why documentary photography is so important to me // AND august promo!

UPDATE: in light of the horrific events this past weekend, i will be donating an additional 20% of sessions booked in august to the victims of the domestic terrorism in charlottesville. let's take a stand against racism and bigotry together. 

when i was 18, my dad gave me a really incredible gift. shortly after i was born, he decided to document my life by writing down memories, collecting significant photos and mementos, and keeping them all in a journal. growing up, i was unaware of this project and when i graduated from high school he gifted me five journals, each one full of memories from my childhood.

that evening I stayed awake all night, reading through the journals, feeling all the feels. i couldn’t believe that i had a chronicle of the first 18 years of my life. each page contained important moments, some i had forgotten and others i did not remember at all. they were all written down for me, to read over and over again. i had a window into my story, told from my dad’s voice.

while reading through the journals for the first time, i remember feeling especially nostalgic and excited when i came across a photo. the photographs were glimpses into who i was and snapshots of my family’s story. some of them were posed, but most were real life moments. pictures that documented what we were about, how we lived our life, and what was important to us. our family traditions, our everyday routines. dance parties with lionel richie on the record player, father-daughter bike rides, backyard badminton matches, sneaking out of bed late at night to swing and watch the stars with my dad, building legos and playing board games, slow-eating ice cream contests. i longed to have more of those. i wanted more photos that helped tell my family’s story.

i deeply believe that photographs can be just as powerful as words when telling a story. when i look through the photos in my journals, i feel strongly connected to my childhood. each photo contains so many details of my life: our modest but sweet home, the brown 70’s furniture and carpet, the wooden swingset in the backyard, the playhouse we built as a family, and all of my favorite toys (and even the way i would organize and line them up). i feel incredibly fortunate to have these memories documented for me.

and this is the gift i want to give my clients.

naturally there are memories that will be forgotten, no matter how significant they seem now. i want to help document your story, your real life, so that you can look back and remember the little details, the rituals, the unscripted moments that make up your everyday. the moments that should be remembered forever.

so starting in august, i will be launching 1-hour mini storytelling sessions. these will be similar to my longer storytelling sessions as my intention will be to document a bit of your story, but these sessions will be more activity-focused. lots of playing, no posing. the activity can be a meaningful routine/ritual or something that you enjoy doing together. or it can even be an outing to a significant place that you frequent. you get to plan a date, and i’ll come along to capture the experience and moments that matter most.

i’m super stoked to be able to offer these shorter sessions, to capture your beauty and magic, and create meaningful images that represent you. sessions will be priced at $550 and to kickstart the launch, i will be offering 20% off the session price for the first 10 people who book during the month of august (the session doesn’t have to be scheduled in august). 

once you book a session, i’ll send over a questionnaire to help you plan the session and give you an idea of what to expect.


ohhappydawn@gmail.com // 408.829.1832

xo jenny