Skip to main content

Lifestyle Family Photography

Lesson 10 of 31

Live Shoot: Family In-Studio

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

10. Live Shoot: Family In-Studio
In the first live photo shoot, go behind-the-scenes for environmental portraits in the studio with a family, using soft light from a window. From working with young kids to creating genuine interaction between siblings, gain valuable insight into the process of capturing authentic lifestyle portrait photography.

Lesson Info

Live Shoot: Family In-Studio

Hi, how old are you? Six. You're six. How old are you? Three? You are the tallest three year old I've ever seen. You are really, really tall. And how old are you? You need a kiss, oh my gosh. She is so cute. Alright, we're gonna do some jumping on the bed. Let's get them goin'. But we can let her just kinda warm up a little bit. Um, alright you guys, lets have, I'm gonna need a spotter. I'm gonna put some of these in the back. Who likes to jump on the bed? Me. Me. Alright let's do this. I'm gonna put some of these back here just a little bit . I don't think there's quite enough room for all three of them on the bed. Yeah, there is. She's like, "I'm making room." I am making room. Lets see. Let's plop them up there and see what happens. I'm gonna toss this over here. Oh my goodness, you guys are so cute! You brought your sock monkeys, I love it. Alright, let's all hop up together, okay? Can we have Mom and Dad, one of you guys on each side, just spotting 'em. Yeah, not beh...

