How to Choose the Right Style of Family Photography for You

Documenting beautiful moments with your loved ones is something essential for holding on to our memories and honoring our families. And what better way to do that than through family photography? But with so many different styles and approaches of family photography to choose from, finding the right one can be overwhelming.

In ‘Picture Perfect: How to Choose the Right Style of Family Photography for Your Loved Ones’, we’ll guide you through the process of selecting the perfect family photography style that suits your unique family dynamics and preferences.

Whether you’re looking for classic and posed portraits, candid and fun moments, or something more artistic and creative, we’ll explore the various photography styles and their benefits. We’ll also provide tips on choosing the right photographer, figuring out your outfits, and brainstorming the perfect location for your family photo session.

Get ready to not only capture stunning images but also create lasting memories. From traditional to documentary, lifestyle to fine art – find the style that resonates with you and your loved ones. Time to discover the perfect family photography style for you!

Importance of family photography

Family photography is so important for capturing the feel of your family, remembering it for a lifetime, and passing it down for generations to come. Family photographs also serve as a testimony to the growth and evolution of your family. As time passes, children grow up, and loved ones may no longer be with us. Family photography allows us to hold onto these fleeting moments.

While most families highly value family photography, there has been a rise in people thinking of family photos as a drag, a burden, and something that no one enjoys. A huge part of this is that we aren’t picking the right style of session for what our families will enjoy. No two families are the same, and there is no longer just one type of family photography session.

Investing in professional family photography is about more than just a pretty picture. It is a process of having your family seen and honored, having you each recognized for who you are, and slowing down time to let your family shine. For many families, having family photos is the best way to see families like yours represented authentically and joyfully. This is an important decision – so let’s dive into the different styles of family photography so you can discover the one that best suits your family’s story.

Different styles of family photography

Traditional Family Photography

Traditional family photography is what comes to mind when you think of a formal family portrait. It involves carefully posed, well-lit shots with everyone looking directly into the camera. This style often includes a formal backdrop or a picturesque outdoor setting. You might go to a studio or meet at an outdoor spot that the photographer has scouted.

The advantage of traditional family photography is that it captures everyone looking great, with everyone polished and picture-perfect. It is perfect for creating timeless and classic portraits that will never go out of style. This style is ideal for families who prefer a more formal and structured approach to their photographs. These sessions are often shorter (30-45 minutes) and are often available as mini-sessions (10-15 minutes). Perfect for a Christmas card photo!

Lifestyle Family Photography

Lifestyle family photography takes a more candid and relaxed approach. Instead of posing in a studio or a specific location, lifestyle photography captures your family in their natural environment – this could be your home or a place special to your family. It aims to capture the genuine interactions, emotions, and everyday moments that make your family unique.

The beauty of lifestyle family photography lies in its ability to showcase the authenticity of your family’s connections and personalities. It is perfect for capturing the love, joy, and chaos of everyday life. Whether it’s baking cookies in the kitchen, playing in the backyard, or snuggling on the couch, lifestyle photography captures the essence of your family’s story.

With lifestyle photography, photographers will put you in the best light and suggest things for you to do, but they won’t overly direct. For example, I might ask you to stroke your daughter’s hair, but I won’t direct where you put your hands or how you hold her. Being open-ended gives a chance for your natural connections to come through.

Documentary Family Photography

Documentary family photography takes storytelling to a more photojournalistic place. This style aims to capture your family’s day-to-day life in an unobtrusive and candid manner. The photographer becomes a silent observer, documenting the raw and honest moments as they unfold naturally.

Documentary family photography focuses on capturing the real emotions, expressions, and interactions between family members. It tells a story by freezing genuine moments in time, allowing you to relive the memories and emotions years down the line. This style is perfect for families who want to capture the true essence of their everyday lives and create a visual narrative. If you see “A Day in the Life” offers, these are usually documentary sessions.

Sessions for documentary family photography are typically much longer, often 6 or 14 hours, so that you all can be documented doing a variety of things that represent your life. You might decide to go to the farmer’s market together, then to the ice cream shop, then home to play in the sprinkler and make dinner together, and then get the bedtime routine. These are a commitment, but they are a great way to tell your story.

Fine Art Family Photography

Fine art family photography is all about creating unique and artistic images. This style often incorporates creative angles, lighting techniques, and post-processing effects to produce visually stunning and thought-provoking photographs.

