Seattle Lifestyle Family Photos: What Happens During Your Session?

For Photographers
follow Neyssa Lee

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.

Small Business
What to Wear
Photo Tips
more categories

Hi, I'm Neyssa

The family featured in today’s blog post has been with me since the very beginning. In fact, this mom and I go back to high school! This mom is a woman who has encouraged me, helped me with business decisions, and been there through everything. She was one of my first clients as I captured her family as they were expecting their first child 11 years ago. All this to say, they know what to expect from lifestyle family photos with me.

Let’s go over that first before I tell how this was the most hilarious (and maybe disgusting) session of all time. So what happens during your lifestyle family photo session?

What Happens During a Lifestyle Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Photo of family laughing together on river rocks

We begin your lifestyle family photo session with the most expected part – “the grandparent photo.”

When you think of family photos, this is the part you probably think of most. Everyone standing (or sitting) nicely smiling at the camera. Sounds easy enough, but if you’ve ever tried taking photos of your kids you know it is easier said than done. This is likely the part of the session you’re dreading the most, or maybe your family is dreading. Again, if they expect the entire session to be about getting the “perfect” shot, they are probably dreading the entire session.

If you’ve looked through my portfolio, or read my session information page, you know that I’m not after that “perfectly posed” photo.

But rest assured. I get this photo first and move on to all the good stuff. At the start of each lifestyle family photo session, people can’t help look at the camera (maybe because I’m so cute – hahaha! or because that is what we think we are “supposed” to do). However, this is never their best smiles. Nope, your authentic smiles come later in your lifestyle family photo session.

Family portrait in fall in the Snoqualmie Valley

During your session, I will make a few really geeky jokes.

After we capture that grandparent photo, I will probably make some horrible joke like, “Welp, that’s it! Thanks!” You’ll laugh to appease my corniness, and then the real fun starts.

Note, that a few bad jokes will occur throughout your lifestyle family photo session. I try to keep things light and fun for everyone, which means being silly for kids, and saying random things to keep you relaxed and smiling!

Mother and son watching dad skip rocks during Fall City, Wa family portrait session

I will guide you through poses and prompts that highlight your family and the environment.

You may notice me get super excited as we walk towards a patch of gorgeous light. As we chat, I’m scanning the area for the perfect backdrop for the next set of photos.

People will often say that they love how candid lifestyle family photos are. They are genuine reactions and unique for each family. If you fear that you are awkward in front of the camera, that is okay. You are guided into poses and offered prompts.

Being guided into poses during lifestyle family photos means I will help with who should stand or sit where, and how to hold the kids in the most flattering way. Then I will give a prompt to help you relax, love on your family, and forget about me with the camera. That is when the magic happens. You lean into the process, trust in me, and just love on your kids and husband, and I will photograph your beauty.

Mother holding daughter and twirling together

We will explore and play, making the most of the location of your lifestyle family photo session.

When there is something to do, kids (and adults) relax, have fun, and enjoy the experience. I strategically select locations for lifestyle family photo sessions that are more than a pretty backdrop. I want somewhere for you to explore the trails, throw rocks into the river, dance in fields, or even splash in the lake.

This family enjoyed a little friendly competition as the youngest challenged his dad to who could throw the rock furthest and most accurately across the river.

What Happens During a Lifestyle Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Photo of a father and his two kids sitting together on river rocks

There may be a few unexpected events during your session.

I have a typical flow for each family session. Of course, location and the feel of the family help dictate things too, like if kids need extra time to warm up to me, or extra time to stretch their legs before settling in for some snuggles with mom and dad.

In my time as a Seattle area photographer and mom of 6, I have come to expect the unexpected. The only thing I do expect during lifestyle family photos is that there will be beautiful chaos that comes with doing anything with children who have little, independent minds of their own (which is oh-so wonderful).

What Happens During a Lifestyle Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Photo of mother hugging and kissing her daughter

However, I NEVER could have expected what this family experienced during their family lifestyle photo session.

(It is a family photo session they will forever remember!). As we walked down towards the river on this beautiful fall evening, we chatted excitedly about upcoming fall activities, Halloween festivities, and even what a gorgeous evening it was. We basically had this river spot to ourselves. Then we came across the most likely of reasons why….the shore had dead fish scattered along it!

I never have been so grateful to be congested and unable to smell anything. (I was also 7 months pregnant and super sensitive to smells). The poor family were troopers though, we moved into clear spaces and laughed a lot.

Of course, given their gallery of lifestyle family photos was amazing with fall colors, gorgeous setting sunlight, and so much love and connection, I’d say it was worth it. You may have to ask their 8-year-old son what he thinks though!

What Happens During a Lifestyle Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Lifestyle Portrait of a smiling girl

Does this help you get a feel for what to expect for your lifestyle family photo session?

What other questions can I answer for you? What is stopping you from having family photos done? Don’t let the fear of the experience keep you from having this time in your family’s lives documented.

Ready to book? Contact me to get started. Then I will walk you through each step, from selecting the perfect location (fish-free even!) and figuring out what to wear!

Looking for more lifestyle family photo inspiration? Subscribe to my newsletter for monthly tips to help you make the most of your photo session. Plus, newsletter subscribers always hear first of any session availability and special events.

Where do you head next? . Head over to Facebook or Instagram and give me a follow. Or check out my library of family photo resources. (It’s like a choose-your-own-adventure!)

What Happens During a Lifestyle Family Photo Session, Neyssa Lee Photography, Issaquah Family Photographer, Portrait of boy in camo shirt by the river

Comments +

  1. Christine says:

    What a great idea to share this information with families! It really demystifies the process and makes the experience something to look forward to.

Leave a Reply

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