Photo of the Day

On Capturing Intimate Family Storytelling

March 26, 2020

By Jacqueline Tobin

Photo © Jenny Dupuis

I had the recent pleasure of viewing family documentary and wedding photographer Jenny Dupuis‘s body of work at WPPI 2020 while doing portfolio reviews on the trade show floor. One series by the Phoenix, Arizona-based photographer that really caught my eye was “Together, We Belong,” capturing the daily life of the Rask family in Roslev, Denmark. 

“On a crisp October morning, a rock melody, intertwined with the repeating words ‘it’s a beautiful life,’ plays softly in the background,” writes Dupuis in an opening statement for the series. “It’s 6:00 a.m. and Peter is kissing his youngest son, Viggo, goodbye as the child’s eyes flutter open after a restful night’s sleep in his parent’s bed. Mom Henriette is in the shower getting ready for her day. Niels is sleeping peacefully next to Anders—he had left his bed the night before to be close to his older brother.”

Read: Betty Kuhner’s Take On Family Lifestyle Portraiture

The Rasks, says Dupuis, are a regular family, but they have their own views on what makes a good life and what they want to pass on to their children. “To them,” she explains, “it’s important to go out of their way to spend time slowing down together. They use adventure as their tool. It’s one way they show their children how important the bond of family can be.”

Dupuis says she spent a lot of time building trust with the family prior to visiting them and that this was the key to authentic coverage. She would have never been able to make some of the lovely images from this series if she hadn’t been totally immersed in their world—”trust was crucial in achieving this level of comfort,” she notes.

Read: John Michael Cooper Captures Other Photographers and Their Families for Special Print Project

Dupuis completed this project while attending the Danish School of Media and Journalism (Danmarks Medie- og Journalisthøjskole, or DMJX for short) back in 2017 as an international student in their Photo I program. “I’ve been inspired by documentary photographers like Sally Mann, Alex Webb and Niki Boon—to name a few,” she adds. “The theme for this assignment was ‘home,’ so I made the decision to quite literally step into the Rask family’s physical and emotional home.”

Dupuis looks forward to making new images of families to build on this body of work as “a sort of ethnography and tribute to family culture through the years and beyond borders—as well as serving families by capturing very slice-of-life moments.” You can find more of this work on her site.

(Dupuis thanks the Rask family once again for allowing her into their lives and hearts, and also sends a big thank you to DMJX for supporting this type of work.)

Niels Rask spends time with his family on the west coast of Denmark.
9-year-old Niel’s long blonde hair is swept away in the salty air on Denmark’s west coast while on vacation at his family’s summer home. Rask Family in “Together, We Belong”, Fall 2017. Photographed with a Canon EOS 70D, Canon EF 24mm f/2.8 IS USM and Sigma 50mm f/1.4 Art DG HSM). 
Photo © Jenny Dupuis.
Viggo and Niels Rask play at the family home with some neighborhood friends.
Viggo, 6, and Niels, 9, play with neighborhood friends at their home, though not a single neighbor’s house can be seen from any point of the Rask’s land. Henriette and Peter like the freedom of being surrounded by nature, a reason they chose to raise their children where they grew up.
Photo © Jenny Dupuis
Rask family son Niels makes a roasting stick.
With his family’s shelter behind him, Niels, 9, carves a sharp point to make a roasting stick for hot dogs.
Photo © Jenny Dupuis

Check out more Photos of the Day, and email submissions to