Family Photography Week: Meet Lauren Kirkham

I have always liked cameras and taking photos - growing up I had so many toy cameras and received my first digital camera at my high school graduation in 2004.  Flash forward to 2012 - my first child was born - my husband and I had purchased a dSLR in the year before that to document our family. From there my passion exploded and I found joy in documenting my family as well as other families. Photography was a perfect complement to my job as a pediatric nurse - working at both benefited me in different ways, and both helped me perform the other even better.  For me - it wasn’t just about documenting these moments but how they would be shared. 

From the day my son was born, we started creating family albums at the end of every year to tell our family story. Our albums help us relive our everyday moments, our big important days and family vacations. Now I get to watch my children enjoy these memories over and over and I am so thankful to be able to deliver that to them.

I am super laid back when it comes to photography - I love to let moments unfold. My favorite moments to capture are usually right AFTER I guide someone into a scene or position. I am a newborn and family lifestyle photographer and strive to capture families in a natural environment where they feel beautiful and still like themselves. I feel strongly about using locations or including items that have meaning to the family and love getting to know little details about families before our sessions together.   

As a family photographer, I believe it is my responsibility to freeze moments - to document them in print so we can relive them every single day for years to come.  

Lifestyle family photography is amazing because it captures what a family looks like at a certain time in their life, but also captures who they are and what they love to do. 

Seeing family portraits as wall art offers a constant perspective on how much we have to be thankful for - reminds us of moments we may think are little at the time and become some of the most remarkable ones we can remember.

The most rewarding part of photographing families happens when they come back in for their reveal appointment to see all of their images. It’s amazing to see parents react to the images of their kids - sometimes there are tears of joy, and there is always lots of laughter with some funny outtakes always making the final cut!  I love nurturing a relationship with families - the better we get to know each other beforehand - the more relaxed the session feels which results in authentic, true to life images. I want families to feel comfortable with me. As a mom and a pediatric nurse, I’ve seen it all and I think that puts parents at ease. 

When I’m behind the camera they can always feel confident that my focus is documenting their family authentically and as their true self to create artwork that will become a part of their family legacy.

My best advice is to know your camera inside and out! Once you know the functions of your camera then you can focus on capturing connection. For me - it's also vital to know some things about the kids in the family and talk with the parents a few times before our session together (if we don’t know each other already). When you know little details about families you have something to talk about with them. 

Talk with clients, put them at ease regarding what to expect so you can be assured they are prepared and feel comfortable.  

The final suggestion I have is to create a workflow in your head for at least the photo combinations that are a MUST (i.e. mom with kids, dad with kids, all kids, whole family, etc.).  I do always have some wiggle room in my workflow so that kids can lead the session. 

When I first started I would write down my workflow and physically snap a shot of it as the first image on my memory card so I could flip to it if I felt like I was stuck in a session. It’s a great way to have a “cheat sheet” without having to take a piece of paper out of your pocket or look at your phone!

My absolute favorite Design Aglow products for families are Framed Prints and Folio Boxes. I love a large framed family print - and the eclectic feel of the Hawthorne frames offer a little bit of glitz while not taking away from the portrait. It’s a modern option for clients wanting a large piece of wall art - and I have them scattered throughout my own home as well!  

I think that folio boxes offer a nice piece of home decor while also highlighting a families’ favorite images from the session. I typically include 10 matted prints with my folio boxes and families love to flip through them and take out their favorites to display then rotate as time goes by. 

I work with clients to see what will be the best fit for them from framed prints to boxes with prints in order to ensure they walk away with beautiful portraits for their home and to share with family.


I live in Upstate New York with my husband and two kiddos. Our two babes are the best thing my husband and I have ever done, and I photograph them all. the. time. In addition to being a photographer, I am a pediatric nurse. I am inspired by these little people, reminded of their strength and how amazing children are every day. Working with them gives me perspective on life, makes me appreciate the littlest moments as remarkable ones and motivates me to provide lasting memories in heirlooms for my clients.

Lauren Kirkham Photography  |  @laurenkirkhamphoto

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