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What to Expect from your Lifestyle Family Session | Atlanta Family Photographers

When potential clients reach out to me about booking a family session I get really excited! I get excited to get to know the family and what makes their family special. People typically book a family photographer once a year at certain times, whether it’s the spring, the holidays, or to celebrate a new addition to the family. Or maybe the family books sessions through out the year.

I want to get to know the families briefly on the phone, learn everyone’s names, and learn about what the children like to do. It is also important to know how their children typically behave in front of the camera. Some children really love the camera and others might not want anything to do with me. It is always helpful to know this information ahead of time so I can be a match to the family’s goals and expectations of their family session.

Once I am able to gather details from the family that will help me capture the connection and tell a story through images, I mention to them what to expect.

Here a few things that I aim to do during your family session.

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Here are 3 tips for what to expect during your lifestyle family session:

  1. Have fun

    First and foremost, getting your photos should be fun! I know it can be stressful to figure out what to wear, or figure out the best location for your family, but hopefully I can take the stress out of that for you and share ideas for What to Wear. Aside from that, clothing doesn’t really matter. What matters is that your family has fun. Have fun!

    This family had two young children, that at times were interested in the camera and other times didn’t really care that much. It’s important that I keep your family close together while you keep your children engaged in fun! This can mean tickling your little guy, or seeing how he can pile up and hug on Mommy. It can also mean allowing your little guy to play with leaves and talk about the color or shape! Or maybe your little girl just wants to he held. I’m there to document that for you!

  2. Follow your Child’s Lead

    Once we get the important shots out of the way, you know, the ones for the grandparents with everyone looking at the camera, we can relax a little bit. My favorite images are always the ones where we allow the child to naturally explore and get into something he or she wants to do. When we let the child lead the way, they will naturally be motivated to interact and play, and this helps to bring out natural expressions from the child as well.

    This little guy would stick with us for a few shots and then wanted to explore nature. He wanted to collect leaves big and small, and he wanted to look at the little bugs crawling on the stone. It was totally fine, we are at a park! Let’s have fun and allow me document your child’s interest at this age. Let’s let them lead the way! Sometimes if your child doesn’t really show interest or maybe there is something that you know he or she will like, we can plan an activity.

  3. engage your child in an activity

    I was actually photographing Mama and baby girl for a little while when I glanced over and saw this little guy exploring the rocks and the water. Dad was already there supervising for safety so I encouraged Dad to stay close to the little guy and just be with him and that I would photograph them. And that’s exactly what happened. I didn’t need to set up this activity, it was already going with the two of them. You can see how engaged they were in this activity to find the bugs and look at the water. We didn’t really know this ahead of time or before the session that the child would be interested in just that, but the activity naturally unfolded. I love the way they are together and enjoying what they are doing.

    I can’t wait to meet your family and take unique photos that help to tell your family’s story. Check out more images in the family gallery. If you think you may be interested in booking a session, please say hello on this contact form and we can chat!

10 Ways to Add Variety in a Lifestyle Portrait Session

When we think portraits we might often think studio or a close up headshot. Here I have listed 10 ways you can incorporate several backgrounds, poses, and props to add variety in your lifestyle portrait session. Let's get started!

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1. Incorporate Movement

Typically when you get your subjects moving, they relax. When people relax they are usually more photogenic and this results in a fun and interesting portrait. If you are photographing your subject in a flowy dress, try to have her twirl in her dress. It might sound silly but it can make for a great photo! You can also create movement with hair. Here she just started shaking around her hair and I snapped away. The photos are so fun!

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2. Use a Unique Background

I love putting my subjects in front of unique backgrounds. This could mean putting them in front of a brick wall, a staircase, or a fun window. Take a look around your environment and see what kinds of areas that would make your subject pop. Keep in mind what your subject is wearing and make sure their outfit can compliment the background.

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3. Use a Simple Background

Simple backgrounds are also great for photos! Again, keep in mind what your subject is wearing to make sure the outfit and background compliment each other. It might be a good idea to ask your client what they will be using the photos for. If your client wants a portrait with a simple background, try to look around for a space with few distractions and a clean wall.

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4. Use their Home

One way you can learn about someone is photographing them in their natural environment. Taking photos in your home can add a personal feel to the photo. Whether you are a food photographer or a family photographer using your natural environment helps to create a warm photo.

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5. Shoot from Above

I like to get a few close-up shots during my lifestyle portrait sessions because it keeps the focus clear on the person. I like to shoot a little elevated from where they are standing and this helps to give you a variety of perspectives from the same pose.

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6. Use Small Props

If you are a coffee drinker, experiment with having the coffee as a prop in your photo. These types of photos have more of a blogger style but I feel that it helps to add a personal touch to the photo. I also like to take photos of photographer friends with and without their camera. Holding a camera (or a coffee in the previous example) gives your subject something to do with their hands and relaxes them. And like mentioned earlier when people are relaxed they are photogenic!

