Lifestyle family photo of family of 6 at the river in North Bend, WA

Lifestyle Family Photos: The Secret to Beautiful Candid Photos

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I am Neyssa Lee a Seattle area photographer, mom of 6, planning obsessed, and who help you see the beauty, love and joy, in your own family’s chaos. I also use my super power of time management to help fellow photographers take control of their businesses. Learn more by heading to my ABOUT ME page.

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Lifestyle family photo of family of 6 at the river in North Bend, WA

Capturing the genuine essence of your family through photographs is a priceless gift that will be cherished for generations. Gone are the days of stiff and posed portraits; today’s families are opting for the natural and authentic beauty of lifestyle family photos. In this blog post, we will delve into the secret to achieving stunning candid photos.

Before we dive in, I want to start with a story. When I was a kid we had family photos once, when I was an awkward teenager (after a terrible haircut). The experience was horrible, it was so stiff. We were told each spot to place our hand, hold the pose, and smile “perfectly” at the camera. Those photos may have shown what we looked like at that time, but did not show what it felt like to be a part of our family. It did not show how involved my parents were, how much they loved us, how playful we were as a family.

When I became a photographer, I knew I could not provide the same time of experience I had as a teen. If you have a similar experience or know someone who did. Then rest easy, you have come to the right place for more “candid” photos that show what it feels like to be a part of your family.

Four children on the fence in beautiful light during photos at Tanner Landing Park.

Lifestyle family photography offers a new perspective, focusing on capturing the true essence of your family.

These sessions go beyond the traditional, formal portraits and aim to tell your unique story. The emphasis is on capturing genuine emotions, interactions, and connections between family members, resulting in images that reflect the joy, love, and laughter you share.

Lifestyle family photos have a candid feel to them. This leads people to two places. Either they fear they are too awkward in front of the camera or that their kids are too busy for beautiful candid photos. However, I’m here to let you in on a little secret.

The Secret to Beautiful Candid Photos

The biggest secret is that lifestyle family photos are not candid. Of course, there are moments that happen. However, a skilled photographer directed the family. They used positions and offered prompts that allowed for the candid feeling moment to unfold. As a Seattle photographer, I use light and the environment to enhance your family, while giving you something to do with each other.

Now that you know the secret, there are still a few things to keep in mind.

Mother and son during lifestyle family photos at Tanner landing Park in North Bend, Wa

Choose the Right Photographer

Finding a photographer who specializes in lifestyle family photography is crucial. Look for someone who has a portfolio that resonates with your style. They will best be able to capture the kind of moments you want to remember. A skilled lifestyle family photographer will not only have technical skills but also possess a natural ability to put you at ease and create a comfortable environment during the session.

One way to help you know if a photographer is right for you is by reading through their website. Read their words, look at the photos, and see if you connect. The top pages to consider are portfolios, session information pages, and the about me page.

Father and daughter playing at the river in North Bend, Wa

Plan Ahead, but Embrace Spontaneity:

While some aspects of your lifestyle session can be planned in advance, such as the location and timing, leave room for spontaneity. I provide plenty of resources to help you with your lifestyle family photos. However, kids are unpredictable. That’s the beauty of it!

Allow your photographer to guide you and your family into natural interactions and activities that bring out your genuine personality. Remember, the magic lies in capturing the candid moments that unfold naturally. Embrace the unexpected and let the laughter and playfulness shine through. This is not the time to expect “perfection” from your kids. This is the time to get playful, and loud with them! Dance, twirl, run, spin.

Mother embracing son surrounded by family during photos in Seattle area

Be Yourselves

One of the most important secrets to achieving beautiful candid photos is to simply be yourselves. Embrace the quirks, laughter, and unique dynamics of your family. Instead of worrying about picture-perfect poses, focus on enjoying quality time together as your photographer captures the genuine connections and emotions that make your family special.

This also goes with the outfits you select. One of my top tips on What to Wear for Lifestyle Family Photos is to be yourself. Clothing that is a little nicer than the leggings you wear each day, but not something you’d never wear. Because when you’re uncomfortable it will show. Even more, you want to see your family’s photos and see yourselves, not someone else.

Father playfully rough housing with son at park in North Bend, WA

Trust Your Photographer

Once you’ve chosen a photographer who aligns with your vision, it’s time to trust their expertise. Remember, they are professionals who understand how to capture the beauty of candid moments. Trust their guidance, and let them direct the session while you focus on enjoying the time with your loved ones. By letting go of control and trusting in your photographer’s vision, you’ll create the perfect environment for capturing authentic, heartwarming images.

Family lifestyle photography is a beautiful way to capture the essence of your family and preserve memories that will be cherished for years to come. By choosing the right photographer, embracing spontaneity, being yourselves, creating a comfortable environment, and trusting in your photographer’s expertise, you’ll set the stage for a memorable and truly remarkable session. Remember, the key to beautiful candid photos lies in capturing genuine connections and moments, so relax, enjoy, and let your family’s unique story unfold naturally in front of the camera lens.

Now that you know the secret to candid photos, start planning for your Seattle Lifestyle Family Photo Session with my Free Guide. In it find tips on types of locations for outdoor family photos, along with my 5 favorite locations.