New York Family Documentary Photographer {FPJA awards and stories behind the images}

May 24, 2018  •  4 Comments

About a month ago I was honored to become a member of The Family Photojournalist Association (FPJA).

FPJA exists to accredit and promote the expertise of professional family photographers who deploy still photography reportage and documentary authenticity to tell the story of the family.

There are certain guidelines and requirements for photographers applying to join the association. FPJA believes that photographers who consider their family photography approach to be documentary, photojournalistic and overall candid in nature should create and present work that strongly favors authentic family moments.

Several photo contests are organised by the association each year. FPJA exists as a body of professional family photojournalists telling the authentic story of a family, not directing it. So the association exclusively focuses on the documentary-style work created for real clients...not photos of photographers' own family members.

In this post I am excited and proud to share my images that were awarded in the last round and to tell the stories behind them.



This picture was taken during the 2 hours Family Storytelling session in Prospect Park, Brooklyn. It's the only type of session that I offer where we have 20 minutes of slightly directed portraits. For this image I asked Maggie to whisper a secret into David's ear. That's all I had to do to capture the special bond between these siblings.

You can find more images and watch the slideshow here.


This picture was taken during the Day In The Life that I did for a big extended family spending summer together at Catskills, NY. Eight families took part in it and we decided to give 20 minutes each for photos just of them. Shmaya, Rivkah and their twin sons Yechiel and Zali decided to take a short boat ride. Having two 2 years old boys in a family means that you can't take your eyes off them for a second. While you're taking care of one the other is guaranteed to be getting up to mischief behind your back!

You can find more images from the day here.


This picture was taken during the 2 hours Family Storytelling session in Upper West Side, NY. It's not a secret that toddlers put everything in their mouths, because that's how they explore the world around them. Of course 11 month old Graham was not an exception. First thing he did when we arrived to a diner was to stick the coffee creamer tub into his mouth. To my pleasant surprise B.J. was there to support his son in this fun activity instead of taking it out of his mouth immediately.

You can find more images here.


This picture was taken during the Day In The Life session for a family of four in Upper West Side, NY. During the "witching hour", when we were on the way home from the Museum of Natural History, one month old Charlie was crying non stop and two year old Sophie was tired and whining. The parents just didn't have enough hands. At some point the mommy in me overpowered the photographer and I asked: "Guys, do you want me to continue shooting (I already had some frames) or do you need my help?" They answered without hesitation: "PICTURES!" Later, when Wendy left with the crying baby in her hands to get home as soon as possible to nurse him, she didn't even realize that she had left Jon with a tired Sophie and two strollers in the middle of the street.

You can find more images from the day here.


This picture was taken during the half day Day In The Life for a mom, her three kids and two dogs in Lebanon, CT. Jessica is an amazing mom who has very close relationships with her teenage kids - something we all dream about. This image captures not only the moment of connection between Allyssa and her mom, but also the overall mood of a lazy Summer day. How many of these Summers are left until kids are off to college?

You can't find more images from this session yet, because I am going to blog it in the upcoming weeks. Stay tuned!


This picture was taken during the half day Day In The Life in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. The family's Sunday routine at that time included visiting two great grandparents - one from the mother's side and one from the father's side. Yakov Moshe, the oldest son, developed a very close relationship with Zeidy (grandpa in Yiddish). He would often go downstairs to visit Zeidy when other kids were already in bed. Bubby (grandma in Yiddish) from Daddy's side passed away few months after the session at the age of 100. Zeidi passed away a little over a year after this picture was taken at the age of 101. Yakov Moshe and the rest of the family will treasure the memories we captured during that day forever.

You can find more images from the day here.


This picture was taken during the half day Day In The Life in Crown Heights, Brooklyn. Annita is a mother of five and an incredible artist. This is a picture of her giving a kiss to her youngest son Binyamin in the middle of the kitchen after the cookie baking was over. You can feel so much love and happiness by looking at this picture. Isn't it an essence of motherhood?

You can find more images from the day here.


I can't wait to tell the authentic story of your family. Let's chat today!


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Love all these photos and these moments! Congrats on your awards for these photos!
What a variety of moments and emotions captured in all your sessions. These families are lucky to have you in their lives.
These are all fantastic, Polina! I really connect with the one of Jessica, holding onto her daughter. The son in the foreground and dog coming into the frame really drew my eye into the connection between mom and child.
Fantastic images and really interesting to read the stories behind them. Congratulations on your well deserved awards!
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