Family photography has exploded in the last years. A few years ago, in order to have professional photos of our family, our only choice was to go to a studio for classic family portraits. Nowadays there are so many amazing photographers out there with such varied approaches, that choosing one can be an overwhelming task.
Some photographers rule in the studio and specialize in portraiture, while others prefer to photograph outdoors or at the family home, and some may do both very well.
The important thing is to to know well the photographer’s work, check their portfolio and contact them to clarify any question.
If you love those beautiful clean portraits of small babies asleep, you should look for newborn photographers. For this kind of sessions, the babies should only be a few days old, because that’s when they sleep more and it becomes easier to pose them. These sessions are laborious and can last 5 or 6 hours. For a photograph, the photographer needs to make the baby asleep, in order to pose him, and that can take a long time. The result are beautiful portraits of your babies.
This approach to baby photography has grown immensely in the last years. There’s a lot of photographers to choose from. Some like to use softer colors while others prefer brighter tones; some use lots of accessories and others prefer cleaner and simpler images.
It is important to check the safety and hygiene conditions offered, visit the studio and ask any questions you might have.
Lifestyle family photography
Lifestyle is a term that’s been used to describe those photo sessions that are known for the lifelikeness the pictures present.
In lifestyle sessions, the best conditions are created in order to get beautiful photos that, at the same time, reflect that lifelike feeling. The photographs have an editorial look, but with real families and instead of models.
The time and place are chosen, as well as the clothes that can be purposely selected for the session. And, during the session, the family is directed and posed to get a better composition and lighting. There is also a lot of interaction between the photographer and families to get authentic expressions and reactions.
Lots of photographers love to photograph with this approach (me included), and each one has different style in their photographs. Some like their images to be full of light and color, others like them simple and clean and others have a darker and more contrasted look in their work. Some may have a portfolio filled with joyful and loud moments, which certainly makes their sessions very fun. Other photographers may like to photograph more those calm and intimate moments, and are able to get these images because they’re able to make the family very comfortable to do that during the session.
In the shorter family sessions, this is how I approach the session. I love to photograph like this, whether at the family home or outside somewhere special for the family. There is a bit of direction and posing, but my priority is always true moments and expressions. You can check out some examples on the blog. For instance a session with a newborn at home and another of a family outdoors.
Documentary family photography
Documentary family photography is still taking its first steps here in Portugal. There are not many photographers specializing in this type of work.
The purpose of these documentary sessions is to make photographs that truly reflect your family life – your day-to-day, who you are, what you’re feeling, how you relate with one another. So, interference will be minimal, there are absolutely no poses.
It’s the photojournalism approach applied to family photography.
These are usually longer sessions, like, like the “day in the life” sessions that last for a whole day, because it takes time for kids (and grown-ups) to get used to the presence of someone that is there to photograph their day.
The result is very very special. Your kids, when they grow up, are going to love to look at these pictures and relive these moments as kids. Just imagine, you having photographs of your childhood that show the chaos of your family meals, the bath time or even the tantrums because you didn’t want to get to bed.
In the last years I’ve been specializing and gaining experience in this kind of photography. You can check out my portfolio and follow me on instagram for more photographs. If you’d like to book a session or know more, get in touch.
Besides these approaches to family photography, there are many more. From the most beautiful and classic portraits done in the studio with photographers that know exactly how to pose you so that your family looks the best, to more produced sessions where photographers can make the kids dreams and imagination a reality. There’s a lot to choose from and never has been such variety as there is today.