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Lifestyle Family Photography

Lesson 8 of 31

The Client Questionnaire


Lifestyle Family Photography

Lesson 8 of 31

The Client Questionnaire


Lesson Info

The Client Questionnaire

Now, you guys, the thing is I do not shoot a client unless they've signed their contract, unless they've paid their initial invoice, or filled out the questionnaire. That is all critical and it has to happen before I shoot because I can't risk having a client book and then saying "Oh, I don't owe anything, it's your time." And you have to make sure that you're covered on that aspect and just with the contract. That's really, really important. Okay, the client questionnaire. This is critical to planning your session. I create my questionnaires in Iris and then I have a different questionnaire for each type of session. So I have a family questionnaire, I have newborn questionnaire, I have a studio questionnaire. There's a questionnaire for the studio newborn or the lifestyle newborn and they're all very different. So for the purpose of this workshop, let me pull it up. Okay, so this is what they look like in the back end. So, with the questionnaire, not only does it show everything about...

the client like logistical information, where they live, I put the kids names. Over here you can put if it's required or not for them to fill out. It looks different when they see it. This is our end of it and you can map it. So what mapping means is, will this information carry over to the front page of their client portal, essentially, right? So, I want that address to map, or whatever. We didn't set it up for this one but we'd want it to map and be on the front page for that. Okay, so the questionnaire, what do your children play with? Anything special that they love? We go over that. Do your children need time warming up? Very important to know because if they do, we're gunna plan our session a little bit differently. Do you want your shoot based around breakfast, lunch, afternoon? You know, it kinda gives you an idea what time of the day they wanna shoot at. Sometimes people like to do those breakfast shoots where we make pancakes, and jump on the bed, and put PJs on, so that's that question. Do your children nap? Also essential to know for timing purposes. Do you have pets and if so, what type, and do you want them to be a part of the session? I had a client bring in a fish to the studio. I'm not kidding, it's in here. You'll see it soon. So cute, I mean how cute is a little kid with a fish bowl right? You could always use any pet, hamster, bird, whatever. You have to think outside the dog-cat-box, okay? Everybody loves their pets no matter what it is. Lizard, get brave. I don't know about snakes. Okay, so what do the kids like to do with dad? Because as we know dads are tricky, so we need to make sure we have activities (laughs). We have to make sure we have activities that dad can do with the kids to keep dad occupied okay? What do the kids like to do with mom? Mom needs to be occupied too so she's not so nervous about the session. What do kids like to do together? What's your child's favorite colors? What style of home are you in? This is important. A lot of people are in more traditional homes or they're in a more modern home and your session's gunna be very different based upon what type of home they live in. Your recommendations for clothing choices are gunna be very different based upon what type of home they live in. So you need to know all of these things before you can adequately direct them for planning your session. Please describe the style of your family. Preppy, trendy, et cetera. In the Midwest, most of us are very J.Crew-ish type of people. West Coast, people are cooler out here, they just are. In the South they wear those dresses. What do you call those with the embroidery stuff? They're called something. I don't know, nobody's from the South. The styles are very different, right? And you could have implants into your city. We have some people from Baton Rouge that live in St. Louis and they love all those gowns, I don't even know what they're called, but she asked if she could use them in a session and I was like, "What's that?" She's like, "Really?" So these are things you need to know about your clients before you can help them plan because not everybody's gunna wear a T-shirt, and ripped jeans, and flip flops right? So, we need to know that. Do you like albums or just large prints? Also good to know. So, if you have a client that loves large prints, you're gunna wanna make sure to get a portrait-y-esque, type of photograph of the children during the lifestyle session. Remember earlier, I can scroll back. Oh, we're not on that thing right now. There was a picture of three girls in the bed and they were kind of all snuggling on their bed? That's a portrait-y shot and that's something that could be printed, right? Not just a fly on the wall-ish type of photo. So if you have somebody that wants some portrait-y shots, you can set up a situation that allows for a full frame shot for a beautiful print. Some families could care less about printing on their wall and they just want books. You may shoot that session a little bit differently, knowing what products they want, okay? You can add anything in here. You can just drag these over here. See text field, drag it, add a line. It's awesome. This thing's amazing. So they fill this out and it ends up in their client portal and the minute I get this questionnaire in, I'll read it over and I'll call them on the phone. "I got your information, it's amazing." And then we'll plan the session based upon what activities. Later, further in this workshop, we're gunna take the questionnaire and we're gunna show how to build activities around the questionnaire, okay? From Karen Riviera, "What is the success rate that clients actually fill out the questionnaire? Was it successful from the first day that you asked them to start filling it out electronically?" It was not as successful until we told them they had to do it. I said, "You don't get your spot unless you fill it out." (laughs) So you have to tell them because we need their address, we need their information, their phone number... So if you tell them it has to be done then they'll do it. You know that initial email, it's attached to the bottom and Kenny put on that initial email, "Hey, check the bottom of this email because there's a questionnaire there. Make sure you see that and fill it out. Once that's there we'll proceed with the booking process."

