Leah O'Connell

client tips, families, Featured sessions

The magic of playful family photos at home

I'm Leah!

I’m obsessed with stories of family, creativity, and simple joys.  A nostalgia nerd, educator, wife, and mom of 3, I believe life’s most fun when you’re dreaming big and having kitchen dance parties. 

Education and articles for family photographers

TOp categories

FAQ's and guidance for stress-free family and newborn sessions 

Essays, letters, favorites

Highlighted family and newborn photography sessions

Home is the key to removing some of the biggest stressors that most people say they hate about family photos.

  • Getting everybody dressed and out the door on time.
  • Worrying about kids getting dirty.
  • Feeling uncomfortable being photographed in public

We can eliminate all of it be simply doing yoru family photos at home.

family photos at home with 2 girls and a dog

Convince me

I am so inspired by walking into a family’s intimate environment, embracing all the gooey, piles of family love and silly vibes of young kids as they bounce on a couch or hide behind curtains.

The simplicity of saying “go play!” while we steel a moment of quiet with mom and dad (aka they’re actually banging on the door of the bedroom and singing at the top of their lungs while mom and dad drink their first hot cup of coffee, laughing like nooooothings happening.)

The ability to have the family dog join in naturally without the stress of handling her in a new place while also trying to pull everything else together with two young kids.

Morning light streaming through windows in rays of welcome warmth.

Applesauce at the ready.

Ending a session with a living room dance party.

It’s the stuff of life.

father daughter poses for family photos at home
natural family photos at home, family lying on the bed pose

The stuff that you want to look back on when the days feel long and frustrating, when the house isn’t clean and you’re not clean and nothing is ever clean…

The stuff that makes you remember who you are.

That there are good days, too.

That the counters are castles and the beds make you fly and the simple joys in this very place are magical.

That love is palpable and close.

These are the kinds of photos that start stories and invite memories and fuel confidence. The kind that remind you that your life is breathing art, inspiring little souls, and building futures.

They’re a representation of your personal blend of family. And you can hold it anytime you want.

family of 4 pose for family photos at home
couples photos at home with dog on the bed
ideas for playful family photos at home
family photos at home, charlottesville photographer
natural family photos at home, charlottesville

Interested in capturing family photos at home with your own crew? Reach out here so we can talk details!

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Lifestyle family session at home with all adults

Things to do in Charlottesville with kids

4 Tips for including your family dog in your photos

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Hi, I'm Leah.
Family photographer, writer, educator.

I’m  one of the first to meet your newborn baby, the one who won't judge your clothes baskets and unmade beds, and the one who can capture the way your husband looks at you with a twinkle in his eye after 12 years of marriage. I believe in honoring people and telling stories.

I believe art has the power to light up the world in dark places, starting at home.