Northern Beaches Mums Group
Northern Beaches Mums Group

What is lifestyle family photography?

Here’s how to get gorgeous, natural photos of your family you’ll love forever.

A lifestyle family photographer is gentle with directions, and works around family interactions to capture genuine, authentic moments and relationships, with a magazine editorial-style look. Think natural, candid, in-the-moment shots, most likely taken at home, or somewhere that resonates with you personally – somewhere you love and feel comfortable. Natural family photography documents your family as you are, not posed, airbrushed, or lit in a studio setting wearing matching outfits. 

This relaxed approach allows everyone in the family to feel comfortable and not at all self-conscious. No need to coax your kids to smile the ‘right’ way, or do specific poses, or behave a certain way. Good family photographers will engage with your kids to get them interested in what’s going on, or doing fun things, or just simply having a cuddle. When it comes to newborn babies, cuddling is one of the best shots you can have. Again, natural lifestyle photography doesn’t involve propping or posing newborn babies, the beautiful shots come from baby feeling secure in your arms, lying down, stretching or whatever they want to do. They are the best models, as whatever they do always looks gorgeous.

Lifestyle shots also include parents interacting with their children, including mums who often get left out of the family’s photos. Either they’re the ones who always take the photos, or they are self-conscious about how they look in the photos. You’ll notice with lifestyle photography, there’s rarely any full-on face or body shots – a more interesting photo captures mums interacting with their children anyway.

Families don’t have to perform with this relaxed style of shooting, it’s like what you’re doing is nothing special, but extremely special. Laughter, giggles, hugs, having fun – it’s what kids and families are all about, and that’s what you’ll get to enjoy at the end with your selection of gorgeous photos.

How to make the most of family photos:

  • Choose a photographer whose images, lighting and overall aesthetic you like. This is super important. Although skilled photographers can adapt, their eye for a good photo will lean a certain way. Lighting could be dark and moody, bright and sunny or somewhere in between. Choose the look you like. 
  • Think about what your family will wear, and look good on the wall for years to come. Don’t match, just coordinate. Neutral colours always work well, big logos or super bright colours, not so much.  
  • Don’t feel you always have to look at the camera or smile to camera. Paying attention to your child or baby and keeping close is what looks gorgeous in a photo.
  • Explain to your children what’s going on – someone you know is going to come to the beach and take some photos is a good intro for younger kids. 
  • Plan on using a selection of photos – lifestyle shots always look great as a series.

Little Manly Photography provide uniquely modern and natural lifestyle portraits of your family, newborn and pregnancy. Your emotive collection of photos will capture the connection of your family in beautiful, informal way, shot in natural daylight to give a fresh, editorial feel. They give a new definition to the idea of a portrait. Soft, natural and raw, also shoot pictures underwater. The style captures you, and your family, in a creative but authentic way. They collaborate on working with you in your happy place, where your children feel comfortable, whether it’s the beach, your home or favourite place outdoors. They are based in Manly and work across the Northern Beaches and North Shore in Sydney. 

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