6 Tips For A Fun Family Lifestyle Session

Family, Portrait Session Tips

Family Lifestyle Session are all about natural expressions, real connections, smiles, laughs, and your family’s authentic story. These sessions mix documentary and portrait photography which creates photos that show authenticity and genuine emotion mixed with moments that happen in everyday life. A family lifestyle session can happen at home or take place at an outdoor location.

Here are some tips to make your family lifestyle session fun, easy, and absolutely gorgeous.

  1. Let that idea of the perfect family photo go.

Pinterest has an abundance of different photo galleries and perfectly posed images that people want to recreate, but while those photos may make you envious, every family is different and even those they didn’t get images exactly as they’d imagined. Photos of life happening in the moment are much more meaningful and beautiful than recreated, posed photos based on other families. In other words, if you and your family just do you, your photos will be amazing, unique, full of real emotions that show your personalities and the connection your family shares.

funny family photos of a mom and dad with their two teen daughters, playing basketball and then flexing for the camera

  1. Be well rested and fed.

Make sure to not schedule your family lifestyle session around your child’s naptime or bedtime.  The best lighting is two hours before sunset and after sunrise, but if this is a bad time for your family, talk with me and we can work around your schedule.  There are ways to utilize areas of open shade that gives skin a beautiful hue and make eyes sparkle. Make sure to have a light meal or snack beforehand as its best not to have an empty stomach.

  1. Wear what makes you feel great.

Choose your outfits for the photo session in advance and make sure they are comfortable and attractive. If you love family photos that look soft, casual, and elegant then choose neutral colors like creams, soft pastels, oatmeals, light browns, tans, grays, and slate blues.  If you want to showcase a fun and energetic side of your family, then choose colors that don’t perfectly match and are a bit bolder. Some suggestions for this this is to add an accent color—gray with yellow, navy with white, or tan with green.  When you book a family lifestyle session with me, we will have a consult beforehand to  review ideas on what to wear and how to coordinate your family. Remember though, the most important element is to wear what makes you feel good.

young mom and dad wearing athletic wear hug each other and smile during a fun family lifestyle sesison

fun family lifestyle photos of a young mom and dad walking through a park with their six and eight-year old daughter and son

  1. Interact with your family

A family lifestyle session is all about interacting with your kids and having fun.  This is how you get happy, natural looking photos. It may be a bit strange at first, just hanging out with your family with a camera pointed your way, but within the first 10 minutes of the photo shoot, I promise the awkwardness will go away. I love chatting while photographing families and enjoy getting the kids involved with the session. Don’t worry about doing the right thing or making sure things are perfect.  Playing in the yard, sitting and talking, going for a walk, or relaxing at the beach are all situations that make for fun, intriguing, memorable photographs. The experience is all about having fun, enjoying the time together, laughing and creating memories that will evoke emotions every time you look at the photos.

fun family lifestyle session with a mom and dad playing basketball with their teen daughters

  1. Leave the work to the photographer!

Don’t worry about where the kids are standing, if they are looking at the camera, or if they are doing the activity they are supposed to be doing. Kids tend to dance to the beat of their own drum and, when I photograph lifestyle sessions I expect that—those imperfections are where the magic happens. Kids who are interacting in their environment in an authentic way are exactly what I love to photograph because THAT is what puts the magic in photos. As I am photographing, don’t worry about directing your family or telling them how to move—I have all that under control and will let you know when adjustments need to be made. Your job is to just enjoy the session and leave the work to me.

  1. Last but not least, have fun!

Enjoy the whole experience! Think of your photo session as a celebration of your family.   You get some uninterrupted, high-quality time with your family, sharing loving moments, laughing together, snuggling with your kids, and just hanging out together. This is the perfect time to showcase your crazy, loving, big belly laughs and adorable giggles that your life is filled with on a day-to-day basis.

family lifestyle photos with a family—mom, dad, young son and daughter—hugging and laughing on with the Mississippi river in the background. Images by Comfort and Cashmere fun family lifestyle photo with a mom and dad, daughter and son hugging and smiling and laughing cute photos of a young blonde girl in a pretty white dress and purple sweater and her brother smiling and wearing a blue shirt and grey vest. Below, mom and daughter and father and son smiling

If you’re ready to rev up the family for a fantastically fun family lifestyle session, let’s chat! Working with families is so much fun and I’m always excited to hear your ideas and make some magic happen!

For more examples of some fun family photos, check out this fun session with the Fowlers!



Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

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

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Fueled by equal parts strong coffee and French 75’s, I spend my days capturing the kinds of images that convey distinctive emotion through intentional moments and create elevated images you’ll treasure for a lifetime. I showcase your story and your love in an exceptional, gracious way. I believe in real moments, heartfelt conversations, love stories that grow stronger through the storms and the kind of joy that can be found in the simplest of moments together. When I'm not tearing up during the vows, you'll find me whipping up a new recipe in the kitchen, listening to Sinatra, or snuggling with my mini me.

I’m Rohana Olson

send me my guide

A lot of moving pieces go into planning a wedding day timeline and we know it's easy to feel like a hot mess! Grab our free guide to plan the perfect timeline for your day. 

Stress-Free Wedding Day Timeline

FREE GUIDE: 5 Tips for A

free guide!