What even is documentary photography?

The name says it all: I create photo documentaries of real life. Like a photojournalist who travels to the corners of the earth to photograph the cultures & customs they encounter, I’ll be your family historian for the day, documenting the routines, quirks, & traditions that make your family who they are.

Whether it's your wedding, a simple day at home, a special event, or a trip up a mountain, I’ll create artful photos of candid moments as they unfold – no posing & no directing. I won't ask you to smile, I'll just ask you to be yourself so that I can capture real smiles {& laughs, & frowns, & tears, &…}.

I want to get to the heart of who your family is, one photo at a time.


So how do you know Sam’s the right fit for you?


1. You have a great sense of humor

If you’re able to laugh hysterically when you look back on frustrating moments – like that time your toddler spilled an entire jug of milk on the carpet or when your two-year-old used the contents of his diaper to create a mural on the living room wall - you’re in the right place.


2. You value authenticity over perfection

My photography is about the genuine connections between the people in your family and the places that hold meaning for them. Your photos won’t be perfect. They’ll be real.


3. You're super sentimental

You cry at emotional moments, or at least won't mind that I will be {don't worry, I've perfected the art of photographing and sobbing at the same time}. And when you look back on your photos, you'll see these moments and cry again.


Frequently Asked Questions

1. Will you have anything to shoot? Our daily life isn't too special.

I love showing clients how not true this is! There are so many magical moments hidden inside every day with your family & my goal is to find them.

2. What should we do during a day in the life shoot?

What we do is up to you! For day in the life sessions I normally document the family's daily routine {brushing teeth, bath time, story time, etc.} interspersed with family activities such as: going on a hike or a fishing trip, playing at the park, a trip to the ice cream shop, playing in the snow, family board games, making meals/treats with the kids...truly, the possibilities are endless. It's ideal to choose activities that your family typically does or would participate in & that hold meaning for your family.

3. We'll take a few posed photos, right?

I know it's different than photo shoots most people are used to but I really don't take any posed photos. Remember: the goal is to create a documentary of your life - your real life. The exception is wedding shoots - I'll allot 10-15 minutes for family/friend posed portraits if the bride/groom would like.

4. If something doesn't look perfect you'll just photoshop it, right?

Nope! I do lightly edit photos to improve overall quality but I otherwise do not do any photoshopping.

5. Are you allergic to any pets?

None at all! I love pets and always try to include them in the shoot. They're an important part of the family, after all!

6. How long does it take to receive the photos?

I always edit photos as quickly as possible {I LOVE to edit and I'm as anxious to see the final product as you are!} The amount of time it takes depends a lot on the type of session but generally speaking you'll receive your full gallery within four weeks at the most.

7. Can I have the RAW {unedited} files?

Editing the raw files is part of the artistic process; the photo isn't complete until it's been done. As such, I do not share or give out raw photos.

8. Do you do any shoots outside of Colorado? Yes I do! You will just need to provide airfare, a ride to/from the airport, & accommodation {your couch or guest room will do just fine!} & I'm there! Contact me for more information.

9. Should we feed you?

If it's a wedding or a full day in the life shoot then yes, I do ask that you feed me, please. I am not at all picky & am not allergic to anything so I will happily eat whatever your family eats.

10. Can I upload my pictures to Facebook/other social media?

Yes, please do! Pictures are made to be shared! I do ask that you please credit me for the picture by linking back to my website or Facebook page.

11. What if you didn't answer my question here? I'm always happy to answer any questions you have! Feel free to text, call, email - whatever you prefer! I'll get back to you as soon as possible. You can find all of my contact information here.

Now that you understand my approach, take a look at the photos that come out of it! 


Samantha Hines is a natural light documentary family photographer specializing in families, small weddings, elopements, birthday parties, & other events. Sam's photography is 100% candid & unposed. Sam is based in the Denver metro area & is also available for traveling sessions.

All photos and content © Samantha Hines Documentary Family Photography 2018 | Denver, CO | Contact