San Francisco Documentary Family Session | San Francisco Family Photographer | Shannon Griffin Photography

Sometimes you get families who just get it. They understand that while an hour family session is wonderful, it’s not really what a day in their lives looks like. This family wanted to spend a few hours just documenting what life is really like when you have a small child. Jessica is a destination photographer and ends up taking her family with her some of the time. This is what life looks like for a lot of traveling photographers. It’s not always glamorous or easy, but there is beauty in it. When you’re gone a lot and constantly busy, sometimes you just have to bring the whole family!

I stayed the night with them and was able to get into their bedroom as soon as they were waking up. I love Mae’s bed head in these photos. I love that she has tired eyes and her pjs on. These weren’t staged. We then moved into the kitchen for coffee and breakfast, followed by Jessica and Mae taking a quick shower. Then we headed into the city. We were able to get some gorgeous photographs in front of Golden Gate Bridge and then some on the beach. There really are no beaches like the West Coast. We finished the documentary session in the cutest wine and cheese shop.

There were meltdowns. There was laughter. There was traffic. There were explorations of new places and hoping they would work. It was a real day and it was perfection. My goal is to do more documentary sessions for families, especially those traveling or on vacation. There is a rawness to it. I don’t want perfect, I want reality.