What exactly is a REAL LIFE Session?

black and white photograph of kids wrestling on the couch while dad watches laughing

REAL LIFE sessions (day-in-the-life or documentary) are 100% directed by your ordinary lives, not staged by me. I am just there to photograph your real life as authentically as possible, to document your story… before it changes.

Life is chaotic and messy, and that is BEAUTIFUL.

little girl with dark hair, black long sleeve clothes, and pink shoes runs through a playground with her arm in the air clutching her coat flailing in the wind. photograph taken with movement

These day-in-the-life sessions take place primarily in your home, where you spend most of your time. The goal is to document your daily life thoughtfully and artistically. We can go outside and play ball, take a walk with the dog, bake up some cookies, or even toss the kids in the car for a trip to the grocery store.

You’ll find the most meaningful images are those that capture the in-between moments, like when your kids hover around you while you try to make lunch in peace. Or how carefully your toddler focuses on spreading the toothpaste over his toothbrush *just* right. Not to mention the crazy involved process of getting the little ones dressed and shoes on!

little boy struggling to get dressed, pulling his pajamas over his head and getting stuck

These documentary photography sessions are the EASIEST photoshoots EVER… no need to plan out outfits or clean your house or bribe your kids to smile. No pressure for everybody to perform for that perfect shot. You just hang out! Tell your kids a good friend is coming over for a little while, and she’ll probably take a bunch of pictures because she likes to. And IT’S ALL TRUE- by the end of the session we will be far from strangers!

You can choose to have me there for:

  • a full day session (wake up to lights out)
  • half day session (4-5 hours)
  • short session (2 hours)

We’ll figure out the timing that works best for your family.

vertical color photo of toddler laughing and pointing up at a kite flying above him, in a mccandless backyard

And you can get a group family picture, too! Though documentary sessions are not posed portrait sessions, I will absolutely attempt to include environmental portraits of your loved ones while in the field. And before I leave, we can get everyone together for a casual group photo.

Plus, with every REAL LIFE session you also have the option of a portrait add-on. This means that after (or before) we document your here and now, you can all get dressed up and head to the backyard/local park for some lifestyle shots of you all as a group. The great thing about the add-on is that – unlike your typical backyard lifestyle sessions – your kids have already been hanging out for me for a few hours, and are suuuuper comfortable in front of the camera. Which results in a MUCH smoother photoshoot!

(This is the option that the P. family selected, in order to get beautiful family portraits like the one below.)

family of four hang out together in their local park, dressed up for pictures but laughing together. little girl held by mom and her older brother cuddled by dad

Kids are crazy. I can say that because I have 4 crazies myself, and they keep me on my toes. I have been photographing people and their relationships professionally for over 15 years, but it wasn’t until I started my OWN family that it really hit home how valuable and vital my job is.

Pictures make memories. Let me remind you of how wonderful your crazy life is right now.

Contact me now to chat about how a REAL LIFE session can preserve your memories!

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Pamela Anticole

Serving PA OH & Beyond

Pamela Anticole is a Pittsburgh based newborn and family photographer. Her award winning style is thoughtful and emotional, and your client experience is both relaxed and fun!


Pamela will photograph your baptism, birthday party, anniversary, bar/bat mitzvah, or wedding in a documentary style learned as a newspaper photojournalist. It is her focus on real, natural relationships and ability to anticipate emotional candid moments that bring sensitivity to her work as a documentary photographer. Pamela is located in the Wexford area of Pittsburgh, PA and available for family photography within 45 miles of downtown Pittsburgh. She also offers photography education for parents both online and on location in person in the Pittsburgh area.