Skip to main content

Lifestyle Family Photography

Lesson 1 of 31

Class Introduction

Emily Lucarz

Lifestyle Family Photography

Emily Lucarz

Starting under


Get access to this class +2000 more taught by the world's top experts

  • 24/7 access via desktop, mobile, or TV
  • New classes added every month
  • Download lessons for offline viewing
  • Exclusive content for subscribers

Lesson Info

1. Class Introduction
Learn what to expect in this class in this quick intro lesson. Get to know your instructor and dig into why authenticity -- and lifestyle portrait photography -- matters.

Lesson Info

Class Introduction

We are gonna start with why lifestyle photography. Why, as a photographer, are you gonna want to shoot a lifestyle session? Why, as a client, would you want a lifestyle session? We will go over everything about why you're gonna want to shoot lifestyle photography. We're gonna talk about all the memories that you can talk about with all of this lifestyle stuff. We're gonna go into pricing. How do you price for lifestyle sessions? What do clients prefer to purchase during lifestyle sessions? How to kind of come up with the best pricing structure that's gonna work for you. We're gonna talk about lighting, composition, how to get everybody to connect in photographs naturally. We want to see all those smiley, happy moments happen. But things do come up, and we will talk about why and how to get around those moments. The biggest thing that I want you guys to know is we are gonna go over a whole family session, and you're gonna see how I engage my clients. And that is gonna be later on, when ...

we go about capturing images beautifully and naturally during a full lifestyle session. We also are gonna talk about editing. I know a lot of you want to know how we edit these photos. I do batch edit. We will be going over Lightroom and Photoshop. We will go over my full culling process. We are gonna go over how to book your clients, how to send out all of the questionnaires that you need for your client. We're gonna go over that here pretty shortly. And we're gonna actually do a full mock booking online, and so we'll show you guys how I do the full booking, what I send out to each of my clients in an email, as well as we'll show you the pricing again for that. We'll also go over what the questionnaire is, which is included in the bonus materials in this class. Yeah, so we have a lot to go over in a short period of time. Today in the studio, make sure stay because we're gonna have a darling family coming in with three little kids, and we're gonna do a live shoot on a bed. So you'll see how we kind of engage with the littles. And they're little, so we're gonna have some hiccups today I'm sure. So we'll show you how we work around all those things. We're doing a pillow fight. We're gonna get the bubbles out. We're gonna get crazy with Dad. We're doing snuggle pictures with Mom. So pretty much everything I know, we're gonna talk about in this workshop. It's very packed full of information. So the biggest thing that I want all of you to walk away with today is feeling confident with booking a family lifestyle session. I don't know about you guys, but when I first got into this I was kind of thinking, "How in the world can I capture all of these natural moments that parents are gonna love and want to put on their walls? Right? Because lifestyle photography is kind of tricky. It's kind of in-between moments. It's not that standard gorgeous portrait, you know 70 to 200 millimeter lens shot that you can get, right? So we need to figure out a way in order to shoot a full lifestyle session and have parents want to purchase all of these things to put on their walls, to put into albums. So throughout this workshop you're gonna figure out how to book a client, prepare the client, shoot the client, and sell at the end of the session so you'll have a full awesome lifestyle photography session and feel confident going into it. Okay, so let's talk a little bit about how I got started into this crazy genre of lifestyle photography. This is my son, Tyler, as I know a lot of you have seen. He's the reason that I got into photography to begin with. And this is my dog, Belle. Many of you saw that I lost my camera. She's the one that knocked it off the table. So this shot was about six years ago. Tyler was about, I think, about 14 months at this age. I was not a photographer yet. My dad had purchased for me, after Tyler was born, a Costco kit camera, my Nikon D5200, I believe, right at the time, with the kit lenses. I was practicing, and it was just so much fun, and all of a sudden I saw Tyler out of the corner of my eye going to snuggle Belle. Belle is the dog. And I looked over, and as you can see, the tongue is happening right? So they stuck their tongues at each other, and at that moment I loved this so much. This was a moment that the dog loved Tyler. Tyler loved Belle, and I captured it. I just happened to be there to capture it. So this image is what kind of got me excited about capturing my family, and capturing my family in a way that was authentic. When you have an authentic photo, a lot of people kind of think about authenticity in photos and not beauty. You can have authenticity and beauty if you set the tone correctly. And we're gonna go over that a lot, how to set the tone, how to set your children or your clients in the right light, put them in the right attire. You set the scene. You set the mood, and then you can capture true authentic moments and still have them be beautiful. So that's the image that kind of got me going on photography. So all about lifestyle. So when I first started my photography journey, and I'm gonna kind of just touch on this a little bit so you guys know where I'm coming from. I started taking pictures with Tyler obviously, like many of us do. We're kind of moms with cameras, and I love that term. I know a lot of people don't like that term. I think it's great. We're moms. We have cameras. Our kids are cute. And then some of us become photographers, and some of us just become hobbyists, and that's great. If you're a mom, and you're taking pictures of your children, this class is going to help you too because it's gonna help you set up situations and learn about lighting. We're gonna go a lot into lighting later on in the bulk of the session, and how to capture all of those things that you see your children do, or you see your husband do with your children. Or, if you're a man out there, we have a man in the audience today, which I love. You'll learn how to capture those snuggle moments with mom, right? There are so many times that I'm with my kids, say in the kitchen, and we're baking cookies. Well, I won't be baking cookies, but hypothetically ... (laughing) Kenny's in the back here. He's my husband. He can attest to that. But there's little moments that you're like, "oh my gosh, I wish somebody was there taking my picture of this because this happens all the time, and I don't have a picture of it, right?" Think about when you look back at pictures, say, with your grandparents or when you were four, and it was Christmas. And you step back, and you look at the scene what do you see? You see Rainbow Brite, and you remember, "Oh my gosh, Rainbow Brite was in in 1984, and I'm so glad that we got that on camera." And guess what? Rainbow Brite and my sister and I were so close to the window, strategically, that we will learn to place so that you will have a beautiful photo of the children and Rainbow Brite. That's what we're gonna kind of learn. But you look at those things, and you're so happy that you captured them. So with your clients, we will go into this in a little bit, but talking about what is important to your clients at that time of their life. So that's kind of what lifestyle photography is to me. I went away from Tyler, from this type of photo, for a while because I thought it was not what my clients wanted. And, I think that in this time of budding photographers, I think we feel that every client wants a beautiful portrait. Am I right? And that's not always the case. A lot of photographers will find themselves having a difficult time building a large client base, sustaining a large client base, and growing as a photographer. You know, how may portraits can you have of your child? You'll put one beautiful one. A lot of people who live in the South will do those gorgeous outfits and have it oil painted on top of it. My dear friend, Erin Lato, she's now painting these gorgeous oil paintings on top of images, and those are gorgeous. But to have repeat clients, to build that base, it's really important to shoot the family as the family. Does that make sense? So to do that, and then still keep things beautiful is what we're gonna talk about. So I started with this. I went on to portraits, and I found myself ... The parents loved the pictures, and they, I become friends with all my clients. You know they're like, "Oh, they were so beautiful," and they would book a shoot two years later. Once I kind of went back to engaging with my clients, really working on connection, incorporating things that were important to them, I found that my clients were booking two sessions a year. We would do an in-home lifestyle session, and then we would do a playful, fun session, say, at the beach, when I lived in Chicago. We just moved to St. Louis just few years ago. And we would incorporate everything that that client loved to do and incorporate it in different locations. So, that's how I got my client base to really stick with me and grow. So you can really differentiate, you don't have to think about lifestyle just in homes. If you look at my work, you'll see everything is based around connection, composition, and lighting, and that's what we're gonna be talking about. You can take those three elements and really build a fabulous client base. And you just have to have fun while doing it. So that's kind of that.

