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3 Photography Styles to Consider for Your Next Family Portrait.

There are 3 types of photography styles to consider when planning your next family portrait session. Hi there!! I'm Christy with Photography & Wall Stylings by Christy located in Kansas City, Missouri, and today I'm going to help you choose the best photography style for your next family photo!


There are 3 basic styles of family portrait photography; classic studio photography, lifestyle photography, and documentary photography. When you think about family portraits what do you think of? Do you think of the classic solid background and perfectly posed family smiling for the camera, or do you think about big open mouth laughs and piggyback rides? Or maybe you think about your family sitting around the dinner table enjoying a meal together. Well, knowing what style you want your family photos to reflect will help you determine where to have your next family session taken.

Kansas City Lifestyle Photography


Studio photography is just that, portraits taken in a photography studio. This type of photography has been used for family photos for generations. They are known for their classic backgrounds and perfectly posed family portraits. They're usually pretty fast and last about 30-45 minutes. It's a very quick and easy option for getting your family pictures taken. In fact, it's perfect if you don't have a lot of time and don't want any customization to your photos. You can find this type of photography at several large chain retail stores. There are even some portrait studio chains of their own.


  • Want a posed family picture on a basic background.

  • Are pressed for time and need your pictures done right away.

  • Need several prints of the same image in different sizes.


Lifestyle photography is a slightly laidback approach to family photography. You'll usually see natural backgrounds either in the family's home or outside and poses that highlight natural interaction between the family members. Lifestyle photography generally focuses on capturing specific emotions or connections between the people in the photograph. Because of this, your photographer will most likely be asking questions that prompt interaction between the family members. Also, there's usually a beautiful softness or glow to these images that's created by the use of natural light. These sessions tend to last anywhere between 1-2 hours and could include multiple locations. Lifestyle photography is also really good if you want your session tailored to your family's specific quirks and attributes.

Kansas City Lifestyle Photography


  • Love the glow of natural light.

  • Want your photographs to reflect your family's unique personality and style.

  • Like a relaxed feel to your family photos.

  • Like organic backgrounds whether in nature or in the home.

  • Want relaxed poses that show the genuine connection, emotion, and interaction between family members.

Lifestyle Photography


Documentary photography is the completely unabridged version of photography. It takes a very raw and natural approach to family photography. In this case, the photographer is there to mainly observe and document events as they naturally unfold in real time. This type of session is usually held in the client's home or at the venue of a specific event. For example, a picnic at the park. You would literally take your family out for a picnic and the photographer would photograph the entire experience. Including every laugh, every tear, and every embrace. It's a way for people to capture their family in their truest and most natural form. These sessions can last anywhere from 4-8 hours. Think of it more as "A day in the life of" session rather than a family photo session.


  • Have an entire day to devote to family photos.

  • Want completely organic images with little to no coaching from the photographer.

  • Are not afraid to show raw emotion in front of the camera.

  • Want to document intricate details of a specific family event. (Like a family picnic or a day at the beach.)

I hope this post helps you determine what style of photography best suits your family, and what direction you want to go for your next family portrait session.

Also, if you'd like to know how to simultaneously style your walls while having your family's portrait taken, then check out Photography & Wall Stylings by Christy! My goal is for you to walk away from your photography session with not only amazing photos of your family but also a completely styled and decorated space in your home for you to enjoy! Just think, you can decorate your home in the same time it takes to have your family pictures taken! Click here for more info.


Photography & Wall Stylings by Christy

Where photography meets home decor in Kansas City!

For more info about Kansas City's natural light lifestyle photographer Christy Jones,

click here.

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