Choosing a Session Type | Rocking Your Next Photo Session | Whidbey Island, WA | Seattle, Tacoma + Whdbey Island Photographer

We all have them.  The pictures tucked away in in a drawer of behind another picture in a frame. You know the one I’m talking about!  The one you had done a while back and you just don’t like it.

You probably had it taken because you had to.  Your mom was bugging you about needing new pictures of the kids.  Grandma was asking for an updated picture of you and hubby for the living room.  You suddenly realized you haven’t had family pictures done in a while and at least one child is missing from the photos (guilty!).  It’s okay! We all do it.

I know what you’re saying. “But finding a photographer and picking outfits and getting everyone on board and happy at the same time is haaarrrdddd!  And the pictures always look awkward and not like us.”

Well, it doesn’t have to be that way!  That’s what this whole blog series is about.  Making your next session easy-peasy and less stressful so you can finally have those amazing, custom, that’s-so-us photos on your wall you can’t wait to show off to friends and family!

But, where do we start?

Step 1 is to define your style and the type of session you are looking for.  This is easier than you think.

Think about your family.  What kind of people are you?  Are you the “let’s get this done and over with” type of people?  Do you have kids that are great at listening to directions?  Are you the one with 12,000 candid photos on your phone because you love capturing the moment?

There are as many types of photo sessions as their are types of people in the world.

We’re all familiar with the Big Box stores and how they take pictures.  You set an appointment (or show up on a Tuesday and hope they aren’t busy), go in and fill out a form with your information.  They pose you on the world’s most uncomfortable stools and hardest floor ever under awkward lights.  While you wait to see your pictures, you watch as another family gets their photos taken- exactly the same as you did you did.  Then you sit at a little table in an open area where everyone and their sister can see your pictures (and occasionally comes up to give you their opinion on them) and you narrow down your favorites.

Blah! No wonder you’re stressed!

You do have more options, and finding the one that best suits your needs is so much less stressful than going through that fiasco.

If you like the idea of showing up ready to go, but having someone else take the reins why not do a posed session on-location?  This takes away the question of “what do I do with my hands”, but still gives you the chance to choose a location you love.  This type of session is great for kids that get a bit crazy when left to their own devises.

family posed in tree in teal and white in Kualoa, Oahu, Hawaii


Maybe you find those posed sessions a bit too stiff for your taste.  Perhaps you just want want someone to be a fly on the wall and capture your family being your 100% genuine, candid selves.  A documentary session would be perfect for you!  You could finally have pictures of your favorite Sunday morning pancake routine.  You can invite friends over and play a game of Cards Against Humanity or go for a hike on your favorite trail.  The possibilities are endless!

dad holding baby petting giraffe at Cheyanne Mountain Zoo, Colorado Springs, Colorado

docmentary photo of toddlers on bed reading with messy hair

But what if you want something in between?  You love idea of letting your personalities show through, but you still don’t know what to do with your hands.  Ah! For you my friend, I recommend a lifestyle session!  All the fun and customization of choosing a location- and maybe an activity- that showcases who you are, but with a little guidance from your photographer.  I love lifestyle sessions!  They allow you to really be yourselves, but they also allow your photographer to give you gentle suggestions like giving hugs, playing with the kids, having dad dip mom, etc.  Lifestyle sessions are exceptionally great for young children who may be nervous in front of the camera and for kids that need a little direction, but also need room to be themselves.

woman kissing horse in lifestyle session at Honolulu Horse and Carriage pearl city, oahu, hawaii

brother and sister dancing on the beach during lifestyle family session in Waimanalo, Oahu, Hawaii

Any of these sessions types are great for families and couples, it just depends on what you want to get out of the session.

But what if you’re a looking to do a session by yourself?

Well then Sugar, you have have a couple more options.  You can always stick with one of the session types above, there are no rules saying you can’t do a documentary session on your own.

Maybe you’re looking for something a little more…classy.  You’ve been dying for a reason to pull out that little black dress that looks ah-mazing on you and you just found the perfect shade of lipstick. Could be that you want something a little more chic to hang on the wall and help remind you how gorgeous you are.  A glamour session would be perfect for you!

I don’t mean those 80’s style, big hair, off shoulder velvet wrap photos (unless that’s your thing).  I’m talking about beautiful photos of you that capture your personality and show off how beautiful you are inside and out.  These are another of my favorite types of sessions, I call them Bold + Beautiful Sessions. Glamour sessions can be more posed and formal or more like a lifestyle session, which ever suits you best.

glamour photos plus size woman

candid glamour photo of plus size woman laughing during portrait session

Looking for something a little more brazen and sexy?  Want to show yourself how beautiful you really are underneath your clothes ( you know you’re singing the Shakira song now!)?  Looking for a fun and sultry gift for your special someone? Feel like stepping out for your comfort zone and doing something a little crazy? Book a Boudoir session!

These sessions are known for being steamy and seductive, but they can also be very rewarding and therapeutic.  Many women with body image issues find that boudoir sessions help them to see their true beauty and make them feel more comfortable in their own skin.  Seeing how beautiful you are when you can’t hide behind clothes can be the most rewarding feeling.

boudoir session

boudoir photo collage of high heels and perfume

No matter what type of personality you have, there is perfect photography niche for you!  Next time, we will talk about finding the perfect photographer to capture your session and your personality!

Have a question? I’d love to help! Leave me a comment or email me at  Don’t forget to check out my website to see how you can book a custom session today!

One thought on “Choosing a Session Type | Rocking Your Next Photo Session | Whidbey Island, WA | Seattle, Tacoma + Whdbey Island Photographer

  1. Pingback: Finding Your Photographer Soul-Mate | Rocking Your Next Photo Session | Whidbey Island, WA | Seattle, Tacoma + Whidbey Island Photographer | amymichelephotographer

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