March 1, 2024

Exploring Lifestyle Family Photography: Insights and Inspirations from Five East Coast Family Photographers

Family Photos, lifestyle photography

Welcome to a visual journey through the heartwarming world of lifestyle family photography, a genre that captures the essence of family life in its most natural form, where spontaneous laughter, tender embraces, and the candid interactions of daily living are preserved, showcasing the beauty and uniqueness of every family's story.

This blog post brings together five talented family photographers from the East Coast, each with a unique perspective on what lifestyle family photography means to them. Through their lenses, we explore the candid moments that define the bonds and interactions within families, turning everyday life into extraordinary memories.

Lifestyle family photography goes beyond the traditional posed portraits to embrace the beauty of unscripted moments. This genre tells the story of families in a way that is real, emotive, and deeply personal.

In this post, each photographer will share their insights into the essence of lifestyle family photography and some of their work. These images not only showcase their incredible talent but also serve as a source of inspiration for anyone looking into a lifestyle family session. From playful moments at the beach to snuggles at home, these photographs invite you to see the world through their eyes and perhaps find a reflection of your own family moments within them.

Join us as we dive into the captivating world of lifestyle family photography while we discover the stories behind the smiles, the candid glances, and the tender embraces that make this genre so profoundly impactful.

Written by Amy Hill

Photos by Shannon Konek

Lifestyle Family Photography:  Be Your “Youiest”!

When family photo clients ask me where we should shoot or what to wear or how to stand, my first advice is always: Your family photos should be about no one except you and your family! I am passionate about this, and I love that lifestyle photography is flexible enough to make that happen!

This genre lets me focus on the real you, and the connection between you and your family. I value honest moments and real connections that I make with families when I interact and photograph them in this way. My photo sessions often feel a lot like we’re just hanging out. 

Of course there are trends and aesthetics and practicalities and things that photograph better than other things, and I am happy to talk about all that, too, but first and foremost: wear shoes you like to walk in and clothes you like to wear. They can be fancy clothes or plain clothes. They can be bright colors or neutrals. Let’s go somewhere you and your family like going. Whatever makes you feel, well… your “youiest”. And let's let your kids be kids! 

Not only is real life plenty good enough on its own, it’s all we have. And if we spend all our time wishing it was prettier, cleaner, thinner, more expensive, whateverer, the truly good parts will elude us forever. Let’s just celebrate it the way it is. 

Lifestyle photography lends itself particularly well to that. 

Shannon the Photographer is a lifestyle and documentary portrait photographer based in Pittsburgh PA. This session was shot in Pittsburgh, in the cute lil neighborhood of Troy Hill.

Photos by Amy Quinn Hill Photography

Don’t Say Cheese

The magic of lifestyle photography is rooted in its emphasis on capturing the natural interactions between family members, rather than focusing on posed, camera facing shots. When I guide families to genuinely interact with each other rather than the camera, I am able to capture genuine moments and the  essence of their relationships. This technique not only fosters authenticity but also highlights their connections. It's the spontaneous laughter, the soft exchanges of glances, and the comfort of casual touches—moments that might otherwise be overlooked—that fulfill me as a photographer.

Witnessing these candid expressions of affection offers a peek into the love and unity that tie them together and result in images they will cherish for a lifetime. My goal is for the family to feel like they are at more than a photo session but are enjoying time together while we create images that document the heart of family bonds in a manner that’s both personal and profoundly real. While capturing the raw beauty of these interactions remains my overall goal, I also ensure to include a few traditional, camera-focused shots, perfect for those classic holiday cards.

Amy at Amy Quinn Hill Photography is a lifestyle and documentary family and personal branding photographer based in Charleston, SC. This showcased session takes place at the beautiful beaches of Isle of Palms Beach, SC.

Photos by Jenny Sessoms Photography

Creating Unique Family Photo Experiences Beyond the Ordinary 

Why settle for ordinary when your family is extraordinary? Make your family lifestyle photoshoot as unique as you are by capturing those special moments with your loved ones. Picture a special evening picnic, a game night extravaganza, or a fun park celebration – each moment captured to show your family's distinct personality. No staged smiles or “cheesing” for the camera.

