The Kid-Free Zone: 5 Ideas for a Documentary Photography or Video Session WITHOUT Children

I know. You’ve probably seen images from documentary family photography sessions or family films and most of them involve kids either in touching or funny scenarios - so you scroll on by thinking “this doesn’t apply to me”. Believe me, I have even heard fellow photographers lament that they have nothing to take photographs of once their kids are grown or in school. 

Well, let me tell you something - that’s just not true. 

The foundation of documentary photography is a photojournalistic approach - and that can be implemented in an infinite number of scenarios - and they definitely do not all involve children! 

Your life is unique and interesting and deserves to be documented. Here are five ideas for a documentary session about YOU and your story.

1. A GATHERING WITH FRIENDS

Do you have movie nights or game nights or Sunday brunches every week with a special group? Do you have friends who might as well be family because they know everything about you? These relationships deserve to be documented. 

2. A PASSION PROJECT

Are you a creator, a maker, a crafter, a builder, an artist? What do you choose to spend your free time doing? How about a profile depicting your latest work?

3. YOUR FAVORITE PLACE

Are there any special places that you visit over and over again? Does your neighborhood have special meaning to you? Do you live in the town where you grew up? Did you build your own home? Let’s make a little documentary about the places in your life that define who you are.

4. YOUR LOVE

Have you considered a couples session but can’t really wrap your head around how a documentary couples session would work? How about we just hang out?? I’d love to capture the special relationship you have with your partner and all the fun the two of you have together (especially if you are considering kids - oh my gosh, document this precious alone time together now!). You can hang at home or go out on the town - whatever you like to do together!

5. YOUR STORY!

What makes you YOU? Are you close to your family? Do you want to interview your grandparents? Your parents? Do you want to do a solo Day in the Life - living your awesome life to the fullest?! Would you like to explore your city? Wanna take a day trip? Do you absolutely love your workplace and want to make a film about what you do? Does your dog mean the world to you? Let’s go to the dog park! Are you passionate about a cause? Let’s explore that. Seriously… there are a million amazing facets of your life that are absolutely worthy of being recorded.

If you are still not convinced, but you are interested in brainstorming some more, send me a message - I’d love to help you come up with an idea for documenting your story that is uniquely you. Just because you don’t have kids, it doesn’t mean that you don’t have a legacy to leave.

You’ve already started writing the story.


Francesca Russell is a documentary-style family photographer and filmmaker located in Garden City South, NY. If you'd like to see more of her recent documentary family photography, head over to her Facebook page or follow her everyday adventures on Instagram. If you are looking for a family photographer or lifestyle videographer on Long Island or in the New York City area to document your family, small business or event, please contact her for more information.