Families are some of my favorite groups to photograph because it is such a great opportunity to capture authentic moments of real love. I grew up with a mother who was a frequent shopper of portrait photography studios where the light was harsh, the poses were stiff, and the backgrounds were fake and formal and the smiles were definitely prompted by a person saying "cheese." I love looking back at how my siblings and I changed over the years, but I think the experience really made me love and appreciate natural light photography in beautiful settings. In this space, families are able to interact in fun ways that represent the true family dynamic.
You might be surprised to hear how many parents tell me, we haven't had professional photographs taken with us in them since we were married or since the newborn photos with our children. What distinguishes family portraiture from child photography is the connection within the photograph. We aren't just asking the kids to do something cute here, we are prompting smiles by authentic means (like tickles and cuddles, twirling and bouncing), all of which involve a parent or family member who loves them.