ind 'cause I'm gonna be shooting that way. And if they start to get too close that way obviously, Dive in Dive in. Alright, who wants to jump? Me. Me. Alright, let's heat up, ready? Go. Three little monkeys jumpin' on the bed, one fell off and bumped her head. And the sock monkeys kissed. Can you make them kiss? Kiss the sock monkey. (camera clicking) Oh, she's so cute. Peek a boo. Ahhh, peek a boo. Charlotte, Charlotte, peek a boo. Peek a boo. (camera clicking) Peek a boo. Okay guys, I'm trying to get some individuals of each kiddo. Okay? Some close up fun shots. Where they're kind of actually looking at me and engaging a little bit. Okay? Keep jumping. You guys can, you know what, I have an idea. Can you guys, here, come here, a secret. Can you guys have your sock monkeys tell each other a secret? Okay? And something really, really funny. And then I wanna see who can laugh the loudest. Okay? Yeah. Let's see and go. Something silly. (camera clicking) What is your secret? Who has the really loud laugh? Who has a loud laugh? Me. You do? Let's see how loud you can laugh. Me. She just wants to volunteer. Alright, let's grab pink, you can grab her for me. Okay, we're gonna laugh as loud as we can. Okay? So let's hold hands. Right there. You guys look at each other and just laugh and be silly. Go! (camera clicking) Peek a boo. Okay, I didn't hear any laughing going on. Where's our laughing? Let's do it one more time. You can bring her up here. Oh, let's watch your sister, though. Alright, I have an idea. Let's put her in the middle. Alright you two, come over here and let's each grab a hand. I didn't hear any laughing going on. I wanna see how loud can you guys laugh. Okay? Who has the loudest laugh? Let's see. Hold on, hold the end. I'm gonna borrow your sock monkey, okay. I'm gonna hold him 'cause he wants to watch. Okay, you guys hold hands for me real quick. I don't want her to fall that's why we're holding hands, okay? And I wanna see who can laugh the loudest. Okay? Okay, hold hands. Hold hands right here. Okay, ready? Watch this, he's gonna be so silly. Okay, laugh, go! (camera clicking) (girls laughing) Alright, perfect. Good job, guys. Alright, so what I was tryin' to do is to get some natural engagement right there. I always tell my kids to laugh as loud as they possibly can. Because it's just kind of fun, it gets them naturally laughing. I'm not sayin' say cheese, I'm not saying smile, Cheeeeese. Oh yes, that's so silly. You know what, though? I'm gonna show you what else we do besides say cheese. Come here you. Ready? We're gonna tickle. Alright, ready one, two, (camera clicking) Tickle, tickle, tickle, tickle. (camera clicking) Alright. Cute, cute, cute. I don't ever like to say smile. I don't like to say cheese. I wanna get just natural interaction, go in as much as I possibly can. Okay? Alright, let's all hop down. Grab a kid. Okay. We're gonna do some peek a boo under the sheets, okay? Peek a boo? Yep, peek a boo. Okay, we're gonna kinda mess the bed up a little bit. Wanna help me? Grab a pillow. Okay. Hey, grab a pillow, yeah. Hello. Okay. Alright. We're gonna get your little sister in here, okay? Come here, I need your help. Come here. I'm gonna get her to laugh. Okay? Alright, come here. We're gonna put her under here, and we're gonna do a little peek a boo. But I need your help, okay? We're gonna, what makes your sister laugh? Tickle. Tickles. What if we do peek a boo? Peek a boo under there. Alright. Under there. Alright, let's go on your belly. Ready? Can you lay on your belly? Yeah. Yeah. She's so good. She's so good. Okay, ready? Pfffft! Watch this, oh oh. Where's Charlotte? Where's Charlotte? Oh, peek a boo! Peek a boo. Okay, ready? Oh, peek a boo. (camera clicking) Okay, let's do it one more time. One more time. Then you're gonna in with her, okay? She's so cute. You want me to go with her? Just a second, yep. I need your help making her giggle. Okay? Kay. That's what big sisters do, we make our sisters giggle, right? Okay, ready? One, two, three, peek a boo. Where's Charlotte? Where's Charlotte? (children laughing) Okay, let's all go together. She's being so good. Okay, you all come in here for a minute, guys. Good job. Okay, let's lay on our bellies. There you go. Okay, ready? Hold on, ready? Okay, we're just gonna pop up. On the count of three. One, two, three. (camera clicking) Can you guys give Charlotte a smooch on the cheeks? Can you get her? Give her kissies. Give her kisses. (camera clicking) One, two, three. Get her. Kiss her, kiss her. Okay, let's do peek a boo one more time. Okay you guys, what I'm tryin' to do is just get more natural engagement again. Um, let's sit back on our bellies, okay? This time what I want you guys to do, what I do is I set up situations where they're hugging or they're kissing, or something and something silly, naturally always just kind of happens. And so that's what we wanna see right now. Okay? (mumbling) Okay, can you guys snuggle under here? Can you guys put your arms around each other, on your bellies? Go on your bellies. Go back on your bellies. She's so funny. Let's go back on your bellies. Okay, ready? Here we go. Pffffffffft. Ch, ch, ch, choo. Peek a boo! Not yet, not yet. Hug your sister. Okay, ready? One, two, three, peek a boo. (camera clicking) (girls laughing) Cute. Okay, now. What I wanna do is get one of each kid. This is what I would typically do in a photo shoot. We would get all the kids together, and then let's just get one of 'em apart. Can you guys go with your Mom and Dad for me? Let's get your little sister, okay? Just doing her thing. Hey, do you think, Charlotte do you like bubbles? Charlotte, do you like bubbles? Come here, do you like bubbles? We're gonna put her back up here. Whoa, ho, ho, ho, ho. What