Natural. Unscripted.
Perfect.

Natural. Unscripted. Perfect.

The moments that mean the most to us are the authentic ones. They are personal and intimate; joyous and emotional. Weddings, family gatherings, a new baby; these are the moments that we carry with us and help to tell the unique story of our lives. 

My philosophy as a photographer is that life is most beautiful when it is lived. I use the styles of documentary photography and lifestyle portraiture in order to highlight the natural, honest, and raw emotion that exists within the most cherished moments of our life.




As a documentary photographer, I wanted to tell stories that would make a difference. I wanted to create images that were raw, pure, and beautiful. Ones that would forever echo the story that they represented.

I came to Washington, DC in order to continue developing my craft and to surround myself in the world of non profits where I felt my work would be best suited. I had plans to travel and document every corner of humanity; changing the world through the lens of my camera. 

Although I loved it, there were sacrifices to this lifestyle. And as I grew, so did my perspective. The appeal of globe trotting and living out of a suitcase was fading. I fell in love, got married, and started a family. I no longer wanted to be everywhere; I wanted to be here. To be home.

I had to reexamine who I was as a photographer and what I wanted. I started to witness the raw, everyday beauty that existed in my own life as well as in the lives of my friends and family. I started to bring what I had done on a large scale, down to a smaller and more intimate level. I knew my passion hadn't changed. I was still a story teller. I still wanted to change lives. I knew I could still make a difference; intimately, and one family at a time. Capturing the moments that slip through the cracks of everyday madness and return them as a beautifully preserved window in time. 

Life became my inspiration. And life is beautiful.

Hi, I'm Sarah

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FAQ's

As a documentary photographer, I have always aimed to tell stories that make a difference. It is a journey that has taken me from capturing humanity while working with non profits to photographing more intimate stories by joining clients in their most personal space; their home. 

I strive to create images that are raw, pure, and beautiful in order to create a lasting narrative to each unique family I meet.

Sarah  Sta. Ana

FAQ's

A. There are many types of photography out there, and they all have a place. What makes documentary photography unique is the ability to create a photographic record that truly captures your family as they are. No props, no matching shirts, no fake backdrops of trees, no random locations, and no awkward posing. It's all about you and the relationships that exist with your family. When you pull out old pictures to reminisce over, no one reaches for the average (and sometimes rough!) school portraits. They pull out the photos of splashing in the waves on vacation, or decorating christmas cookies with Grandma, or of your new baby falling asleep on her daddy's chest. These moments happen every day. They are the fabric that ties us to our loved ones and weaves our story. It is so much more than just a pretty picture. 

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Q. Why should I get documentary photography instead of traditional portraiture?

A. What makes documentary photography unique is the ability to create a photographic record that truly captures your family as they are. No props, no matching shirts, no fake backdrops of trees, no random locations, and no awkward posing. It's all about you and the relationships that exist with your family. When you pull out old pictures to reminisce over, no one reaches for the school portraits. They pull out vacation photos, or coloring christmas cookies with Grandma, or of daddy holding his new baby. These moments happen every day. They are the fabric that ties us to our loved ones and weaves our story. It is so much more than just a pretty picture. 

FAQ's

Q. My life is boring. What would we do during a session so it looks more exciting?

A. Your life may be many things, but boring is not one of them! You are living your life, being a husband or wife, taking care of children, etc. Even the littlest things you do every day are worth celebrating and having a record of. Think of your daughters favorite toy, or your son learning to tie his shoes, or what about that garden you tend to as a couple? I do understand it can be a little difficult to think of those things that are important to you on the spot, which is why we offer a Custom Planning Session to all of our clients. During this time we will discuss what defines you as a family, what your loves are, and what memories are your favorite. Then we will come up with a plan for your session that allows you to take advantage of our time together while still being your natural selves.

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FAQ's

Q. My house is a mess and it's too small. Can we just go to a nice park instead?

A. Home really is where the heart is, even if it is covered with piles of laundry and dirty dishes. Think about how good it feels to go home after a long day or come back after a long vacation. Your home. Your bed. Your memories. A park is nice, but it doesn't hold an ounce of the same beauty or character that your home has. Family memories and being home naturally go together. Plus, there is no place that you will feel more like yourself or that your children will feel more free to express themselves. This is what you want to capture! Every mark on your floor, every messy bed, every finger print on your window is part of your story. And it is one i'm sure you will not want to forget.

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Q. What should I wear during a session?

A. ANYTHING! Jeans? Yes. Sweats? Sure. Pajamas? Why not? The great thing about documentary photography is that it really is all about you and your life. So if your kids have a spaghetti stain on their shirt from lunch, leave it. This time in your life will pass in a heartbeat and once they're gone, you will wish that you had a photograph of yourself rocking your sweet baby in your husbands faded Van Halen t-shirt that you stole because you loved how soft it was. Or one of your silly 3 yr old who insists on wearing his Batman cap EVERY SINGLE DAY. Because these are the memories you will hold onto forever, this is moment, you're in it right now!

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FAQ's

Q. Can I get the digital files of my session?

A. I'm more then happy to offer the digital files of your session for purchase. It can be a great way to preserve the collection of your final images. However, I encourage all my clients to think about what you want out of your photographs? How do you want to enjoy them? No one ever looked at a USB and thought "Wow, that's beautiful!". ALL images are meant to be printed, to be touched, shared, enjoyed. You owe it to yourself to wake up each morning and gaze at a beautiful canvas print on your wall or flip through an album with family. My work is your life. Allow yourself to enjoy each and every day.

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Q. Do you edit the photographs?

A. All of your final images will be finished photographs. This means that your images will have beautiful cropping, lighting, tones, and aesthetic appeal. Because I work in documentary I maintain as much truth to your photograph as possible and do not edit out what some may call "imperfections". Life is "imperfect" which is what actually makes it so amazing and beautiful. This is what I want to help you celebrate!

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¬©Santa Ana Photography, LLC 

¬© Santa Ana Photography, LLC 

Washington, DC 

Beyond

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