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Lifestyle Family Photography

Lesson 26 of 31

Get Clients to Connect Naturally In Photos

Emily Lucarz

Lifestyle Family Photography

Emily Lucarz

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Lesson Info

26. Get Clients to Connect Naturally In Photos
Lifestyle photography prioritizes natural connection over getting every detail perfect. Explore techniques for creating a natural connection in the images, from connecting with kids to developing a relationship with the parents.

Lesson Info

Get Clients to Connect Naturally In Photos

Connection: how do you connect with them? How do they connect with each other? Um, we stepped outside. Dad, we had him dance with his daughter, right? We did it in the sun, though. We put dad in the sun. Dance with your daughter, but in the sun. Let's do it over here, right? I'm always doing that. Let's do this activity, but let's do it over here. The sun's right there, and it's gonna be gone in five minutes. So take something that they love to do together and connect them, okay? Like you need to interact with your clients. You have to have fun. You need to be crazy. And you're gonna see all that in your images. Get to know them. I never stop talking during shoots. I know it's hard to believe, but I don't. (laughs) So I talk, and talk, and talk during shoots. And they don't stop, and we're done, and it's fun, okay? Don't be shy. Don't be shy with them. Get down, snuggle. You'll feel really silly being silly, but it's gonna loosen up the kids as well as the parent. Plus you're gonna get...

a natural reaction. If something's bothering you during the session in the room... There was something over here, I think it was like an umbrella or something that was laying on their bed. And they were so cute, and I was like, oh my gosh, don't move. I've gotta move this umbrella. And it had taken us like 20 minutes to calm this baby down. I'm like, please just don't move. So I got up and I moved it, and they were still there. And I was really close to them. That was like this close. Get close. Connect with children. Children need to connect to each other, too, right? So throw them together. Give them an interaction. Give them something to do. The biggest thing with connection is to get connection with the client. They're going to trust and engage with you. So you need to connect with the client. Clients need to connect with each other. Everybody just needs to connect. So get to know the child. Get on their level. I came down to their level to see what they were doing down there and it made for a cute shot. Ask them questions, like what's your favorite toy? Or, what do you like to play with? Can I play with that, too? Let me see that dinosaur? Which is what we did. And then I started eating him, right? I was down on the ground eating him. And then I handed him the dinosaur. Here, have the dinosaur get me. So you're playing, you know? You're kind of like a teacher, almost. You're a preschool teacher with the little kids. And even the bigger kids, you know? Same thing, be like, hey, can I try to color that? Or whatever they're doing. And just do it really bad and be like, oh my gosh, can you show me how to do it better? Think of ways that you can really talk to your client and have them engage back with you, and show you how to do it better. Things like that. More connection with families. This is that same mom, and the baby's one now. See the boats? The baby's one. See how dark it is in there? What did I do for backlighting? Do you guys notice? Are we catching on here? Flipped them to the side. We still get a backlit image. That room did not allow for any more light. It was dark. I'm just not a reflector person. I'm on the go too much. Sometimes I'll hold it, but then I just, I just don't... I turned them. So there are opportunities to get beautiful backlit images with windows around. So when this happens, we do that. Stand above them. So we did it. Family connection can be kind of hard for people, I think. There's a ton of personalities happening within families. And to try to really understand each personality of each child, of each adult, is hard. And to get those personalities to mesh can be tricky. So you kind of have to sometimes meet in the middle ground or separate the personality types in order to get some different shots. I really just, you know... Try to engage them as much as you can with each other and it'll kind of happen. And grab mom and the baby. While you have a parent with the child, grab some special shots. She just finished feeding him, and I was changing lenses and stuff. I'm like, that was so sweet. I grabbed that shot. Those in between moments, if mom takes the little guy away to calm him down, you know what they're probably doing? They're probably in his bedroom. Probably snuggling. She's probably whispering to him. Kind of tiptoe, he doesn't know you're there. Go follow them and get those shots, too. Get those snuggly shots, because those are all happening behind the scenes. We're not helping to happen. We're not directing that. Set the tone right. When you arrive, you're not gonna need the family to look at the camera. We talked about this. These are the same images, I'm going to show you again. Make sure to put families into situations where they're gonna be close, and interactions are just gonna naturally happen. There's more dogs. We wanted him to laugh and look at the dogs. We were kind of losing him. So we put them up there. So yeah, just more connection. More connection. This is during a newborn session. This is the older daughter. I just thought they were adorable, 'cause he kept doing that... Mm-hmm.

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!