I am beyond lucky that I get to photograph documentary family sessions. These shoots make my heart full, and are the most rewarding work I’ve done (if I can even call it work!). I feel honored that people welcome me into their homes, share their lives with me, and entrust me with the important job of recording their family’s story.
I was so in love with and fascinated by my son when he was born, and as he got older, I loved all the funny little phases he’d go through. When he was in a phase, like the one where he wanted to play Chutes and Ladders fifty times a day, I thought it was going to last forever. And then, without even realizing it, he outgrew it. I’d think back on those phases and remember them with a sweet fondness, and was grateful that I’d taken photos of those little things that were so important, adorable, and (with hindsight) brief. Everyone told me that it would go by so fast and I didn’t really understand what they meant until I had my son.
When my son sticks his head into my office and says “Hey Mommy, I love you for infinity,” or when he grabs my hand and runs me around the house gleefully yelling “The monsters can’t get US!” before we duck into our special hiding place under the blankets, or when he makes me a special camera out of his precious Legos, I think “I wish every day could be THIS day.” This day isn’t a big day – it’s not being on vacation, or a holiday, or some big milestone. It’s an average day, and amazing things happen every day when you’re a parent.
I started thinking about documentary family photography after having those feelings as a mother. I wanted to figure out a way to give parents (and their children) the visual memories, and feelings, of whatever “this day” is to them. Documentary photography freezes those fleeting phases while getting parents into the photos (see below: a rare photo of Simon and I together when he was around five months old). It’s something I want every family to have – photos that capture childhood, relationships, and the loving, frantic, and silly in between moments that all families share.
Hi! I’m Leah, and I am so happy where my life has unexpectedly taken me.
Before I was a photographer, I was a molecular biologist doing cancer research. My husband Dave and I met while working at the same company in NYC (I miss living there so much, but don’t think I could do it again!). We moved up to MA so he could get a new job and I could pursue photography as a career, after I'd taken a couple photography courses in NYC. We lived in Waltham for a few years, and now live in a cute little house in Natick.
I am Mom (or Ma! or Mommmmeeeeee!) to an amazing four year old boy with special needs. I never could have imagined how inspiring and life-changing this journey would be. Simon surprises me every day, and is the best friend I’ve ever had. We love to play policemen vs. bad guys, build anything and everything out of “little Legos,” do puzzles, play board games, discuss math, make each other laugh, eat meals on our deck, look at flowers, and spend every second we can together.
I’ve been a huge Star Wars fan since I was a little kid (before it was cool to be one!) and own way too many Star Wars t-shirts. Black and white photography makes my heart race. That being said, I love bright colors and sometimes wish I could live in Pee-Wee’s Playhouse. I enjoy the Game of Thrones podcast I listen to almost as much as I enjoy watching the show. I didn’t start baking until my late 30s and now it’s one of my favorite things to do! I’m a lifelong Hello Kitty fan (and fan of all things kawaii). I hate dressing up. If my house was burning down, the first thing I’d save are prints of Simon and Dave and me taken at the hospital the day after Simon was born. And, to that, I need to take my own advice and print more photos!
About Leah LaRiccia Photography
I’m forever grateful that I got to turn my passion for photography into my job. I get to do work that I love and believe in, and get to meet fantastic new people all the time. These people allow me into their lives and trust me to tell their stories. I may be doing work for them, but they give me the gift of being part of their families for a moment. I love when kids take my hand during a session to show me their favorite toy, or plop themselves down on my lap so that I can read to them, or give me a hug when it’s time for me to leave. It’s an amazing feeling to be welcomed so openly, and to share these experiences with former strangers.
During each documentary session, I take my time to wait for and define the moment, capture the relationships I observe, and tell a story with every frame. I step back, consider the situation, and document it with care. I look for emotion, humor, love, and smiles. I highlight the wonder of what it's like to be young. It’s sometimes hard for me to stop taking photos because I become so invested in each family I work with.
During posed family sessions, I take time to connect with each family member to build trust. I keep the mood light, silly, and let kids be kids. Sometimes I let them run the shoot! I honor each child’s personality by highlighting what makes them unique.
When photographing life events, I am a fly on the wall. I don’t draw attention to myself and become part of the family for a day. I look for shared moments, emotion, and anything that tells the bigger story.
Each session I do is a love letter, and each family story I tell important. I'd be honored if you'd invite me to tell yours.
I am based out of Natick, MA, and available to photograph families and events in Boston and throughout Massachusetts.
You can reach me by email at email@example.com.
You can also reach me by phone at 781-290-7514.
I look forward to hearing from you!