A mother and teenage daughter cuddling in soft sunlight with green ferns behind them

Family photography



Here are the answers to the family photography questions I am asked most frequently. Have a read through the following and please get in touch if there is anything else that I haven’t covered.

My family photography is very relaxed and natural, with nothing too posed or awkward! It is what is often described as ‘lifestyle family photography’. I’ll help you plan an activity or outing, and create a scenario where you are all enjoying your time together. I want your family to be relaxed and happy while I’m creating your images, for you all to have a fun experience as well as end up with some beautiful images. 

I completely understand that it is awkward to suddenly be in front of the camera. This is why I always take the time to chat to everyone first, and get to know you a little. Then I’ll give you all as much gentle guidance as you need, so that you can relax and be yourselves. The result will be a really gorgeous selection of images of your family that capture you all together in a very natural, genuine way. 

It is entirely up to you, although I will usually chat with you and work out what would be best for your family. It depends on what your family is like and what you enjoy doing, and what you would like the photographs to look like. I can come to your own home, or we can head out somewhere that you enjoy spending time, or I can suggest options. Or a mixture of the above! I’ve got a couple of blog posts that you might find helpful when thinking about where to have your session: 

Where to have your family photography in Devon: some location ideas

The best Devon beaches for family photography

A family photography session is for up to six family members. If you would like a session with your wider family then you can read more about extended family sessions here.

This is an important part of your planning, as it can make a huge difference to your photographs. I’ve written a whole blog post on this, so recommend you have a read through

I want the whole session to be fun for them, and it really doesn’t matter whether they ‘behave’ or not. There really is no pressure on them, and hopefully they’ll just be enjoying themselves. If they really aren’t happy at any point, then I’m always happy to take a break, or change what we are doing. I’m a parent myself, and I’ve photographed so many families over the years, I promise you nothing will faze me, so please don’t worry at all. 

I’ll always get in touch with you a few days before your session to finalise details. This is also a good time to check the forecast. If the weather is looking miserable then I’m always happy to rearrange the session. The weather can make a huge difference to the photographs, so I’d usually recommend waiting for a better day. Or you are very welcome to go ahead with wellies and raincoats if you are feeling brave!

It’s no problem at all to reschedule the session if any of you are unwell. 

A baby sleeping in parents arms during a photography session at home in London
Two young girls running around in their bedroom while getting ready for a family photography session

There are two main things to take into account. Firstly, when your children are likely to be happiest – the most important thing for me is that everyone is enjoying themselves, so this is a major consideration. Secondly, when the light is going to be at its best. Depending on the time of year, this can often be later in the day – imagine soft evening sunlight. Bright summer sun in the middle of the day is not very flattering! If we are shooting in your home then we can be much more flexible with timings. I’ll always chat to you about when would suit your family best. 

I’ll always have a video or phone call with you ahead of your session, so by this stage you should be comfortably prepared for everything. Some sessions take place at your home, some out on location. But I’ll always spend a bit of time saying hello to everyone, and working out where we are going to be shooting. Then we can get ourselves organised (make a base with all your things if we are out and about), and I’ll start shooting. Even if it feels a little strange at first, I promise it will all be very relaxed and not awkward. I’ll give you plenty of direction so you know what to do, and hopefully you’ll all actually have fun and enjoy yourselves while I capture some lovely images for you. 

Sessions usually take around 60-90 minutes, although I always suggest you allow 2 hours just so that we don’t feel rushed. I’m happy to be flexible and work around your family, so we can stop for snacks and breaks, etc.

I’ll always try and include some relaxed group photos of you all together, but I do this is a very informal way. I don’t want fixed smiles and awkward poses – I’d much rather a comfortable, relaxed group with proper laughs. If you are having an extended family session, then I always aim to get group photos of any smaller family units and sibling groups, as well as some big shots of you all together. 

I don’t pose newborn babies. My newborn photography always takes place in your own home and is lifestyle based. This means that I will photograph your baby just as they are: in your arms, on your shoulder, snuggled up naturally. I can capture all the tiny details of your newborn like this, there is no need to do anything posed. The photos I take will reflect your whole family in your home together at this special time. You can read more about my newborn sessions here.

It depends on the age of your children and where we are. But it’s generally a good idea to pack up a big bag with drinks, snacks, wipes, and spare clothes. It can also be fun to have some sort of activity to do, but we can chat this through ahead of the session. 

I’ll edit your gallery of images ready for you to view within 2 weeks of the session. You can then view this private online gallery from the comfort of your home, and select which images you would like to buy as digital files and/or prints.

Some families choose an album, or an album collection (with prints and digital images also included). Other people select a large print for the wall, or a set of smaller images. Often families choose to buy all the digital image files so that they can print these themselves. There is no minimum order and I’m always happy to chat through options if you would like help getting the most from your images.

I photograph everything in raw format (which is like a digital negative), so they can be edited either way. I’ll select what works best for each image, but you’ll be able to choose from the colour or black & white version of each image. 

You’ll probably already have seen images on my website, and other business social media pages. My marketing is almost entirely through word of mouth, and it’s really important for me to be able to show my work to other families. So, images that I take may occasionally be shared on my website and/or business social media for this purpose.

If there is ever an image shared online that you are not happy with, then I would always remove this for you with no issues at all. If you would prefer to just state that all your images do not appear online anywhere at all, then this is no problem, please just let me know.  

Fill out my contact form and it will take you through to my full brochure, and you can check my availability calendar to reserve a date. Or send me an email if you prefer, and please do let me know if you have any other family photography questions that I haven’t already covered. Either way, I’ll then be in touch to discuss details with you. 

Devon photographer Helen Lisk in an orange cardigan, sitting on a step and laughing



If you like what you see here then I would absolutely love to talk about options for your photography!

Fill out a few details on my contact form and it will take you directly to my full online brochure for wedding or family photography. Or just give me a call if you prefer to chat.

I can’t wait to hear from you!


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