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Lifestyle Family Photography

Lesson 9 of 31

Why Use a Family Guide?

Emily Lucarz

Lifestyle Family Photography

Emily Lucarz

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Lesson Info

9. Why Use a Family Guide?
Spend less time warding off frequently asked questions and more time ensuring the session starts off on the right foot by using a family guide. Learn why the guide is essential and what to include. A sample guide is also included in the class' bonus materials.

Lesson Info

Why Use a Family Guide?

The Family Guide. Now, I've got a Family Guide that I send to clients and what it is, is it's full of a whole bunch of information, what to wear on the day of your session... what to expect when they get to your home. You know, all of that information is in a PDF that I send to them. This is in the shop, if you guys see it. But if you purchase the class with the bonus materials, I do have like kind of a modified version. It's not the full editable Photoshop version, but it is a modified version that you'll get with the bonus, with some content to send to your clients. And this is really important, I find. You know, for activity ideas, I have a list of activities. But it makes your clients feel like you're really involved in their session. It makes them feel like you want their session to go as well as they do. 'Cause this is a big investment for a lot of people, you know, and you wanna make sure that your clients are feeling really comfortable with this. So it's just really, really imp...

ortant to really overly plan, if you can, okay? Anyone have any questions about that? Can you maybe just talk a little bit more in depth about what is, I know that as part of the bonus materials when you do buy the class, that you get a version of this. Again, the non editable version. But what else are things that people should think about to include in a guide? So, activities for your kids. Like, we have a whole list of activities that are great for kids for certain age ranges. Ideas for the kids to wear, ideas for dads to wear. It talks about lighting in the home. It talks about how, what kind of clutter that they should leave out, what kind they should put away. What's gonna be clutter that actually is gonna be usable in the photos, you know, good clutter, which we're gonna go into in depth. And we've talked about planning sessions. Just talk about, don't worry, you know, there's like, I think the very end, it talks about things that could go wrong and why not to worry. That you're gonna have back up plans. So, you know, just things like that, that anything you think that can put your clients at ease is gonna work... for that family guide. And the good thing is they don't have to remember to send it anymore. I attach it to the workflow in IRIS, so it goes out. So from Lindsey K., let's see. Do they fill out the questionnaire before they've paid and booked? So, they, yes. We filled the questionnaire first. So, we, they kind of do it all at the same time. We send the questionnaire, we send the invoice and the contract, all at the same time. So, kinda depends, you know. They know they have to do all three in order to book. So, it kinda depends what they decide to do first. A lot of people pay the invoice first and then fill it out. Some people need to be reminded to fill it out, you know. Right. And then, a question from Meer. How do you ask the clients if they want to come in in person or pre order their collection? At what phase is that? We talk about it during the session. A lot of times, you know, while I'm shooting, I'll be like, hey, are you guys gonna wanna come in? Or do you wanna do it on the phone? Or, what's gonna be the easiest for you? A lot of times clients will call me the minute I send them their gallery and say, "I need help!" You know, so, it depends on the client. But we talk about that at the beginning emails that the, af, the ordering session is part of the deal. And a question from Marcia. If you have a repeat visits of the same family, repeat sessions from the same families, do you go through the same process of the questionnaire and the family guide? Yeah, yeah we do. Yeah, over and over. 'Cause things change, right? Things change. Things change and people need to be reminded, you know. In different sessions you're gonna do different things so you're gonna wanna have a different questionnaire for each thing. So there's one client that we did in their home and then we did in the city, and it's just different and they're gonna want different things. So yeah, we do the same thing for each client. And each client, you know, they need to sign it again and pay the invoice again and, you know. But yeah, we do. Another question. Regarding the questionnaire, how does what the client wears affect the session? So, color, you can always have a moment, right? But how do you make that moment amazing? You create an activity. But an activity in a fun moment, it's not gonna look good if they're all wearing like, black, right? So you can kind of guide them to colors that are gonna photograph well, but it doesn't make or break a session. It just helps enhance it, in my opinion. You know, and if we're doing things where they're gonna be jumping around they need to be in PJ's, for instance. Like we're going to be doing here shortly, in the studio. You know, it depends on what activities we've planned, what they're gonna wanna wear. A lot of people wanna know if they should change outfits during the session. I try to stay away from that as much as we can because we tend to lose kids pretty frequently if they start changing clothes. And then parents get stressed out about, "I need more in this outfit, I need more in this outfit." And the biggest job as a photographer is to keep them calm. Everything's gonna be fine, it's gonna be so much fun. And, yeah. Oh, maybe one more question. When you're talking about activities, are you trying to keep it to two or three? How does that work? It depends on how many kids there are. So, we typically plan like three, but we'll probably follow through with two. We at least have one, for sure, planned. But I let parents know, like, we might not get to all of these, but let's make sure that we focus on the ones that are the most important to you, depending on how the kids, depending how the session goes. But I have multiple activities planned. Typically three.

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!