is that? What is that? Ah. Oh, we don't like bubbles. (photographer laughing) More? Should we do more bubbles? Yeah. Yeah, okay. (camera clicking) More? Okay somebody spot her over there for me. Come over her for me, Charlotte, ready? One, two, (camera clicks) three, go. Come over here and get 'em. Go get 'em. (camera clicking) Peek a boo. Peek a boo. Charlotte, Charlotte, (gasps) Charlotte. (camera clicks) Okay, one more, ready? (camera clicking) Okay, good job. Alright. Next up. Good job. Those are really cute. I think I'm good, okay. Alright, ready? Do you like to dance? No. No, what do you like to do? Color. Color? Do you like to snuggle Mommy? You do? Should we get Mommy in here and snuggle? Yeah, yeah, yeah. I think that's a great idea. Let's do some Mommy snuggle pictures. Alright, you come over here for me. Shoes off. Shoes off? Okay, what I'm gonna have you do, I'm gonna have you kinda sit right here in the middle. Let's put our legs this way a little bit, towards the light. Okay? Come this way for me a little bit more. Alright, I'm gonna have her kind of lean on you. So let's put her on this side of you for me. Like that? Yep, bottom over here, near me. Okay, now just do, kinda, put your knees this way. Other way. Perfect. You guys just snuggle. Okay, you guys are super snugly. Okay, there you go, good job. Just snuggle for me. (camera clicking) Okay look up at me. You look down at her. I'm gonna have her look up at me, okay? (camera clicking) Okay, you guys both look up at me now. (camera clicking) Okay, let's lay down for me. So lay down on your back. We're gonna get a different perspective. Scooch your bottoms this way for me. Okay, you can totally snuggle, perfect. Put your arm out and then you guys are gonna snuggle. Okay, I'm coming above you. You ready? Perfect, just like that. (camera clicking) Look good, look at your Mommy. (camera clicking) Okay, look at your Mommy. Now put your heads together for me, forward. (camera clicking) Got it. Perfect, alright. How about, nice job. Who wants to do airplane with Daddy? Yeah, let's do Parker. Okay, so, I want her flying towards the light. I'm gonna get some light in her eyes, so I'm gonna have you pop your shoes off for me. Okay, we're laying on your back here. And you're gonna do airplane, so your head's gonna be towards me, this way, yeah. Okay. Ready? Go up do airplane with Daddy. (camera clicking) Awesome! Kiss her. Bring her down for a kiss. Bring her down for a kiss. (camera clicking) Got it! Nice job. Exactly, oh, stay there. Stay there. You guys snuggle. Snuggle. Snuggle. (camera clicking) Camera cord, that's okay. What are you gonna do? Alright, let's go this way. Stay there. Snuggle. (camera clicking) Can you tickle your Daddy's nose? With your nose? How about with your nose. Can you put your nose on his nose? (camera clicking) Awesome, nice job! Good job, alright. Who wants to do bubbles all together at the same time? (girls all together) Me, me, me, me. (girls chatting) How's our duck doing? This thing's kinda falling off. Let's see. Okay. Okay you guys, ready? We have spotters. I'm gonna move these pillows a little bit. Okay. Ready? And we're gonna pop the bubbles but just try not to fall off the bed. Okay. Ready? My bubble maker's a little bit, technical difficulties. Here we go. Alright ready? So what I do for this normally, guys, I do this and then I capture what's going on. Okay? And then I won't turn it off. (camera clicking) Awesome. Hold on, it's not turning off. Alright, here we go. (camera clicking) Ready? Shooting through bubbles is kinda hard, guys. Last one. Dad, stand over there for me. (camera clicking) Alright guys, let's sit down. Let's sit and snuggle, okay? Sit and snuggle, we're gonna do bubbles sitting. Okay, ready? Go sit with your sisters. Go sit right there. Right over here. Right over here. Okay one big snuggle. I always try to get a shot on a count of two before I hit three, okay? Reinforcements win again. Alright, let's just, bottoms over here. When I'm counting one, two, three, I always shoot on two before I hit three because of the anticipation effect. A lot of kids will smile on two, and then on three we kinda lose them. You know they're kinda like, jump up or do whatever we want them to do. So I'm always gonna shoot that shot on two. Okay? You guys ready? One, two, three, smooch, hug. (camera clicking) Oh my God, that's so cute. Awesome, nice job. Alright, let's stay there. So cute, these girls are so cute. Yep, watch her. I feel like we need to get her off of the bed. Permanent. Alright, let's do some Daddy time. Who wants to tackle Daddy? (girls volunteering) Okay. Alright, Dad. We're gonna lay you long ways on the bed. I know the bed's a little bit crooked in here but, head that way, feet that way. (girls chatting and giggling) Okay, scooch her in the middle, for me. Okay, you girls pile up on Daddy, okay? Let's go this way though. Let's do head, heads to Dad though, girls. Okay, turn around that way. You're coming soon sweetie. Alright ready, we're gonna get Daddy. One, two three, get him. (camera clicking) Can you give him a kiss? Go on let her up, put her up. Go get Daddy. Don't hurt Daddy. (camera clicking) You got her? Okay, why don't you throw her up in the air? There we go. Hey, Charlotte. She's so cute. (camera clicking) Alright, hold on. They're participating way too well. That's what's happening. Yeah, you two girls hop up for me real quick. Let's go back to Mom, okay? Let's get you two snuggling for a minute. Then, think what we're gonna do is do some with her, and then send her on her way for a second. Okay? Yep, just snuggle, snuggle. Throw her up, so what I want you to do, yep, just do whatever, she, yep. Hold her up for me. Yep, so have her look at you. There we go. Cute. Okay, one more try it one more time. Throw her up for me so we can get her to laugh. (camera clicking) Ready? She's running, we're gonna lose her soon. (camera clicking) Okay, so normally, guys, I'd come this direction, too. And I would shoot this perspective, 'cause I wanna get different perspectives, okay? So we're gonna do the same shot, but from this perspective. 