Leah O'Connell

families, for photographers

3 tips for family photos with teens

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. 

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It’s not always easy to capture personality and connections from older kids. These tips for family photos with teens will hopefully help a ton with planning and executing artful sessions with them that are just as special and moving as those with younger kids.

When you search “family photos” on Pinterest, the majority of results are with kids under 10, and mostly under 5 years old.

Many families assume their kids won’t be interested or want to participate in family photos as they get older. So when you can make the experience one that is relaxed, fun, and comfortable for them, you’ll find that your clients will be thrilled with the results.

pose of family of 4 with teens

3 tips for family photos with teens that are simple and fun

1. Choose a comfortable or relatable location

Choose a location where the family feels most comfortable or their favorite place to spend time together. This can be outdoors, but home is also an amazing option. Home also opens the door for photographs in places like the kid’s bedrooms, which are always sentimental looking back.

tips for family photos with teens, mom with teenage daughter
ideas for family photos with teens at home

2. Simplify clothing choices

No need to match or insist on dressing up. Choose a general color palette or “vibe” and just then just allow your teens to embrace their own unique style.

ideas for backyard family photos with teens at home
photo session ideas with older kids

3. Incorporate an activity

Incorporating something you like to do together helps everyone loosen up.

Do some fishing. Play basketball in the front yard. Make s’mores around a fire. It can be simple, as long as it’s YOU. There will still be directing involved, but incorporating activity at some point in the shoot can break things up and help teens feel more relaxed.

poses for at home sessions with teens
family session tips for photos with teens

The bottom line

Family photographs with teens are just as important as those with younger kids.

It doesn’t have to be stuffy and stiff, either. Teens have vibrant personalities and big hearts that need to be seen and honored.

Use these basic tips for family photos with teens to create a relaxed session with all the love and connection at any age.

Interested in making some meaningful photos together in a relaxed environment with your teens?

Learn about sessions with me here + reach out for more info.

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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.