Family Portrait Process

Don Orkoskey | December 15, 2021

Portrait Style

The family portrait process starts with defining your portrait style. You want portraits that reflect your individual and family's personalities. I love capturing telling your story honestly and truthfully through more editorial style portraits. Your photos tell your story and working together we can create portraits that do that in an open and honest way telling everyone who sees your portraits who you are as a family.

Your portrait fit into one of two broad categories. They're either posed or journalistic. Both have their advantages depending on your family and how you want to record your family's story. Before we take a single photograph we'll talk about which style speaks to you or if you'd like a combination of styles. As I offer both it's never a problem to combine styles in a single session and that's a popular choice.

Posed Portraits

family photos

Fun family photos start with a solid plan for the day. Your kid(s) schedule is so important when it comes to capturing fun family photos.

Posed portraits are a wonderful way to make a memorable photos. Posed photos don't always feel natural but are helpful if you're unsure what to do or feel awkward during your session. How you hold your body, present yourself to the camera, what to do with your hands, etc. can feel stressful. Posing helps reduce that stress. Being told where to put your hands, how to stand, what leg to put your weight on, and how to bring attention to or away from certain parts of the body gives you the power to feel confident.

Do you want to to look powerful, confident, fun, or to invoke something entirely different? You can express any number of emotions through your pose and I can show you how. Using micro-expressions, angles, and the posing we'll build a portrait that feels natural and looks amazing!

I'll teach you how to hold your eyes and lips, how to tilt your head, and other techniques to use whenever you're being photographed. You can then used these tools to look incredible in every photo after your session including in selfies and even while appearing on Zoom.

You will feel comfortable and confident having your photo taken. We'll review the photos as we go and I always show examples with of the poses we'll do to help you envision how amazing you'll look when your photos are finished. If you're not feeling a particular pose we'll make adjustments to lighting, angles, lenses, or anything else we need to until you love it.

Journalistic Portraits

family photos

Posed portraits are great but capturing kids being kids showing their genuine selves often makes for better, more memorable photos.

Journalistic portraits capture you doing more natural things. These are not snapshots. They are slices of your life which provide a truthful look at who you are and what you do. Backgrounds, lighting, and styling help us to capturing you in naturally flattering poses. Photos like this are also known as commissioned portraits. They tell a more honest story about you and feel more natural because they're capturing who you are naturally. Journalistic portraits present your truth to the world in a clear and conscious way while capturing your story a way that posed photos can't.

Portrait Making

This family portrait making process allows you to feel comfortable and confident. It's gives you and your family the ability are relax and be happy during what is often a stressful and atypical process. Starts by making sure you're informed about the process is a critical step in delivering amazing photos that you love. Working with you to make sure we understand each other at all points in the process is key to creating photos that reflect your and your family's unique personalities.

Before Your Session

Before your session we'll talk about expectations and make sure there is an understand about what you need and want your photos to say, who you are, and how you want the world to see you. I ask you a series of questions about what you're looking for, what your photos should say to the world, and we'll talk about you and your family and how we can create photos that show who you are.

We'll create a plan based on your expectations and desires. The plan will include practical information including what to wear, the location for the photos, and how to otherwise prepare for your session so there are never any surprises.

Read all about how to prepare your family before your family portrait session.

Your Session Day

You will be fully prepared on your session day thanks to our pre-session communication. Additionally if you read my guide to preparing for your family photo session you'll be all set. My goal is for you to be as relaxed and stress free as possible.


When you arrive we will take time to go over any questions and make sure that everyone is ready and nothing has changed. If you or any of your family members have concerns or questions we'll go over them and not start taking photos until everyone is ready to go including any kids who are having their photos taken.

Session Time

No matter what types of portraits we are doing I'll talk with you throughout the process. If we are doing journalistic or editorial style portraits I may prompt you somewhat to get the best out of our time together.

I may ask you to act naturally and simply work around you while you're doing what you usually do or enjoying your time with your family members. If we're doing posed portraits we'll go through a set of poses making sure you're happy with the initial results before we move on from that pose. You'll get the photos you expect and are comfortable with and understand what we are doing and why each step of the way.

After Your Portrait Session

After your portrait session we'll meet to review your portraits and talk about any added processing that you want to mask blemishes or minimize areas you're unhappy with after the fact. The post session meeting allows you to ask any follow up questions, add items to your order, or ask for additional touch-ups. Once you're satisfied and have placed your order you can proceed to making a secure payment either in person or via the website.

Wrap Up

Once we wrap up the family portrait process you'll receive your order in a timely fashion which we'll discuss after your session. It will depend on a few factors including any touch up or follow up work that needs done, any framing or post processing you've ordered and if you've selected expedited processing and handling. I can't wait to take your photos and I look forward to working with you to create a memorable experience that you and your whole family will love!

Contact Me

Contact me now to book a family photo session. Check out my Instagram to see more of my work or view my family portrait gallery.

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Hours & Info

7120 Harrison Ave.
Pittsburgh, PA 15218
Open by appointment

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