Have you ever seen family photos and wondered "how"? If you’ve ever asked how those families captured such beautiful, carefree and natural-looking photos, then this post is for you. Today, I’m sharing how to get those beautiful family portraits you’ve always wanted. Let’s talk all about the secret to beautiful lifestyle family photos, especially here in Pittsburgh, PA.
Choose a Fun Family Photographer
Before you can plan those gorgeous family portraits, you need to first choose a family photographer. If you’re looking for natural and organic moments to be photographed for your family, be sure to hire a lifestyle photographer. This is someone who specializes in capturing moments as they unfold - not so much on the perfect photo where everyone’s smiling together. You’ll also want to look at the photographer’s style - are they light and airy or do they edit with a moodier style? Take a look at their portfolio to determine if those are the kinds of images you want for your family. If you want to learn more about choosing the perfect family photographer, I’ve got a few other tips here for you!
How to Prepare for the Best Family Photo Session
Choose the best location for your family. When it comes to having the perfect lifestyle family session, location matters. Think about your family: what is unique about you? What do you like to do as a family? Those answers will inform the kind of location you’ll choose. If you’re a family that gravitates towards outdoor activities, consider an outdoor park or more adventurous setting. A family who likes to be at home might consider an in-home lifestyle session.
Collaborate on styling with your photographer. When it comes to the look and feeling of your photos, your outfits matter. You want to not only look but feel your best for your family photos. Work with your photographer on coordinating your outfits with your chosen location. Your photographer will help you determine what will look best together (remember to coordinate, not match!). Some photographers even have client closets you may be able to utilize for more outfit ideas!
Prepare your family for success in advance. A great experience really comes down to how prepared you and your family are… and your expectations. Spend some time leading up to your session talking about it with your entire family. Remember that no session is perfect and the goal is to have some photos you love of your family. Try to relax and enjoy it as much as possible!
How to Enjoy Your Family and Have the Best Family Photos
Focus on what matters most - your family. Your photographer is there to capture the moments you want to remember the most. The best advice is to focus on your family and try to ignore the camera. I know, I know… easier said than done. But if you can just enjoy the time with your kids and partner, you’ll be pleasantly surprised with the results. A great photographer will guide you through the session with simple prompts but you should never feel like you need to look to them for exactly what to do. Just be yourselves and let them do the rest!
Be affectionate with each other. As parents, we snuggle, hug and kiss our little ones (and significant others) all the time. Just because you are on camera doesn't mean you should hold back! Embrace these moments with your kids and trust that your photographer will capture it. They may prompt you for an extra hug or snuggle, but for the most part - just relax and hold those kids like you would on your couch! Those natural moments are more likely to be cherished than the big “cheese” moment.
Let kids be kids. Children are unpredictable and there is no denying that! The best thing you can do during your session is follow their lead. The best family photographers will be able to take control and find the best moments with your little one. Family photographers understand less than willing kids (or husbands!) and will navigate the session with ease so everyone feels ready and happy to be there. If you stress, so will your kids so just let them do their thing.
Think of what makes your family laugh. If you’re hoping for great photos with natural laughs, come prepared to make your family laugh. Think about what gives those big laughs you love from your kids - and be ready to share it. Have their favorite song queued on your phone or make those silly faces. It’s all worth it in the end!
I hope you found these tips valuable in finding the perfect family photographer for your next photo session. Capturing your family’s laughs and smiles in a natural way can be so much fun if you’re working with the right photographer.
I applaud your effort to find someone that will serve your family well and encourage you to invest the time in finding someone you can work with year after year. As photographers, we love the chance to get to know your families and watch them grow year to year.
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Life moves too fast. Although we can't slow it down, we can record the moments that fill our hearts and tell our story through photos and films. I am a Pittsburgh family photographer and film maker that helps families record their stories and pause some of life's greatest moments.
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