“capturing the candid moments is much more meaningful... because it helps tell a story of someone's life and family." // brandee

You crave a different kind of photography--one that's focused on everyday storytelling, intimacy, and behind-the-scene-story-filled moments. You want photography to adorn the walls of your home or fill albums that will align your bookshelves and dress your coffee tables that truly reflects who you are and where you are right now in your life so you can remember, years later, and pass this history and these stories down to your children and loved ones.

This is Documentary Lifestyle photography and this is what I do. Who am I? I’m Nicole, an observationlist.

Whether families, weddings, editorial, or portraits, I have a documentary lifestyle/photojournalism approach to my work. My goal is to help remove the anxiety of the traditional, sit and smile photo session by allowing you the freedom to relax and be, while I observe and capture the moments—your moments.


You want photos that are full of life and showcase the love and connection between your loved ones. You enjoy spending time with the people you love, doing the things you love to do and you want photos of these moments. You want to cherish the moments of today, 30 years from now and to be able to pass these memories down to your children. Phrases like "perfectly imperfect" and "a beautiful mess" make you smile. You've been looking for "something different."


I consider myself a coffee shop rebel, because I'll order tea, hot chocolate, breakfast, or anything other than coffee. I'm a Beyoncé enthusiast, because Beyoncé. I love to laugh a lot. I love to look through old boxes of photos. I love television and specials that document the behind-the-scenes or making-of pretty much anything. I believe in pursuing what makes your heart sing. And, I believe we all sound fantastic when singing in the car. I'm pretty sure it's a fact.

why documentary lifestyle:


Because... you can relax and the kids can play, because laughter, real smiles (no cheese), curiosity, stolen glances, the way he scrunches his nose, new parents, empty-nesters, babies crying and doing other cute baby things, old photographs and photo albums, everyday moments and routines will create some of your most treasure memories, family bonding, sibling dynamics, Saturday mornings, couples in the kitchen, local exploration, windblown hair, hands that tell stories… 

Because right now is already gone.

Because you want your children and grandchildren to know your story—their story. And they want to see you there, in the photos.

Because there is beauty in the everyday. Because of the printed photo. Because beautiful moments are happening and you deserve to be in them. Because life doesn’t stand still and neither do the people in it.

Let’s chat and see if the documentary lifestyle is the right fit for you.

Photos have been seen and featured on:

The Master Light Guide for Storytelling Photographers / Fearless & Framed

Momma Bear Magazine //

This Day and Every Day //

Not So Private Parts //

The LB Brand //

The Well Studio //

Brown Girl with a Camera //

Author JJ Keith //

Documentary lifestyle photography is an experience—One, that you are worth. You deserve this. Your family deserves this. And when you look back through your photos 30 years from now, you will be thankful. Always, thankful.

Follow along @nicolegracen