matter when you retire, is not part of the 1000 piece puzzle we call the big picture, do a 180. Every day is a new day. I lost sight of this and am working on some changes I hope to share soon.

Yes, I would like to focus a bit more on me within this balancing act. I will get there. Moms, dads, you reading this,  prioritize progress over perfection!

Now for some images of Miss Bit from our park hopping adventures in the 70 degree December weather. #takeachillpilldecember

be inspired. live authentically.

Nicole

Wilhelm Family Maternity | Parenthood | Nicoleinbold

This family was so incredibly sweet!

if we wait until we are ready, we will be waiting our entire lives

This family has transplanted from Connecticut, but they fit right into Virginia life. Jeans, t-shirts, and cowboy boots makes this growing family tick. I had the please of capturing their personalities right before school started. With a nervous but excited mom and confident dad these littles are ready to take on this new year of learning and growing.

I feel like growing up you kind of assume people in one family are the same. They look similar right? As I grow up, and slow down I have started really noticing the differences in people, the beautiful, subtle differences.

While everyone in the family was generally on the quiet side, they all had varying levels of curiosity that amazed me. Mom was very open throughout the entire process, dad was quite lovingly along for the ride and these three kiddos, asked more questions than i thought possible, but I probably asked just as many of them. From talking about school starting to welcoming a new baby into the family, we had plenty to chat about! Art class, math class, and hoping to read "big daddy books." I was so happy to see all of their love for life and their willingness to gracefully move towards some big changes this year.

Cheers to a healthy and happy labor and birth blessings for this family!

be inspired. love authentically. live boldly.

Nicole

Aggarwal Party of 4 | Leesburg, Va | Lifestyle Newborn

Sometimes you make the best connections when you put yourself out into the world. This family seriously rocks. The amount of love, patience and grace each member has is inspiring. I love how sweet both mom and dad are with their children. From their language to how they use there voices to the calm way they move about their house. It makes my heart so happy to see this in real life. They are a wonderful example of how I want to be with my daughter and husband.

I'm the type of person that thoroughly likes to continue learning and changing with each season of life. What make this journey even better, is meeting people who make me think about how I can be better for myself, my family, and the world. The A family gives as much as they take from the world! Dad is an amazing gardener who has even built a pond in their back yard, seriously beautiful. Their home is as open and warm as their hearts, which is filled with so much light.

Mom, I'm not sure I have adequate words for everything I have learned from talking to and observing her, that sounds creepy, but I've been behind the lens a lot with her over the past couple of months. We met while advocating for our rights to nurse our children when and where ever we want. We are both strong advocates of normalizing breastfeeding and she has such a loving husband by her side for support as well. Not only did she nurse her first throughout her pregnancy, but she was so excited to share the experience with both of her daughters. And let me tell you, little L was ready with pointers and guidance on how best to latch and get comfortable.

It was a true joy to watch a mom, and dad, settle into bringing a new life into their home.

love authentically. be inspired.

Nicole

Isaac the Strong | Red Rock, Leesburg | Compassion Work

I have always had a strong desire to give back to my community. This has grown stronger since having Nora. I want other families to have images of their families on their walls to cherish on the good and bad days. This can be difficult when a family has a child or parent with special or strenuous medical needs. I have been struggling with how to serve this part of my heart, but I"m happy to say meeting Isaac and his family has taught me to simply jump in. Isaac is incredibly brave, super hero strong, and very polite. He was excited to show me his beads of courage and insisted on going through the meaning of the different beads before we got started. I hope you will take the time to check out his story. I loved watching him keep up with his brother running on the path through Red Rock. Isaac and his siblings were so independent and full of life. I know there are bad days for everyone, but for some families bad days can be scary days. I hope you cherish the good and harness the joy of your life for those inevitable harder days.

Without further delay, Isaac and his siblings.

If you or someone you know has a child in the NICU or is living with special and or medical needs please contact me for a compassion session.

be inspired.

Nicole