Family Portraiture
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Family Photography


When a person whom you love surprises you with a hug out of the blue, just because, 

or when you’re doing something that delights you, spinning and leaping and sprinting into a warm embrace,

you laugh and smile with your whole being. 


A natural approach to family portraits lets people be themselves as heartfelt moments of togetherness play out. The photographer focuses on you while you focus on being present with loved ones.


Here are some helpful hints to people who want their next family photography session 

to make them smile long after it’s over.



Children need to do something with their energy surplus. Fortunately, running and jumping children give words like “ebullient” twenty-first century credibility. 


Dress your child stylishly and also in comfy clothes for sprints and leaps!



Until they invent “reveal emotion” and “activate sweet moment” buttons on cameras, parents must lead the way to accomplish natural family photography ideals. How to do it?   


Prepare for photography sessions with a singular purpose—expressing in personal, heartfelt ways the depth of your love and gratitude to your family. Commit to authentic sentimentality. Now is the time to say and show what you feel.


Preparing means taking a moment to let yourself remember it all… starting with the impossible smallnesses, then those rainy days snuggling inside, joyful firsts, big laughs…  and then intentionally following-through during your session. Show your affection, be playful, don’t hold back.


You want beautiful pictures that feel real? This is the way.

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Bribes and threats efficiently undermine natural and honest family photography. 


Children, especially younger ones, have no sense of time. Thirty seconds into the session, they’ll have flashed a smile and believe with “give me liberty or give me death” conviction that they’re owed a reward. Threatening to back out of your promise starts the countdown to mutually assured destruction. Cue meltdown, fade to despair. 


The solution? Set zero expectations. Focus entirely on how great it is to be together


When you lead the way with love and enthusiasm, your children are going to feel fantastic. More than anything else, children who feel loved in the moment are going to express joy in the sustained way that makes our photography session a success.



Don’t say cheese and don’t ask for smiles.


Nobody ever fondly recalls the time they were told to smile for a camera. What has that camera ever done to deserve a smile?


The natural causes of the expressions you want to see are genuine interactions. Keep it real, the smiles will flow.

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I believe there is nothing more beautiful than the unvarnished reality of family life. If you haven’t already, you should look into documentary family photography. 


There’s no escaping an aesthetic of authenticity when working with me, but there’s still a vast difference between guiding families through natural feeling moments and completely letting them be. 


If the lifestyle session is an eagle, then the documentary session is a blue whale. 


The following slideshows are samples from my documentary approach.