Tips for Family Photography: How to Choose a Lifestyle/Family Photographer

black and white photo of mother and daughter in a house, mother is on the left in the bedroom picking up toys and clothes from the ground, while across the hall young daughter, 7 years old, is stepping up on a step ladder and has her hands in the bathroom sink

This one’s for the moms out there. Specifically those doing it on their own. Whether full time, part time or any time. Life is crazy enough and then having kids only adds to the chaos. But this post, these photos, let me explain why I think it’s the most beautiful bit of chaos in this world. 

My hope is that when you see these photos you see yourself and you want to freeze time and look around at the beauty even on the least magical of days.

This family can be seen on my website, social media, in my home and a lot in my life. Sam is my best friend and her kids are as close to my own as can be. When I met her she was already a mom, Evie was about 9 months old at the time. Flash forward to 2019 and Evie is 7 and a half, Jude is 4 and life is different in so many ways. 

Life is beautiful in the everyday if we just look around to see it. 

These photos mean so much to me. They are the in-between. In the Fall we do family photos, with styled outfits, less mess and the yummiest sunlight that we can find. I love Fall family photos just like everyone else, but something about the ‘everyday’ photos truly warms my heart. 

Helping a stubbed toe,  Evie putting on her makeup, Mom picking up after the kids, Jude with his Batman, popsicles on the front porch, pose for one photo and then back to the craziness that is wild and free kids in the summer. These moments are the ones we remember as a child. For me, it’s the moment my mom tried to tear down a tree while camping or the “stuck at a train” dance parties. These moments are also the hardest to appreciate sometimes because kids are hard, life is hard and sometimes we just want to have some quiet. 

For these kiddos, I want them to see how beautiful their life is. I want them to see their parents as the real people that they are. I want all kids to look at their photos and see their parents being silly or looking tired or the family living their best lives growing up.

real family photography, st. louis lifestyle photographer


When trying to figure out what type of family photographer you should hire think about a few things. 

  • Lifestyle family photographers are all different. Some “lifestyle” photography is simply a more relaxed version of posed portraits. For me, I choose to be a more documentary family photographer and although I do photograph a few portraits of everyone looking at the camera I also encourage everyone to be themselves and I’ll make the magic happen. 

  • When you look at photos on a website are you feeling like

      “this is pretty, I want my family to have these exact photos”  or “this is beautiful, I’d love for photos like these for our family” 

There is a slight difference, neither choice is right or wrong, but for me, choosing a photographer should be based on what YOU want and what that photographer creates. 

       ex. I don’t recreate images. Each family is absolutely perfect being themselves. I want to help every family discard the old ways of doing things like everyone else and start creating memories in photo form. 

  • Choose a photographer that feels like you already know them or know what to expect. Get to know their style by looking through lots of photos. If you want to see a full gallery to see what a client gets, just ask. Some photographers are light and airy, others are dark and moody. For me, I prefer colors that feel like the moment. Which is why you will see images of all kinds throughout my website. 

Note: just because some photographers have studios, others pics out matching outfits, and others do all the other things, there’s no one photographer that is the only way to go. These tips are my opinion and based on my experience. 

color photo of a mother, daughter, and son playing outside their home; mother is holding son’ hands and lifting him off the ground, while daughter dances in front of them

My hope for everyone reading this is that we take more time to appreciate every single day and all the little moments we might forget, but want to remember. Let me know what moments you love and want to remember below. I’d love to read your comments and hear what your favorite childhood memory is and your favorite photo growing up.