'Cause we're about to lose her so we're gonna, (camera clicking) Hey you, peek a boo. (camera clicking) She's so cute. Awesome, nice job. Alright, let's let her, we'll take her out for a minute. I'm gonna do the pillow fight with the two older girls. Okay. So let's go ahead and I don't want, I think that it's gonna be too much for her. 'Cause she's kinda little. Just take her over there, yeah, that'd be wonderful. If we could have another spotter. Alright, you two. We're gonna do pillow fight, you ready? Okay, so what I'm trying to do, you guys, and you're gonna notice, I'm getting kind of on their perspective. I'm shooting up. And on here it's a little bit different but when you're in a client's home on a bed, it is so awesome to literally shoot up if there's any sign of distraction around you. If there's any sort of, yeah, if you could watch her for me. If there's any sort of distraction going around. A lot of times there'll be a bed stand with um, you know, like lamps or stuff around. It is so easy to get rid of that clutter in a bedroom if you shoot up. Okay? 'Cause the feeling is always totally clear. So that's why I'm layin' on my back and kind of shooting up. Okay? Alright. Different perspectives. Alright you two. You ready? No falling. We have another spotter, right? Okay. Ready? And go! (camera clicking) Different perspectives. Okay, down and up. Okay? (camera clicking) Oh, they're so, they're such girls, they're like so good. Oh, stay there, stay there, oh. Doo, doo, doo, doo. Peek a boo. (camera clicking) Okay. So anytime a kid falls, and obviously it's a little bit different in here with cords and everything going on, but if you see something happen naturally, where a child just starts acting cute, make sure you grab that, no matter what perspective you're on. Okay, you wanna go back on your belly? Here, let's put the pillows here. We're gonna cut these pillows open a little bit, but not quite yet. Alright, let's plop down on your bellies. Ready? One, two, three. (camera clicking) Peek a boo. Can you guys snuggle? Can you give her a hug? Big hug. Aw, that's so sweet but I can't see your pretty face. Can you come up a little bit? So we were talking about earlier, getting those portfolio type shots on a bed. This is kind of the perfect situation to do that. Where it's a little bit more, obviously we're directing them to lay here and look cute. This isn't a typical, you know, lifestyle type of shot, but parents love these especially if they're in their own child's room. Because that's, you know and they're looking at the camera, we have a lot of light in their eyes. This is a very engaging photo for a family. And this something that they might print. Okay, so let's get closer for me. Put your arm around her. Then we're gonna change our perspective with the same, with the same shot. Okay, can you pick your face up, sweetie? Try to keep your tongue in, okay? There we go. Alright, snuggle. One, two, three. (camera clicking) Oh, oh-oh. Listen, don't you look at me. Don't you look at me. Don't you do it. (camera clicking) Got it! Okay, nice job, guys. Now, the same thing, different perspective. What I'm gonna have 'em do is flip over , so we can get a different view. Okay? Alright you two little monkeys. You're a monkey. Lay on your back. Flip. That would've been really cute if I woulda been standing, but I'm afraid I'm gonna rip the cord out. I want the, hold on. Look this way, ready? Brrrrrr. Sit here for me. Come on your back. Ready? Here we go. Bee, bee, bee, bee, beep. Bee, bee, bee, bee, beep. You guys are so cute. I'm gonna fall. You're not gonna fall, I promise. Ready? You guys snuggle your heads together, okay. Every parent requests this shot. They just do so we do it all the time. Okay? Alright, here we go. And this is a good way to shoot down. Make sure you're not shooting up a child's nose, when you're doing this. Okay? One, two, three. Can you guys giggle? (camera clicking) Okay, there's a distracting thing in here so I'm just gonna remove it. Oh, go back, go back, go back. It's hard 'cause I'm teaching them to do this, right? Cheek to cheek. Can you guys snuggle? Giggles. (camera clicking) Oh oh, look at me, look at my head. Oh, silly noises. (camera clicking) Awesome, perfect. Can you guys take your feet up together , in the air? You know what, scoot, I have an idea. Let's scoot down a little bit , scoot down on the bed. Okay, you guys are gonna snuggle. Okay, ready? Way up. Okay, come here, come, oh that's cute, too, but let's do this. I'm gonna get your great little tootsies. Okay? Actually, that's really sweet. You guys can look at each other, go ahead and look at each other. Could you tell her a secret? (laughing) Let's not lick each other right now. Hold on, hold on, come here. You guys are too close. This is too dangerous. Okay, here's what we're gonna do. Flip over on your back, kiddo. Scooch your bottom that way for me. Alright. Thank you. We're gonna get the feathers out so soon and it's gonna be so much fun. Alright, pick your guy's tootsies up. Pick your feet up. Put 'em together. Put your feet together. (camera clicking) This is so cute, though. (camera clicking) Okay, can you guys tell each other a secret? (camera clicking) Awesome. Okay now tickle each other. Go! (camera clicking) Got it. Alright girls.

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!