Fine art family photography goes beyond capturing the moment; it aims to create a work of art. It often involves conceptual and stylized elements, resulting in images that are visually striking and evoke emotions. This style is ideal for families who appreciate creativity and want their photographs to be more than just a representation of reality. Families who choose this type of work need to be receptive and flexible to the photographer’s vision – they will likely help you choose what you wear, how you pose, what emotions you are showing, etc. They have a vision for the story and will direct you in carrying it out.

Thinking through the family photography style that is right for you

Now that we’ve explored the different styles of family photography, it’s time to choose the one that best suits your family’s personality, preferences, and story. Here are some factors to consider:

1. Reflect your family’s personality: Think about the overall vibe and atmosphere you want your photographs to convey. Do you prefer a more formal and traditional look, or do you want to capture the authenticity of your everyday life?

2. Consider your family’s dynamics: Reflect on the relationships and connections within your family. Do you want to capture the love and tenderness between parents and children, or do you want to capture the playful interactions between siblings?

3. Think about the end goal: Consider how you plan to use the photos. Are you looking for a timeless and classic portrait to put on your wall, or do you want a visual narrative that tells the story of your family’s everyday life?

4. Talk with a professional: Reach out to professional photographers specializing in different styles and discuss your vision with them. They can guide you in choosing the style that aligns with your family’s preferences and help bring your vision to life.

Remember, there is no right or wrong choice when it comes to selecting a family photography style. The most important thing is to choose a style that speaks to your heart and resonates with your family’s unique story.

Preparing for you photo session

Preparing for a family photoshoot involves more than just selecting the right style and photographer. Here are some tips to ensure a smooth and successful photoshoot:

1. Planning outfits: For traditional photos, consider the location and select outfits with coordinating colors. For lifestyle photography, think about what you will be comfortable in and then elevate it a bit – make sure clothes are clean and the colors go together. If you want focus to be more on faces and emotions, consider neutrals. If you want to convey joy and playfulness, wear colorful clothes. For documentary style, where what you’d normally wear – these are the photos that tell your story directly as it is. For fine art, consult with your photographer.

2. Thinking about the location: Think about the atmosphere and backdrop you want for your photographs. Whether it’s a natural outdoor setting, a studio, or your own home, think about a location that aligns with your vision and enhances the chosen style. If you are looking for an outdoor setting, ask your photographer – they’ll already have favorite locations for photos.

3. Timing is everything: Your photographer will have times of day that they photograph in to suit their style and techniques. If you have a specific time of day you want your photos done, find a photographer that aligns with that time. If you are open, follow the advice from your photographer.

4. Prepare the little ones: If you have young children, make sure they are well-rested and fed before the photoshoot. Bring snacks, toys, or anything that can help keep them entertained and engaged during the session. Talk up the session ahead of time – share how fun and exciting it will be.

5. Relax and have fun: Remember that the purpose of the photoshoot is to capture genuine moments and create lasting memories. Relax, enjoy the experience, and let your family’s natural dynamics shine through.

Choosing the right photographer

Choosing the right family photographer is crucial in ensuring a successful and enjoyable photoshoot. Here are some tips to help you find the perfect photographer for your family:

1. Research and compare: Look for photographers specializing in the style you’ve chosen. Check their portfolios, websites, and social media to get a sense of their work and style. Compare their photography and reviews to find the one that resonates with you. Photography is art, and their art should make you feel something – excitement, nostalgia, joy. Consider what emotions you want to feel when looking at your photos, and select a photographer whose art aligns with you.

2. Check their experience: Look for photographers who have experience working with families and children. Family photography requires a different skill set, including the ability to capture genuine moments and work well with children. Experienced photographers will know how to create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere.

3. Arrange a meeting or consultation: Reach out to potential photographers and set up a meeting or consultation. This will allow you to discuss your vision, ask questions, and get a sense of their personality and working style. Chemistry and communication are essential for a successful collaboration.

Remember, investing in a professional family photographer is an investment in your memories. Take the time to find the one who understands your vision, captures your family’s essence, and delivers stunning photographs that will be cherished for a lifetime.

Working with Ama Merrell Photography

My typical sessions start with lifestyle, usually for about half an hour. I’ll provide direction and ideas during this time, until kiddos are done trying to hold direction and need to play! We’ll then move into a documentary style, where your family will do an activity together or play in the yard and I’ll document those raw moments. We always make sure we get a couple photos where everyone is smiling at the camera for your holiday cards and to send to Grandma!

I also offer Day in the Life sessions for families who want just the documentary style photos. I’d love to hear your vision for your photos – please read about my sessions here and book a call here! Can’t wait to meet you!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *