A Candid Approach to Family Portraits

Candid San Francisco Family Portraits Nightingale Photography

Although I focus on weddings and engagements in this blog, I just wanted to let my readers know that I also offer a candid approach to family portraits.

It all started when some of my treasured wedding couples started baking a bun in the oven—and off we went! They already knew that they could trust me as a photographer after the long relationship from engagement session to wedding, so maternity and family photos was a natural progression. I’m always honored when I get a call asking me to photograph those special milestones.

Candid San Francisco Bay Area Family Photography

Candid San Francisco Family Portraits Nightingale PhotographyWhen I do family portraits, I want to do them in the same style as my weddings, too: candid, authentic, relaxed, and with an emphasis on moments, not poses. I want these pictures to capture that special look, that raucous giggle, that loving snuggle. After all, as a mom myself, I never felt like the perfect family staring into the camera truly represented all the messy and silly moments of my family. What about the messy hair styles? The dog jumping up? Exposed tummies? Life was more sticky hands and muddy paws than perfect, airbrushed moments. And now that my daughter, Sophia, is away at college, those messy, silly family portraits mean so much more. So that’s what I offer my Bay Area families.

Giving my families permission to be authentic instead of perfect lets everyone take a deep breath. In order to keep our Bay Area family sessions carefree, I play games, have everyone move around, and sometimes… I even bribe with smarties! (you know, those tiny candies? Delicious!) It’s important to me that we play together and use different locations. As everyone knows…  I LOVE dogs. So why not bring them along for a splash of adorable chaos. How about a goat? That was a really cute portrait session!

I’ve been especially fond of the beautiful beaches in Half Moon Bay and Marin and recently got to capture 3 generations at Half Moon Bay State Beach. It’s locations like this that allow me to encourage the family to play together, to take advantage of the sand and water, so I love going there!

Palo-Alto-Photographer

Candid San Francisco Family Portraits Nightingale Photography

 

But if the beach isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other places. I had a dance party with a family in a North Beach alley recently, too! Or maybe you’d prefer that I come to your home in Walnut Creek or Palo Alto—wherever you are. There are plenty of locations to pick from, all across the East Bay, Peninsula, San Francisco, and beyond. Don’t be afraid to find a place where you can relax and be yourself.

One day, you’ll look back on these photos and realize how priceless they are. So don’t wait—stop for an afternoon to make memories with your family that future generations will treasure as heirlooms. I hope I get the chance to capture your spirit this year!

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