Incorporating genuine, fun activities means I’m not just capturing photos; I’m freezing moments filled with laughter, joy, and the unmistakable bond your family shares. From spontaneous giggles to heartfelt embraces, these images will weave a story that's uniquely yours. Planning a fun activity isn't just about keeping the little ones engaged; it's about creating an experience everyone will cherish.

Transform your photoshoot into a memorable family adventure. Schedule that special activity, let your family’s personality shine, and treasure the magic of your unique family photo experience. Your family deserves a photoshoot as unique as they are – an authentic reflection of the love, laughter, and connection that make your bond truly special.

Jenny Sessoms is a professional lifestyle family and brand photographer. She services the Northern Virginia, Maryland, and DC Metro areas. This showcased session took place at the client’s home in Aldie, Virginia.

Photos by Lia Jay Photography

Hiring the Right Photographer: Is Lifestyle Photography Your Jam? Let's Find Out!

Alright, folks, let's talk about lifestyle photography—where the real magic happens! If you're all about capturing those genuine connections, raw emotions, and authentic family moments, then you're in the right place. As a lifestyle family and branding photographer, I'm all about diving deep into the heart of life's beauty.

Picture this: You, your loved ones, and me, capturing all those sweet, unscripted moments. No stiff poses or uncomfortable heels here—just pure, unadulterated fun. I mean, who wants to worry about fancy footwear when there are kids to chase and dogs to wrangle?

Now, let's talk prompts. Instead of the same old "cheese" smiles, I'll throw out some quirky prompts that'll have you laughing, hugging, and maybe even shedding a tear or two (happy tears, of course). It's all about those genuine reactions, folks—the real deal.

And speaking of real, life isn't perfect, and neither are my photos. I'm all about embracing the chaos, the messiness, and the beauty of everyday life. Whether we're shooting in your cozy living room or exploring the great outdoors, I'll capture the essence of your family in all its glory.

So, if you're ready to ditch the stiff poses and embrace the realness of family life, then lifestyle photography might just be your jam. Let's create some unforgettable memories together!

Lia at Lia Jay Photography is a lifestyle family, event and branding photographer based in Teanneck, NJ. This showcased session takes place at the beautiful parks of Tenafly NJ.

Photos by Photos with Danielle D.

Capturing your story

Everyone has a story, and that story is forever changing. Lifestyle family photography is a chance to capture your family’s story right now in this season of life. 

What’s your story? Is it siblings that love each other so much they skip around holding hands and sharing all their secrets with one another? Is it siblings who fight like crazy but also have those moments of laughter together that you want to highlight? Is it a clingy toddler? Maybe your first baby that you just can’t get enough of? 

Your story is the one I want to tell with my camera. In Lifestyle family photography, we prompt you to interact with your family. These prompts are designed to get you comfortable and relaxed and to have some fun with your family. 

Things don’t always pan out exactly the way we plan them. There may be tears but with that come sweet hugs. There may be energetic, rambunctious children but with that comes big smiles and authenticity. It’s all part of your story and that’s the point. 

Danielle with Photos With Danielle D. Is a lifestyle family and newborn photographer in the Raleigh/Durham area. This featured session took place at the North Carolina Museum of Art in Raleigh, NC.

Lifestyle family photography is more than just photography—it's an art form that celebrates family. The stories shared by Amy, Jenny, Lia, Shannon and Danielle, along with their stunning photographs, underscore the power of capturing genuine moments that families will treasure forever. These photographers remind us that there are countless beautiful moments worth preserving. Whether it's a quiet cuddle at home, laughter ringing through a beach outing, or the joy of a playful backyard adventure, lifestyle family photography captures these memories in a way that is both authentic and profoundly moving.  After all, in the whirlwind of life, these photographs serve as timeless reminders of what truly matters—our connections with the ones we love.