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Lifestyle Family Photography

Lesson 2 of 31

What is Lifestyle Family Photography?

Emily Lucarz

Lifestyle Family Photography

Emily Lucarz

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Lesson Info

2. What is Lifestyle Family Photography?
An easier way to think of lifestyle photography is life-inspired photography, Emily says. Dig into what lifestyle family photography is, why it matters to the client, and why the genre is beneficial to you, as the photographer.

Lesson Info

What is Lifestyle Family Photography?

So all about lifestyle, so let's go to why lifestyle? Here's my coined term that I've kind of decided. I was teaching a workshop, and I'm like, you know what? This isn't really lifestyle. It's more life inspired. So if you can kind of get rid of that lifestyle term that I know a lot of us are kind of scared of, because, like, you walk into a client's house and you're like, okay, what do we do? Like, your kid's really cute, your dog's really cute, but you don't really know where to go with all of this. If you can kind of step back, look at the family, what inspires them? So we're gonna talk about this with a questionnaire, and there's where life inspired kind of came from. There's so many in between moments that you can still capture during the life inspired. You know, that typical fly on the wall lifestyle photographer or like a photojournalistic photographer, they are amazing. That's just not me, and it's not for everybody. Just like what I do, obviously, is not for everybody. I have ...

a very outgoing personality, I hug all my clients, I punch dad in the arm, I rub the kids on their head, and I think that helps. So you have to kind of introspectively look at yourself to figure out which type of life inspired photographer you're gonna be, but you can take all of this that we're gonna go over and put it into however you are. So all about life inspired. So what really is an in-home session? An in-home session is we go into the client's home. We have a plan, plans are huge, plans are important for you, and they're important for mom, trust me. Obviously moms during life in-home sessions are a little panicky, they make their house cleaner than it typically is, and that's when we start talking about the clutter. There is purposeful clutter and non-purposeful clutter. And so we kind of go over all of that, and we'll touch on that in a little bit. So why is a lifestyle session desirable to your client? You're gonna have, when you decide to make the move to start incorporating some of these things into your portfolio, you're gonna get a lot of questions saying, but my light in my home is not good. Oh, but my house doesn't look like Pinterest. You know, like those kind of things. And it's our job, as the photographer, to talk to the clients about those moments that we talked about, rainbow bright or grandpa sitting in the baby pool with the kid, you standing up on the deck taking a picture of grandpa in that baby pool. I have that picture, and now that my grandpa's gone, I am so glad that I have a picture of myself with my grandfather in that baby pool, because every single time he came over, every weekend, we always got in that baby pool with my grandpa. He didn't fit, but I remember it, and I'm glad I have it. And so you need to talk to your clients about those memories that we can do during their sessions. Not only do you capture all of those moments, parents and kids tend to feel more at ease at home. So there's a lot of clients that, I have a decent studio in St. Louis, and people are kind of nervous to bring their kids in there, sometimes, because they're not sure how they're gonna react. They're not sure how they're gonna react on location with strangers. There are certain families that just do better at home. And that's for you and your client to decide. But it's really appealing to families to be in their own home, they can jump on their beds and they can have their lovies, and that's part of them. But it's our job as the photographer to direct them. We're constantly directing, I don't let them ever have a gap in time, I don't want mom to have to worry. It's our job to help them with clothing choices. You can set things up to look good. Actions kind of cause reactions. So we set up the action and we let them do everything else. So it's our job to set everything up. So then when they're in their home they're totally relaxed. And they're desirable to us as a photographer because they're so much fun! Nothing is ever the same in any lifestyle session. You are always gonna run into an issue, always, 100%. My sessions never run smoothly, and you have to be so flexible, and we're gonna have a whole segment on flexibility. Because lord knows children don't do what we want them to do all the time. So, as a photographer, for me, it keeps things exciting and fun and memorable. Okay, so kind of again, why life inspired? Looking back at old photos and you're gonna see them how they were. I like to capture, we had, when we did this shoot that we're gonna show you guys later in the show of the family, she's like, my son just lost his teeth! And I was like, yes, that's amazing! Because we want to capture that, right? When they have no teeth, that's so cute, and we can age your child that way. What age do kids lose their two front teeth? First grade-ish, right? So we'll be able to look back and be like, we did that in first grade, I loved that. And she was like, you don't want his teeth? I'm like, we're not going for perfect, we're going for real. So that's kind of looking back at that. Children are well-behaved in their home environments, sometimes. And if they're not, we capture that too, because it's funny, and we prep our families and say, you guys, things aren't gonna go how we plan them to go, and that's okay, and we have back up plans, and we're gonna go over all of those back up plans later. Have galleries ready to show if they request them. Families are gonna say, can you show me an example, and we'll talk about that actually coming up next. Okay, so fly on the wall, or if you want to be more like me and be kind of in people's faces. So for me, I like to engage with people. As you can tell, it's hard for me to stay back here, because I want to come see you guys. Or there's the photographer that likes to stand back, and if you're one of those types of photographers, you need to have a little bit longer lens, right? So you have to kind of decide. Are you the step back kind of photographer? Or are you the engaging type of photographer? And if you would like to be the engaging type of photographer, but you are more of a type B personality, sometimes you just have to do this, put on game face, and just step out of the box and go for it.

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!