5 reasons to book a lifestyle family session

What is in-home family lifestyle photography?

People often ask me “what is lifestyle photography?”,“what is in-home family photography like?” or “what is lifestyle family session?” aaaaand It’s actually pretty simple.

Lifestyle photography is close to documentary-style photography that focuses on telling the story in a candid honest way.  As a Western Slope and Utah family photographer, I really try to blend into the scenery and not give input on your actions.

Sometimes I give prompts to follow like: “give mommy a million kisses”, “count the freckles on your dad’s face”, and “use your parents as a couch” and I try to capture you and your family in its true way. But, primarily I try to just hang out and wait for all of you to start being you again 😉

Why? Because the less you notice me, the more naturally you’re gonna connect to your family and that’s what I want to capture and that’s what you want to look back on. 

in home family session

Let me give you an example of how a documentary vs. a more traditional approach works.

Your kiddos instead of sitting nicely on the couch start climbing it. Suddenly it turns into a race and you and your partner come in from both sides to tickle them and take them back down. EVERYONE is laughing, snorting, and rolling around. The alternative: you’re all sitting neatly on a couch looking straight at the camera.

So… A family lifestyle session is exactly what it sounds like! It’s a way to document your family and your lifestyle.

5 reasons why you should book a lifestyle family session

  1. Capturing authentic moments: Laughing, running around, tickling wars. All those activities are going to look beautiful in the photos and you’re gonna feel more at ease and comfortable because you’re gonna be at your own home. 
  2. You get to stay at home! I can join you for one of your routines or a couple! My package includes up to half a day when I am just there with you: bath time, playtime, dinner – you name it. The albums from these sessions make for the best memories. It’s like you’re capturing a moment in time. Truly. This brings me to number 3…
  3. Your babies will grow fast! And the reality is that we don’t remember all the details. I remember spending a weekend at my friend’s house; her son was 1.5 years old and every time he would come out running we’d ask him “What happened?” and he’d say “I fell”. It was so cute and funny. My husband and I ended up using that phrase for everything! But when we came back to see my friend’s family a year later she couldn’t recall any of it. And that’s so normal. There is just SO MUCH happening all the time. It’s impossible to keep track! But you’ll always be able to look back at these photos and remember these moments.
  1. Speaking of capturing real, candid moments. Pets are super welcome! 
  1. The weather. How many times do we have to reschedule our outdoor sessions? With the session in your home, We won’t need to worry about the weather.  
  2. You’ll be left with an album that tells your story. These are the albums that your kiddos are going to watch and turn the pages in amazement. Imagine your 8-year-old looking back on being 2 years old and laughing at how chubby they were!

This is why you hire a photographer for a lifestyle family session. It’s not just for you; it’s not just for now. It’s about creating a collection of memories to enjoy now and in the future.

This type of session is different from a holiday card shoot. Though my dream is to have more of those candid shots on cards I understand, I understand why grandmas appreciate them more. You are all dressed up nicely, composed, and looking at the camera and if that’s something important to you we can always take a couple of minutes and take those images too 🙂

How to prepare for a lifestyle session?

You’re inviting me to your home to take photos of your family. So, we need to look at these three pieces: home, kids, you, and what we’re going to do.

  1. Since I’ll be taking photos inside your home, you need to consider how you want them to be captured. Do you want minimal clutter or do you want it to be just as usual? It’s entirely up to you.  I definitely took photos in homes that were in the middle of refurbishing and it was chaos – but it was the chaos that the family wanted to remember.  *I’d suggest making at least one bed in the house that your family can snuggle on.
  1. Light – as a photographer (photo – actually means “light”) I need all the natural light so I’ll ask you to open all the windows.
  2. Prepare your outfits (there is a “what to wear during family photo shoot section below”)
  3. Prepare some details you want me to photograph. Think first socks and shoes, or anything you’d want to remember 🙂
  4. Let’s talk about activities we want to capture. For instance; going on a walk together, playing in the garden, coming back home, washing hands, taking a bubble bath, dinner time, play/reading time, or putting the kiddos to sleep. My sessions span from 30 minutes or a couple of hours and you can pick exactly what you want me to capture 🙂

What to wear for the family session: 

  1. Coordinate, don’t match. Pick 3-4 colors that work together well and try to spread them throughout the group. When in doubt add neutrals to balance out the color. I like to think in tones: nude, earthy, and beige. 
  2. Avoid large patterns as they are too distracting (that includes diapers!).
  3. Movement. Pick clothes that flow… those look better in the pictures – particularly outdoor ones.
  4. Loose is better than tight. Wear clothes you feel really good in and definitely not too tight (I always say that if I can see your belt/ bra straps through the shirt that means your clothes are a bit too tight.
  5. Texture. Avoid plain cotton fabric and instead, try; knitted, ribbed, lace, henley, waffle, linen, or muslin.
  6. Accessories – go for light details, a headband, suspenders maybe a hat.
  7. Feel free to pick two different types of outfits – one outfit can be nicer and one outfit can be more casual!

Where to get the clothes?

Stores I recommend for getting your wardrobe are below (with links): 

Kids: Zara kids, H&M kids, Rylee & Cru

Mommas: Free People, Reclamation

Dads: Banana Republic

Some of the colors that work really well: sage, acorn, tan, ivory, beige, golden grass, and light blue.


Family Session | Ely, Minnesota

Lifestyle Family Photos | Warsaw, Poland

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