Privilege Blog

Family Photography Shoots For Cards, And Gifts, And Art


Towards the end of 2013, for his birthday or maybe Christmas, I gave my brother a family photography session. Last he, my sister-in-law and Cute Nephew met up with the photographer, and spent the morning wandering around San Francisco’s Mission District. My sister-in-law is now working on a photo book for grandparents. Shhhh.

They’re also going to have some great Christmas cards, assuming of course that they’ve got the time to send any.

In this day of all-photography-all-the-time, you might wonder, “Why pay for images – they flit by my camera/phone lens at the rate of a million/per second, there for the taking?” A couple of reasons. First, clearly, art. Professional photographers really do take better pictures. Funny, that. Second, unposed family. You want someone who can catch all of you at once, doing the things you usually do.

I’m going to assume your family doesn’t line up in a row smiling at the light as part of their normal day?

So I thought I’d show you the work of some of the family photographers I have come to know online. For whatever reason, they are located in London, Brighton, and San Diego. Go figure. I also thought that perhaps if you, reading, know people who do good and similar work in other regions, you might add their names in the comments.

First, up, we have Cara of Bluebird and the Bear, in London. I’ve featured her other work before, but her family portraits are something else again. That little girl’s face. Don’t we want to meet her when she’s 13? And 26?

Blueird and Bear Phoography with Attitude

Twins and the look of love.

Bluebird and Bear Photography with Twins

Extraordinary bubbles. I read somewhere recently that soap bubbles have been deemed one of the top 10 toys of all times.

Bluebird and Bear Family Photography with Bubbles

Moving south, to Brighton, Laura calls some of her work at Baby Picture This, “storytelling.” And so it is. The walk in the country.

Baby Picture This Family Photography

The first of many yawns.

Baby Picture This Brighton Family Photography

Much better than putting her in a watermelon, don’t  you think?

Baby Picture This Brighton Family Photography

Finally, Jamie Street, in San Diego. Who, as it happens designed this website, back before she was listed as one of the Top 21 Family Photographers in the USA, She also these photos of Cute Nephew, and the one top the post, at their family shoot in May.

Hey little hipster!


I think I’ll go stand near a flower display and have my picture taken too.



I love photo sessions for their cascading gift abundance. Gift #1 – from you to beloveds. Gift #2 – when your beloveds give the resulting photos to theirs. Lotta beloveds going on.

One more idea. This time of year involves a lot of dressing up – gorgeously. Have you ever thought to hire someone to take your portrait for a holiday party – hair, makeup, dress, glittery pumps, and all? As we know, the photos from the actual venues are rarely even usable. Every day we’re assaulted by commercial images of perfect people; my wedding taught me the value of an image of yourself looking perfect, for context. Because if this woman in Romona Keveza is the same woman now writing in flannel PJ bottoms, commercial perfection can be seen as simply the Wizard of Oz, i.e., nothing without the curtain.

We’ve all got it in us.

See?  Gift, upon gift, upon gift. Feel free to contact any of these photographers, if you are so inclined.

Bluebird and the Bear

Baby Picture This

Jamie Street Photography

And, edited to add a recommendation from one of my local family members, Eric Rorer in Mill Valley. He does residential interiors and architecture as well, so if you want your beloved house featured too, he’s your guy.



No compensation has been received for this post.

26 Responses

  1. Thank you so much for this lovely, kind post Lisa. Aren’t Laura and Jamie’s photos SO beautiful? I can’t wait for Laura to do our family photos and I dream regularly of being in a position where Jamie could do some for us too. Damn geography.

  2. Excellent idea!

    My sibling is getting married this month, a mere 30+ years after my own wedding and my advice to dear Sib is to go for the photos.
    Everything these days is about the image and it’s worth it to pay for an expert eye capturing that image.

  3. I love this post! I’ve been thinking I’d like to get a photo of my Three Daughters with their Three Daughters. . . .I’d hoped they’d pick up the hints and organize as a Christmas gift for me, but perhaps I should make it happen myself as a gift for them. Thanks for the inspiration!

  4. My main regret from my wedding is hiring a cheap, inexperienced photographer.

    Now that I’ve done a bit of work with various professionals, there is definitely an indefinable but clear nack to taking a great photo. It’s picking just the right milisecond to click, the right composition etc. It’s not necessarily the most expensive person, but experience does count.

    I kind of wish I’d just gotten some good photos before I got all old and fat and wrinkly…

    1. @Eleanorjane, Hey, it’s never too late. I had wrinkles and age spots and gray hair at my wedding, and in the right light and makeup and with the right photographer, I still loved my photos.

  5. Gorgeous pictures! We had a family photo shoot with my in-laws and the kids a few years ago. The photographer was excellent, but the company seemed to go for a quirky vibe. I still smile at the memory of the perky young photographer saying to my very conservative father in law, ‘Now, how about Grandpa lays on the floor?’ Um, how about No?

    1. an addendum: Photographers like Ginny, who have been in the business a long time, have many worthy colleagues and are happy to provide referrals…

  6. Lisa, thank you so much for including me in this round up of wonderfully talented women!

    Before I had children the only thing my Mum would ask for (repeatedly) for any gift giving occasion, was ‘photographs of you’. I never really got it. Now I do! The country walk photo was a gift session for just that reason – photos for Grandma. Glad I can capture these moments that mean so much.

Comments are closed.