June 11, 2017

Five Things You Can Expect From Me As Your Family Photographer

Beautiful family portraits are the goal, but how does one arrive at the final product? The things listed below are aspects of my portrait experience that I didn’t fully realize until I inquired about testimonials and saw some patterns. You know how after you take a personality test and you’re like, “Oh yeah, that’s me.” After reading them and seeing what my past clients really appreciated about their sessions, it became clear that I needed to let future clients know what they could expect. Not only that, but what they could look forward to during our time together. Life is crazy, especially in a faced-paced area like Chicagoland, and moms need to know that there are professionals out there that will understand their fears and still create photos for them that they didn’t realize they could have.


I like to create a “no fuss” environment. Maybe it’s because I’m a simple gal, and complicating things just feels silly. I let the photo session go where it needs to go. We have plenty of time before the sun goes down, so there is no rush. Kids need space to be themselves. They need time to get used to me being there and to trust me. I think too, because I shoot in simple settings (like the beach, parks or in your home) and don’t whip out lots of fancy gear and gadgets, it just feels more relaxed, to you and your kids.


Every family is different. Every child is different. I may walk into a photo session with some shot ideas in my head, but they don’t always come to fruition. But, I walk away with authentic portraits because I gave myself time to learn the family and have my camera ready for those “in-between” moments.


This one is SUPER important in family photography. Kids get sick. Traffic in Chicago will delay us. During the busy spring and summer months, you can expect rain and rescheduling might be necessary. Maybe you have procrastinated in getting family photos on the calendar and need to squeeze in a random week night. It’s okay, life is life and we will figure it out!


Kids are unpredictable. Maybe your child is usually an angel, but on the day of our photo session they decide to be difficult. It’s okay, really it is. Promise. They are children, I understand this. Again, I let the photo session go where it needs to, and we’ll come back to that family portrait in a bit if they don’t feel like smiling yet.


Also really important in family photography, you must feel comfortable. I think with all the things mentioned above, comfort with me will just follow. Please don’t be embarrassed if your children are not cooperating. I’m not going to judge them or you. Look, I’m not a mom yet, so who am I to judge your parenting skills? Who am I to judge them when I am a mom? I’ve worked with children enough to know that they came out of the womb needing our discipline and guidance, and are otherwise just little terrors sometimes! I know that for me, if I’m with someone who is not going to judge me on my worst day, I feel comfortable being myself. I’m giving you the freedom to do that. Your photos will thank you for it later.

Here are some very recent examples of when I went with the flow…

I realized this family needed a little giggle time, so I took a break from family formals and said let’s have a tickle fight. Their expressions and the light streaming in behind them = magical family moment.

Chicago Family Photographer

The one here was the same family, we were transitioning from one spot to another in the park. As we were walking down the hill, I saw that they were all holding hands (isn’t that sweet?). I got down on my stomach, asked them to move a little bit more to the left and captured that shot. Sure, I blinded myself for a couple minutes and got some grass stains, but I also got this shot that they LOVE. Maybe I’ll frame it and pretend it’s my family, because I kind of love it too.

Chicago Family Photographer

Different family – this was taken during the first 15 minutes when I was warming up with the girls. During this time I’m usually assessing the light, adjusting my camera settings and just talking to the kids getting to know them. This can turn into a great time to capture the littles being themselves because we haven’t begun with direction or posing yet. I love this shot so much – it captures her sweet little personality so well (she’s always smiling) and the use of light really made her blue eyes pop and separated her face from the background.

Chicago Family Photographer

The same family session as from above, but a good example of the “in-between” moments, as we were transitioning from one spot to another and the twins picked up some dandelions. I ran over as soon as I saw what they were doing and somehow snapped this!

Chicago Family Photographer

So, if you are thinking that life is too crazy right now, your kids are too rambunctious, or that there couldn’t be a photographer out there that will work with your hectic schedule, think again! Visit my Contact page to inquire.



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2018 Chicago Family & Newborn Photographer | Stephanie Anne Photography

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