“My kids can’t last 60 minutes” & other myths we tell ourselves {A guide to family lifestyle photography}

I hear this a LOT from potential clients interested in family portrait sessions. Usually followed quickly by, “Do you offer mini sessions? Because we really just need fifteen minutes. Maybe thirty minutes.”

False. False, false, false, false. Hear me out!

buy female viagra online australia official source Exactly what is a lifestyle portrait session? If your only experience with portraits are weddings with massive group photographs, then yesss. That would be pretty tough on a child for more than a few moments. GOOD NEWS: those are not the kind of photographs we’ll be taking together! There’s nothing more painful than a stiff family portrait with everyone plastering giant grins on their faces and staring at the camera while frantically trying not to blink. The mere thought makes me break out in hives, even though I get that sometimes–like when you want to capture extended family together, that’s really your only option. BUT, thankfully for immediate family, lifestyle portrait sessions are totally doable and completely awesome.

Portrait sessions should be relaxing and – dear I say it? fun! A good photographer (aka: moi!) uses the time to get to know your kids and coax them out of any shyness, helping them blossom in front of the camera. Oftentimes, the family chooses to have the session in their home. This helps especially timid children feel even more in their element. Regardless of location, however, the time spent together isn’t a non-stop click fest. Think of a lifestyle portrait session as a quality time experience (if you’re familiar with the five love languages).

You won’t just walk away with beautiful wall art, you’ll also make fun memories.

Forget sitting and yelling “SMILE” at your kids, you’ll be giggling, laughing, tickling, throwing the baby in the air, snuggling on a picnic blanket, reading a favorite book, having a wildflower picking competition, bringing your bikes and zooming around together, taking a walk, eating a cold and drippy cone of ice cream, or whatever your family loves doing together. I aim to get one good photograph of everyone looking at the camera for Grandma (and usually you’ll barely notice when I sneak this in) and then I spend the rest of our time together capturing the joyful expressions of your children as they’re having fun.

My goal is to make your children forget my camera is there.

This is why I actually don’t even offer mini sessions anymore. I don’t want a session that’s so get-here, stand-and-smile, next-family-please. You won’t enjoy and I won’t enjoy it. If our time together is so rushed, your shy son won’t even have time to come out from behind your legs, let alone grin and laugh and have fun. I love that when I spend time with my families, I find out that little Peter adores Thomas the Train Engine and Christie obsessively collects all things bug related. I remember that you had to have an emergency c-section with Anne and that your husband is looking forward to the day he can start his own business. My clients and I have relationships that only just begin with our portrait session and continue on for years to come. When you look back at this session, I want our time to feel like a luxurious get-away in which all the stresses of your normal day-to-day life fade away. I want you to look back at your portraits and remember feeling pampered and happy.

And here’s a not-so-secret secret…

If your kids are having fun, then the time will fly by and at the end of it you’ll have photographs you’ll absolutely love.

Do your kids ever look and act intolerably bored when you give them your full attention? I know mine completely blossom when they’re in the spotlight. I do know that my kids HATE being told to smile, so I strongly encourage parents not to even mention smiling during sessions. You just focus on having a good time and if I want to get a smile from them for a specific photograph, I’m really good at acting so completely ridiculous and silly that they can’t help but giggle.

Have I convinced you how amazing lifestyle family portrait sessions are yet?

Ready to book?

Email me at hi@walkingdotphotography.com or head on over to my contact page today to chat more.


Little girl in Durham
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