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7. Play with Hair or Face

This is another way you can give your client something to do with their hands. Have them run their finger through their hair or stroke along their face and will naturally give them a way to create interesting elements in the photo.

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8. Use a Chair

Using a chair can be another way to incorporate a prop into a photo and keep the photo and the subject looking natural. A chair can add interesting dynamics to a photo and will give you variety of looks within your gallery.

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9. Photograph your Subject Laughing

One of the jobs of being a photographer is interacting with the people you are photographing. Don’t forget to take some photos of them laughing! You will want to engage with them, bring out natural expressions, and relax them. It can be hard to act natural in front of a camera so when you are talking with your subject, make sure to capture the moment they make a candid and genuine expression! Some of my favorite photos of myself are ones where I’m laughing because it’s not a super posed expression!

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10. Take a Close-Up Shot

Most of the lifestyle portraits I take include the environment, background, props, outfits, and other elements. It might be helpful to take a couple of close up shots that allow your subject to fill the frame and be the focus in the photo.

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Do you have any other tips that should be included in this list?

I’d love to hear your thoughts!

{daphne} | sweet auburn curb market | creative women's portraits

I had the pleasure of spending the day with my dear friend Daphne over at Daphne Joy Photography. Daphne wanted some updated portraits so we headed over to Sweet Auburn Curb Market in Atlanta. It has a nice urban feel and we knew we would be able to grab a nice lunch after! If you haven't yet been to Sweet Auburn Market, I highly recommend spending some time there checking out the fresh produce and small businesses. I went to school just a couple miles from the market and couldn't believe I had never been there! Some of the restaurants inside have been there for quite a while and they are making way for even more yummy places! They have everything from fresh fish and poultry counters to colorful vegetable stands. Let's not forget about two popular restaurants there : Afrodish (Caribbean food) and Arepa Mia (Venezuelan food)!

I can't wait to go back.

You need to go go go!

Using the space gave us a good reason to get iced lattes (not like we really needed an excuse haha!) and navigate the market. Daphne made my job so easy because she was such a natural and loved getting her photos taken! And can we just take a second to talk about how perfect she matched these amazing green walls? Win win!

If you're interested in business and lifestyle portraits, head on over to this blog post or say hello! My passion is capturing people in a lifestyle way, and you can check out my family portfolio here!

{kaleb} | kaleb turns one | marietta lifestyle family photographer

They say time flies when you're having fun, and I assure you, Kaleb had so much fun turning one! I was excited to document his first birthday party, because ya only turn one once! 

He's such a lucky little guy to have so many family members around him. From getting help looking like a cutie wearing a bow tie, to getting help opening presents, and then eating birthday cake outside, it was sure of a day!

If you'd like to enjoy your child's special day, allow me to take the pressure off and help to document the birthday! Head on over to my contact page or check out the family gallery here!

{abby lynn} | playground fun at piedmont park | atlanta lifestyle photographer

There's so much joy in hanging out with a toddler. We had this session at the park just for fun and I was happy to click during some cute moments of AL playing on the monkey bars (those are words I don't hear as often anymore!), playing with wood chips, and just running around. Last time I got to see her, I got to take some daddy daughter photos at the park. 

I love how free spirited children are at this age and it wouldn't hurt to learn a thing or two from them. They are bright eyed, happy, hyper, and just excited for all of the things. 

Looking at these images just makes me want to go to a park and have fun. I can remember the feeling of the grass and just hanging out playing with sticks! 

What I love about lifestyle sessions is the ability to allow the child to take the lead and enjoy all of the small moments. If you're interested in booking a session, head over to some of my favorite images or drop me a message on my contact page! 

these are images of a toddler playing at a playground at piedmont park in atlanta georgia. she is swinging from the bars and laughing
these are images of a toddler at a playground in atlanta georgia at piedmont park. she is tossing the wood chips from the playground into the air and jumping.
these are images of a toddler playing at a playground at piedmont park in atlanta georgia. she is running around and making silly faces.
these are images of a toddler young girl sitting in the grass, playing with sticks. she is playing at piedmont park in atlanta georgia.

{the hall family} | extended family fun | decatur lifestyle family photographer

There is something so special about getting extended family together in one place. I didn't grow up with my cousins and grandparents and I enjoyed being able to spend some time with this family and capture the things that are special to this family. They wanted to be outside so naturally the family pups were able to be part of the session. I'm all about capturing all members of the family, including the pups! They stayed with us for some of the photos and then decided to just walk away when they were finished and didn't want to be a part of it anymore. But that's okay! 

There was so much laughter during this session and it was fun to just follow the girls around! This park in Decatur has some great trees and woods so naturally the girls had lots of ideas of what they wanted to do. I was just there for the ride! 

If you're interested in a family session, please say hello and I would love to talk to you! I love getting to know families and here are some recent sessions on the blog