7 Creative Family Portrait Session Ideas

I’m a mom of two boys. I blinked and now we are all close to the same shoe size! When I say time goes fast, please believe me. But I get it, it doesn’t feel like it as you slog through those newborn years like a sleep-deprived zombie. When you do get a minute to notice, you will be shocked to find these cheeky pre-teens looking back at you! There is that quote ‘the days are long, but the years are short’ and I feel that. So please, please please: you need to get some family portraits done, stat.

Family portraits allow you to freeze a moment in time and document not only your children’s changes but also your evolution together as a family. And it means - Mom - that you get to actually be in the photos (don’t get me started, this might need a whole other blog post!)

With all this in mind, I’ve brainstormed some creative family photo ideas to help you create images that capture your family’s unique dynamic.

1. Take it Outside

The North Shore of Vancouver is surrounded by lush forests, clear rivers, snow covered mountains and then there’s the ocean. We are absolutely spoiled for choice with nature options! As well as looking gorgeous, the fresh air outdoors is instantly relaxing and gives everyone a flush in their cheeks and the opportunity to play. Action shots with plenty of movement and freedom are my favourite and they let everyone’s personalities shine. Find a body of water to splash in, a forest floor to inspect, a field to run in and let your kids take the lead.

2. Home

Everyone is going to feel most comfortable at home which will in turn make your photos feel relaxed and natural. Chill on the sofa, do some baking in the kitchen, read bedtime stories, the options are endless and are very personal to you and your family.  

3. Cool Architecture

Charming Neighborhoods, flamboyant murals, gorgeous modern architecture are all fantastic backgrounds and scenes to look out for. Clean, organic west coast modern, super simple concrete brutalist buildings or traditional olde worlde structures, each background chosen tells its own story and your choice and preference will contribute to the mood and feel of your images.

4. But what to wear though? 

This definitely depends on your family’s personality. For portraits, neutral coloured clothing is traditionally recommended because it helps each of your beautiful faces shine and therefore everyone’s unique personality comes into focus, front and centre. On the flip side, a love of colour and/or pattern is another story to tell which I am also here for. Personally, eccentricity and a little shazam also makes my heart sing. So it’s really all about your family’s story in all its unique and hot pink 🦩 shirt-covered glory!

5. Extended Family

Documenting each generation of your family and that visual history is vital. The connection between the babies, the kids, the moms, the dads and the grandparents is so beautiful and anytime your entire family can be found in one time and place the moment should be captured for posterity. Those photos in particular are treasured by all.

6. OK Everyone Act Natural

Resist the urge to pose, to worry about untucked shirts or muddy faces. Resist the urge to say Cheeeeese! Nothing ruins a shoot like forcing moments and emotions. The best candid photos feel organic and natural and as if the photographer isn’t even there. There is definitely room for all eyes to the camera with the genuine smiles, shot but leave lots of time for the moments in-between. There is beauty in all of it.

7. Don’t Put it Off!

Not wanting to belabour this point, but seriously the clock is ticking and none of us are getting any younger! Organise the photo session and capture your family’s awesomeness. Who me? Why, I would absolutely love to capture your beautiful family! Please get in touch ❤️