Father kissing daughter's cheek at Tanner Landing Park

Seattle Lifestyle Family Photography: The Secret to Genuine Smiles

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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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Hi, I'm Neyssa

Seattle lifestyle family photography of family of four with young girl and newborn

Lifestyle family photography is a mix between documentary and traditional posed photography. As a Seattle photographer, I use prompts and poses that guide you to positions that photograph beautifully. Your gallery of photographs will feel candid, playful, and joyful, all while feeling like YOU.

Families often walk away from our session unsure if I actually captured any family photos. The beauty of lifestyle family photography is that a session feels fluid and full of movement and play. So while you’re having a good time, I’m capturing you.

However, there are a few things that you as parents can do to help get the most genuine smiles during your photo session.

Ready? Let’s dive in, starting with the most surprising tip first.

Father playful tossing daughter in air as mom holds newborn during outdoor lifestyle family photography at Tanner landing Park

Your kids are in charge during your lifestyle family photography session.

Did that make you pause? Did you think, “Oh, my children are way too busy/crazy/shy/fill-in-the-blank to be in charge of photos!”?

What I mean here is that you’re going to not worry about your kids behaving a certain way. I will offer prompts and suggestions and see how they respond. Trust me, I’ve been in business for over a decade and I have 6 kids (yup, you read that correctly, I have 6 kids!), I have seen it all. I have lots of ideas for kids of all ages. They will be okay.

Your job as a parent is to go along with it. Embrace being off the hook and trust me and your kids. Smile lovingly, play along, have fun. It will wear off and you’ll love the resulting photos.

Plus, the last thing you want is your kids with great big, genuine smiles and you’re scowling in the background of your family photos!

Girl holding mom's hand and rock at river during Seattle area lifestyle family photography session

Next, let them get dirty.

A lifestyle family photography session isn’t the time to stress about the small things. We are doing outdoor family photos, they won’t stay spotless.

Let them throw those rocks into the river, pick flowers, and stomp in puddles. Don’t worry, I’ll snap that photo of everyone smiling and looking at the camera at the very beginning. Then it’s all about fun, and I bet you’ll love those photos even more.

family blowing wish flowers during lifestyle family photography session at Tanner landing Park in North Bend, WA

Even more, lean into the magic of childhood during your lifestyle family photography session.

Our children remind us about the magic of living. They inspire us to look at things through a different lens, to explore the world, and to embrace adventure. At home you likely, laugh about the silliest things together. Have tickle fights until you’re blue in the face. Dream together.

You can do all of this during your lifestyle family photography session. Let go, let them run and chase them across the field. Blow wish flowers, hoping for that unicorn to appear. Twirl, dance, play.

When you, yourself lean into the magic of childhood, you, yourself, will have the most genuine smile. You will forget you’re having photos taken. You will feel that joy with your children. The result? Photographs that truly show who you are as a family. Photographs that show your family’s love and joy and personality.

And isn’t that why you hired me as for lifestyle family photography anyways?

Father kissing daughter's cheek at Tanner Landing Park

So what’s the secret to genuine smiles?

YOU. You are the secret. Be relaxed, let go, and actually feel joyful.

Ready? Sessions book early. Grab a spot on my newsletter for first dibs on lifestyle family photography sessions. Plus, come follow me on Facebook and Instagram for regular family and newborn inspiration.

Learn more about sessions, get inspired, and learn more tips for the best family photo sessions below.

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