Adult sisters laugh together at their campsite during their extended family summer photo shoot with Paula Gerein Photography

Why You Should Hire a Documentary Family Photographer for Your Family Reunion

Summer is the season of family reunions. These gatherings provide rare opportunities to create lasting memories with extended family, especially with the adults who seldom get together. Hiring a documentary family photographer to capture these moments is a great idea, and here’s why.




Introduction: The Joy of Family Reunions

    1. Capturing Rare Gatherings
    2. The Benefits of a Documentary Approach
    3. Creating Lasting Memories with Candid Shots
    4. The Importance of Photographing All Generations
    5. Tips for a Successful Family Reunion Photo Session
    6. Preserving Family Traditions
    7. Building a Family Archive
    8. Celebrating Milestones
    9. The Power of Printed Photos

Conclusion: Embrace the Opportunity

Book Your Family Reunion Session Today

Introduction: The Joy of Family Reunions


There’s something uniquely joyful about family reunions. It’s the time when aunts, uncles, cousins, and grandparents come together, often after long periods apart. These moments are filled with laughter, stories, and sometimes a little chaos, but they are priceless.


Documenting these gatherings through photography ensures that all family members can exist in photographs together.

  1. Capturing Rare Gatherings


Family reunions are rare events where extended family members gather in one place. Given everyone’s busy schedules, it’s not often that large families can come together. This rarity makes reunions special and worth capturing.


  • Cherished Moments: These events provide a unique opportunity to photograph the entire family, creating a visual record of your family’s history.
  • Photographing Adults: Often, family photos focus on children, but reunions are a great time to capture images of all the adults together. These photos become treasured keepsakes, especially as the years go by.
An extended family play at the beach and grandparents stand at the water's edge watching. During their extended family photo session with Paula Gerein
  1. The Benefits of a Documentary Approach


Hiring a documentary family photographer means you get candid, unposed shots that truly reflect the essence of your family reunion.


  • Natural Interactions: A documentary approach captures genuine interactions and emotions, showcasing the love and connection within your family.
  • Less Pressure: Without the need to pose or smile on command, everyone can relax and enjoy the moment, resulting in more authentic photos.
  • Storytelling: These photos tell a story, preserving the unique dynamics and relationships that make your family special.
  1. Creating Lasting Memories with Candid Shots


The beauty of documentary photography is in its ability to capture the spontaneity and joy of the moment. Here’s how candid shots can create lasting memories:


  • Unscripted Moments: From kids playing in the yard to grandparents sharing stories, these unplanned moments are often the most memorable.
  • Expressions and Emotions: Genuine smiles, laughter, and even tears are captured in their purest form, creating powerful and emotional images.
  • Activity-Based Photos: Documenting activities like cooking together, playing games, or simply chatting by the fire adds context and richness to your family’s story.
  1. The Importance of Photographing All Generations


Family reunions bring together multiple generations, from great-grandparents to the youngest members of the family. Capturing these generational connections is incredibly valuable.


  • Heritage and Legacy: Photos of grandparents with their grandchildren create a visual legacy that will be cherished for generations.
  • Family Dynamics: Documenting the interactions between different generations highlights the unique roles and relationships within the family.
  • Treasured Memories: As time goes by, these photos become even more precious, serving as a reminder of the love and bond shared across generations.
  1. Tips for a Successful Family Reunion Photo Session


To make the most of your family reunion photo session, here are some tips:


  • Plan Ahead: You and I should coordinate in advance to discuss the schedule and key moments and people that might be extra special for you to have captured.
  • Keep it Natural: Encourage your family to relax and be themselves. The best photos often come from unplanned moments and natural interactions.
  • Focus on Activities: Plan activities that everyone can enjoy, such as a family game, a barbecue, or a nature walk. These provide great opportunities for candid photos.
  • Embrace Imperfections: Don’t stress about everything being perfect. The beauty of documentary photography is in capturing the real, imperfect moments that make your family unique.
A toddler releases his hold on Grandpa's hand at the water's edge of a lake. During their extended family photo session with Paula Gerein.
  1. Preserving Family Traditions


Family reunions are often steeped in traditions, whether it’s a special recipe passed down through generations, an annual game of soccer, or a group sing-along around the campfire. Capturing these traditions through photography helps preserve them for future generations.


  • Cultural Heritage: Photos of traditional activities and customs help keep your family’s cultural heritage alive. They serve as a visual record that can be shared with younger family members.
  • Storytelling: These photos become a part of your family’s narrative, telling the story of your unique traditions and the values that have been passed down through the years.
  • Legacy: By documenting these moments, you create a legacy that future generations can look back on and feel connected to their roots.
  1. Building a Family Archive


A family reunion photo session can be the start of a beautiful family archive—a collection of images that tell the story of your family over the years.


  • Yearly Albums: Consider creating yearly photo albums that compile the best moments from each reunion. These albums become treasured keepsakes that can be passed down through the generations.
  • Digital Archives: In addition to physical albums, maintaining a digital archive ensures that your photos are safely stored and easily accessible. This way, you can share them with family members near and far.
Cousins laugh and play together with water toys at their campsite during their extended family documentary photo session with Paula Gerein
  1. Celebrating Milestones

Family reunions are the perfect time to celebrate milestones, whether it’s a grandparent’s 80th birthday, a couple’s 50th anniversary, or a child’s graduation. A documentary family photographer can help you capture these special moments.


  • Milestone Moments: Documenting milestone celebrations during reunions adds a special touch to your family photos. These moments of celebration are a testament to your family’s journey and growth.
  • Group Photos: Capture group photos that include everyone present at the reunion. These images become cherished keepsakes, especially as family members age and new ones join.
  • Personal Messages: Encourage family members to share personal messages or memories during the reunion. These can be captured in photos or videos, adding a heartfelt element to your family archive.
  1. The Power of Printed Photos


In today’s digital age, printed photos have a special significance. There’s something timeless and tangible about holding a photo in your hands, and printed images can become cherished heirlooms.


  • Photo Books: Create photo books from your reunion session. These books can be given as gifts to family members or kept as a personal keepsake.
  • Wall Art: Turn your favourite reunion photos into wall art. Displaying these images in your home serves as a daily reminder of the love and connection within your family.
  • Photo Gifts: Consider creating photo gifts such as calendars, mugs, or canvases. These make thoughtful gifts that family members will treasure.

Conclusion: Embrace the Opportunity


Family reunions are rare and precious occasions that deserve to be documented. Hiring a documentary family photographer ensures that you capture the true essence of these gatherings—the joy, the laughter, and the love shared among family members. Don’t miss the opportunity to create lasting memories that you and your family will treasure for years to come.


Book Your Family Reunion Session Today


Ready to capture the magic of your next family reunion? Don’t wait! Book your documentary family photo session today and let’s create beautiful, lasting memories together. Celebrate your family’s unique story and preserve these cherished moments for future generations.

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Paula Gerein Photography

Documentary photography for families and businesses of Edmonton and Central Alberta, Canada. Available for travel.


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