Family photos……….the Wirken way


I really feel that my role as a photographer is to be a historian.  This may not come as a shock to most of you but my photographic passion lies solely in documenting moments and telling stories visually.

My entire life I can remember always being drawn to reality.  Aside from a Star Wars kick when I was younger I have never really been interested in things fantasy related.  You tell me a movie is a true story and I will watch it no matter what the subject.  I was fascinated by Behind the Music’s story of 50 cent and I can assure I am not a 50 cent fan.  I love stories and I love documenting them so years later they can be understood and remembered.  We have been taking the hands off approach when documenting weddings for years now but until recently our family portraits were the opposite approach.  As the years went on I found myself getting more and more frustrated with my portraits.  Maybe it was my own inferiority complex in my ability to be creative.  Maybe it was the constant feedback from parents how their kids never act this way at home or them wanting me to capture some special little thing they always do and hardly ever being able to get it.  But what I really think what made the difference was having children and a family of my own.  I would witness thousands of moments on a daily basis with my kids.  Things they would do that would seemingly disappear in the blink of an eye never to be done again.  I wanted to remember those moments 20 or 30 years down the road.  I decided a while back it was time to focus on what, I as an artist, are passionate about.  I want to give those moments I witness everyday to my clients.  Coupled with the recent move to a new studio in the Crossroads and the inability to do anymore in-studio portraits we have decided it was time to shift the focus of our family portraits to a pure documentary approach and I could not be more excited about it.

About 3 or 4 years ago I announced the Normal Day Session.  The idea is simple, I come to your house and for 4 hours observe you and your family doing what you all normally would do together.  I document with no posing, no direction or interference from me.  The result is incredible and always surprising.  The goal is to have families do these once a year and have a collection of little albums on the shelf chronicling that special time in the life of their family.  My mom once said, “Just remember your kids only get one childhood”.   I want to capture that the best I can for people.

A month or so ago I was able to document the second Normal Day Session for the Brent family and I am super excited to share it.  It’s amazing how these sessions get better and better each time we do them and how much more comfortable they were with me.  A wonderful bonus from these sessions for me is to be able to see these families year after year.  I was amazed how much the Brent girls have grown.  The moments keep getting better.

I present the Brent family in 2013.  We would love to hear from you if you would like more info on the Normal Day sessions.  Call us at (816) 582-8954 or visit or website-

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A few of my favorite images from the session-










This is the perfect example of being able to capture those little things kids do when they are young.  Anne had just put Cora to bed and was saying how she wished it was possible for me to get a photo of her doing this little thing she does when she is tired to sooth herself to sleep.  115_B_brent_nd_2013

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