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Meet Sarah Desage of Photo de Famille in Los Angeles

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sarah Desage.

Sarah, can you briefly walk us through your story – how you started and how you got to where you are today.
I started in front of the camera, as a model and an actress. One day, I decided to listen to that little voice telling me to pick up a camera. I started taking headshots and photographing my friends and before I knew it I had a website and was charging money for it.

My shooting style is influenced by my experience as a model, actress, a mother… and maybe being French. I am self-taught. As a model, I learned a lot by paying attention to different photographers! Acting taught me the power of storytelling and human compassion. I always think of the “story of the picture”.

As a Mom of two, I became obsessed with the passage of time and the fading of memories. So… I created a documentary family photography business.

I would say my work is about being real, about storytelling and emotions. For me, a good picture is one that makes you feel something.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
I’d say, it has been a smooth, slow road. Kind of like driving across the country, you can see the end of the straight road but it-takes-for-ever to get there.

I am doing something that engages me creatively and that I really really love. So, that’s the smooth part. Struggles come along the way. Being a photographer also means being an entrepreneur. I had to embrace a very steep learning curve, learn new software, marketing, branding, social media… the list was and is seemingly endless as I am always learning.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Photo de Famille – tell our readers more, for example, what you’re most proud of and what sets you apart from others.
Photo de Famille is a boutique Family Photography Studio. I specialize in documentary family photography. I basically schedule anywhere from several hours to a full day to hang with you, and I capture your daily life. The small and big moments, moments you keep in your heart vault. I discover your story through my lens, resulting in artistic, emotive pictures that tell your story. And then, we figure out which ones to print. Having your pictures printed is so important because otherwise they just sit there and get lost on your hard drive. So, I take you through the process of choosing your pictures and finding the best way to display them in your house.

I always say I offer my family experience rather than simply a photo session. I take pride in making the process fun and relaxed from the beginning, from total transparency during our pre-consultation session, to the shoot, to the reveal session where we figure out how to best display your memories in your home. For this part, I use software that allows us to preview exactly how your pictures will look on your wall. So here again, there is no guessing or surprises. My number one goal is for you to trust the entire process.

I am very proud of Photo de Famille, of the pictures I am taking, of the impact it has on the families. I know these pictures will be treasures, the kids will live with these memories, these markers of time that will grow in “heart value” as the years pass.

I think what sets me apart from others is my experience in front of the camera and the rapport I share with the families. I know how awkward and self-conscious we can be in front of the camera, and have gotten really good at making people comfortable no matter what’s going on.

Where do you see your industry going over the next 5-10 years?  Any big shifts, changes, trends, etc? 
It sometimes looks like the art of photography is giving way to “Instagraphy” or “filtergraphy.” And if you’re not a social media whiz… then you don’t exist. But I believe we are a species that seeks connection, physical connection. I believe that we’ll see a return to communities, to slowing down, to holding a print in your hand rather than having a file somewhere on the computer or on the cloud.

I think documentary style photography will become a style people will crave, a return to raw moments, to real feelings, to real life and maybe a little poetry too.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Sarah Desage – Photo de Famille – all pictures copyrighted

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