The Beauty of Documentary Photography

Hello and thank you for visiting!

I'm glad you're here! Documentary photography takes the idea of poses, scripts, and direction and throws it all out the window. It allows you to enjoy and soak everything in. Think of it as photojournalism that captures the beauty of real life. Documenting your daily routines, way of life, and traditions, as well as major events that you plan for months in advance. It's storytelling at its finest because it's a true account of what occurred. As a photographer (and a person), I've always been drawn to this genre of photography. Emotions, feelings, and humor that are genuine and not requested or forced. The moments that happen naturally have always been the most valid and are what moves me the most.

The truth is, time stands still for no one. The years creep up on us, and there is change. As I've gotten older, I'm often reminded that we are never guaranteed another day with our loved ones. Life is delicate, but it is also worth celebrating, regardless of the occasion. Regret is not a road that anyone wants to go down.  That being said, no matter how much we try to acknowledge and hold on to every good memory, some will slip away as time goes by. We only have so much capacity to retain those experiences, while trying to make room for the new ones. That is when we need the power of photography to help us. They can feel insignificant at the time, but I'm hear to tell you that even the most mundane days have their glory and are worth remembering. As Omar Khayyam said, "Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life."

I have two children who are growing up at a pace that feels faster than the speed of light. In the blink of an eye, my two newborns have all of the sudden become 10 and 7. Needless to say, they are often in front of my camera as I try to take my own advice (though I fully admit that I do miss opportunities). My favorite photos of them are those that aren't directed. Why? Because I find that those best reflect who they are as people and tell their stories of what their lives are truly like. Our family is blessed to have these keepsakes.

I have photographed many different types of sessions over the years, and have found that documentary is almost always the least stressful (and most meaningful). No poses, no pressure. Clients literally don't have to do anything except allow their pictures to be taken, and many times they either don't realize that they're being photographed or sometimes forget that I'm there all together. One of the best compliments I ever received was from a bride who loved her wedding gallery, but then later admitted that she didn't notice me for more than half the wedding. I can promise you that I didn't leave the grounds as I have the pictures to prove it, but that's the goal... Breathe in those joyous moments and let me document them for you. You'll be amazed by just how different your life looks when viewed from another's perspective. And just to put it out there, perfection is completely overrated. It's actually all of those little imperfections that we want to grab during your storytelling session. That might sound a bit backwards, but poor lighting, messy houses, mismatched clothes, tangled hair, messy faces, etc. Bring it! I love all of those details because they are real and they are your story. Life isn't a model home with a model family. Life is unique, interesting, and keeps us on our toes.

So let me ask... Are you ready to chronicle your story? Are you wanting to create photographs that will capture memories to share with generations to come? Decades from now, they'll take you back in time and you can savor what was. Remember, we can document anything you want, no matter how big or how small. If it's important to you, it's worth it.

Most Sincerely,



Lisa Simon is an internationally recognized, documentary photographer based in the northwest suburbs of Chicago. She specializes in monochromatic imagery, with an emphasis on emotion and connections. Her work is known for mastering the beauty of shadows and has been featured in multiple publications, including The Dark Room, Beyond the Wanderlust, Child Photo Competition, The Monochromatic Lens, Life Unscripted, and Fearless & Framed. Lisa has been named one of the "Top Photographers to Watch" by Reflections, and in 2016 she was selected to lead the North American DP Visual Collective Conference alongside renowned photographers, Meg Loeks, Jasmin Pickens, and Karen Osdieck.  

Originally from Urbandale, IA, Lisa has resided in Illinois for over a decade with her husband of 13 years and their two children. She began partnering with clients and other industry professionals when her business doors officially opened in 2014. Lisa has a passion for creating art through storytelling by focusing on newborns, families, and events. Her priority is to capture real and authentic moments that will speak to her client's memories and their hearts.