Class Description

  • Capture authentic lifestyle family images
  • Plan for a successful lifestyle session
  • Create genuine interactions even with the littlest family members -- and pets
  • Edit for beautiful skin tones and stunning portraits
  • Build a successful lifestyle photography business


If you're looking for a portrait photography class to master studio lighting and perfect posing -- this isn't the class for you. Ditch the stiff, boring portraits and create genuine smiles and real family moments in Lifestyle Family Photography with Emily Lucarz. Learn how to create memorable images of real family moments.

From planning the shoot to post-processing in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, dive into the world of lifestyle photography. Learn how to tour a home while looking for light sources, then use window light for bright, beautiful images. Gain techniques to create genuine smiles from kids. Determine the gear you need, from great portrait lenses to cameras.

Whether you simply want to take better photos of your own kids or you want to build a career in lifestyle photography, this class provides the foundation. Learn lifestyle portrait photography alongside one of the Midwest's most in-demand family photographers, the engaging and fun Emily Lucarz.

For photographers turning a passion for family photography into a business, gain valuable insight into creating portrait packages, setting prices, and displaying your work. Learn how to build your portfolio and how to manage a photography business.

  • Budding photographers ready to turn a passion into a profession
  • Parents that want to capture better images of the everyday moments
  • Professional photographers ready to do more with lifestyle images


Like many family photographers, Emily got started after her first son was born. Now nearly a decade later, Emily is one of the top family photographers in the Midwest -- booking often nearly a year in advance. She's known for the way she works with young kids and families to create genuine interactions, along with capturing fun perspectives. Emily's charisma and easy-going teaching style has allowed her to lead workshops across the U.S. Learn from Emily right where you're at in one of CreativeLive's top-rated lifestyle classes.



Emily reignited my passion for lifestyle photography and gave me the tools that I needed to give my business a creative and profitable boost. Seeing how effortlessly she interacted with families and the efficiency of her workflow was inspiring. I'm excited to shake things up and make some positive changes in my business that I know will lead to success. Thank you Emily and thank you Creativelive for this fun and informative class!


Watching Emily on CL - I rarely comment, but wanted to pop in and say what a great class it is! Full of helpful information and good content. One of the first classes that moves at a perfect pace, keeping things interesting & engaging. I tend to lose interest quickly when classes drag, but she really does such a fantastic job, which is refreshing. Makes watching the class really enjoyable! Thank you!


I was just hoping on here to post how much I loved this class. I used to be a portrait photographer, veered away for a bit to focus on more conceptual art photography but i still am interested in lifestyle photography. Emily is very inspiring, her bubbly personality was a joy to watch how she interacts with families especially the kids. Her work is phenomenal! (in response to one of the bad reviews, about her cutting off children shooting on a live workshop while tethered and teaching can easily explain this away as you can tell from her portfolio that she always has compositionly beautiful images) This class has renewed and inspired my love of lifestyle and i have been shooting so much since the class! Definitely used her tips and tricks to improve my pictures! highly recommend this class!