Chicago Family Photography

A story worth capturing

Your family is your story. It’s one full of journeys, struggles, and triumphs both big and small! Family photography is just that perfect way of capturing today, what you’ll want to remember tomorrow, in a year, or in 10 years. We set up scenes, poses, and make each other run, laugh, and smile so we can capture the essence of family, love, and the bond that holds you together.

Family Photographer captures family of three in grassy area

Family Photography in Chicago

We are fortunate in Chicago to have some amazing seasons as well as some amazing scenic areas, both industrial as well as nature based. Chicago’s Lincoln Park houses many great areas that provide both of these options, with grandiose views of the city, as well as a combination of greenery and water side locations.

Moving further west of the city, there are hundreds of parks, many old estates, buildings, and grounds, and the beautiful Morton Arboretum. These incredible locations provide the most surreal, tranquil, and memorable locations to plan and host your family session at.

Morton Arboretum family photography in Chicago

Providing your Chicago Family Photography

With family photography, it’s not just about capturing your family, but for me it’s also about connecting, smiling, and laughing with each family as we capture them all together. It’s these amazing moments that I get to see behind the camera, and it truly is an amazing experience.

My Style of Family Photography

I love the great outdoors, the amazing colors of spring, summer, and fall, and of course the warmth from the rising and setting suns. Not only are they great to experience in person, but they photograph so beautifully, which is why most of my sessions are booked for the outdoors. The life and growth in the nature around us is the perfect backdrop to the story of growth and love in a family.

Why we photograph our family

Family Photography has been around since 1800’s, and before photography there was painted or sketched family portraits. As a culture, we have been steeped in a long tradition of capturing and documenting our families. It’s this amazing cultural phenomenon that has made a fascinating and beautiful path to our current day family portraits. However, the importance of capturing our families together has never become less important, and only become more and more popular.

Family Photography at Katherine Legge Park and family of four.

The shift in family photography styles

In the early 2000’s, the photography world started to see a technological shift, proving that digital cameras can actually out compete film in so many ways. The older analogue way of capturing photos were gone, and soon a healthy, and rapidly growing world of family photographers would emerge.

With better cameras, greater dynamic ranges, and cameras cheaper than ever, the world of scenic family photos started to grow in popularity. Sessions could be held outdoors, in scenic areas, where lighting was always difficult for analogue cameras. Photographers could now maximize their day and surroundings by photographing less with additional lighting, and more of the natural light. Where the lighting, color, and harshness of light would challenge the results, editing software has come to the rescue, providing results that were never possible to achieve without additional manpower, equipment, and money.

How we use family photography today

We use photographs much differently today, than even 10 or 15 years ago. Traditionally, a family photography session would produce a handful of images, of which only a handful of prints would be made. Today, we have digital technology that makes it easy to share and view not just single photos, but entire galleries. This change in family photography has promoted digital downloads, and digitally released galleries for families who want to use their family photos on their phones, computers, and tablets.

Along with digitals, printing technology has broken ground on many fronts in the past few decades. Now, instead of light sensitive papers, we have ink jets, lasers, and dye sublimation processes that allow us to print on not just papers, but canvases, wood, and metals. These new forms of printing have allowed photographers to be more creative in their approach to printing for their clients, but also more customizable for clients, when choosing the photos they do want printed.

What to expect from your family photography session

To start, you should expect to have access to your photographer’s outfit guides, their location suggestions, and their recommendations for when the best time would be to capture your family. You should be provided with prices on both their creative fee (photographing your family) as well as their product fee (prints, galleries, digital images, etc).

If your photographer provides an inclusive option, this typically means that you pay a single fee for both the creative and products. A trending form of this is an all inclusive digital package, meaning you get both your session, and the digitals at a single cost.

Printings or Digital Packages

Family Photographers that provide prints may provide your session (sitting) fee at a discounted price, but then require you to print a minimum amount in prints.

Other photographer provide a hybrid version of this,  attempting to give clients some digital images after the purchase of prints, or a package that includes both prints and digitals at a single price, but without print released for the included digitals.

Whatever the final product is, it’s good to know exactly what your photographer will provide, what they release, and how you can get the final product you want to showcase, both on screens as well as your walls!