Class Description

  • Capture authentic lifestyle family images
  • Plan for a successful lifestyle session
  • Create genuine interactions even with the littlest family members -- and pets
  • Edit for beautiful skin tones and stunning portraits
  • Build a successful lifestyle photography business


If you're looking for a portrait photography class to master studio lighting and perfect posing -- this isn't the class for you. Ditch the stiff, boring portraits and create genuine smiles and real family moments in Lifestyle Family Photography with Emily Lucarz. Learn how to create memorable images of real family moments.

From planning the shoot to post-processing in Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop, dive into the world of lifestyle photography. Learn how to tour a home while looking for light sources, then use window light for bright, beautiful images. Gain techniques to create genuine smiles from kids. Determine the gear you need, from great portrait lenses to cameras.

Whether you simply want to take better photos of your own kids or you want to build a career in lifestyle photography, this class provides the foundation. Learn lifestyle portrait photography alongside one of the Midwest's most in-demand family photographers, the engaging and fun Emily Lucarz.

For photographers turning a passion for family photography into a business, gain valuable insight into creating portrait packages, setting prices, and displaying your work. Learn how to build your portfolio and how to manage a photography business.

  • Budding photographers ready to turn a passion into a profession
  • Parents that want to capture better images of the everyday moments
  • Professional photographers ready to do more with lifestyle images


Like many family photographers, Emily got started after her first son was born. Now nearly a decade later, Emily is one of the top family photographers in the Midwest -- booking often nearly a year in advance. She's known for the way she works with young kids and families to create genuine interactions, along with capturing fun perspectives. Emily's charisma and easy-going teaching style has allowed her to lead workshops across the U.S. Learn from Emily right where you're at in one of CreativeLive's top-rated lifestyle classes.


  1. Class Introduction

    Learn what to expect in this class in this quick intro lesson. Get to know your instructor and dig into why authenticity -- and lifestyle portrait photography -- matters.

  2. What is Lifestyle Family Photography?

    An easier way to think of lifestyle photography is life-inspired photography, Emily says. Dig into what lifestyle family photography is, why it matters to the client, and why the genre is beneficial to you, as the photographer.

  3. How to Get Started in Lifestyle Photography

    Photography's which-came-first-the-chicken-or-egg question is this: How do I get started if I don't have any images in my portfolio? Emily walks through the essentials to getting started in this must-watch lesson for beginners. Learn when it's okay to use photos of your own kids, the best ways to practice, and why you don't need a Pinterest-worthy home to create great lifestyle images.

  4. How to Market to Your Ideal Client

    How can you market your work? In this lesson, Emily goes through different marketing options, starting with your portfolio. But, don't just market to anyone, learn how to market to your ideal client. Dive into putting out model calls to build your portfolio, and creating the type of work to attract the ideal client.

  5. How to Book Your First Client

    Happy clients start with realistic expectations. Emily walks through how to set those expectations from the start -- the booking process. Walk through what Emily tells her clients at the booking process. Then, go through the process, from that first client email to add-on sessions.

  6. Pricing for Lifestyle Photography Sessions

    Tackle the dreaded price list. Learn what works and what doesn't without making those mistakes yourself by following Emily's pricing guide. Find out where to set your prices, and when to raise your prices.

  7. Steps to Book a Client Using Iris Works

    Managing lots of clients takes time and organization -- learn how to use studio management software Iris Works to help manage the workload. Walk through the process of using the software to book new clients and keep track of new leads.

  8. The Client Questionnaire

    Every family is different. The client questionnaire helps you walk into that family's home prepared to work with that particular family. From learning what that family likes to determining the best time to schedule the session, dive into the essential client questionnaire.

  9. Why Use a Family Guide?

    Spend less time warding off frequently asked questions and more time ensuring the session starts off on the right foot by using a family guide. Learn why the guide is essential and what to include. A sample guide is also included in the class' bonus materials.

  10. Live Shoot: Family In-Studio

    In the first live photo shoot, go behind-the-scenes for environmental portraits in the studio with a family, using soft light from a window. From working with young kids to creating genuine interaction between siblings, gain valuable insight into the process of capturing authentic lifestyle portrait photography.

  11. Live Shoot: Introduce Fun Activity

    Introducing a fun activity creates authentic smiles and interactions. In this live shoot, watch Emily create a feather-filled pillow fight in the studio. Learn how to plan ahead for a fun activity -- and how to get a sharp focus when there are feathers flying in the air.

  12. Image Culling Process in Bridge

    Go from shoot to cull in this lesson using Adobe Bridge. After the live session, sort through all the photos and pick the keepers. Learn what to look for when choosing which photos to edit -- and the easiest way to sort through all those images.

  13. Gear Recommendations for Shoots

    Dive into camera settings for lifestyle portrait photography in this lesson, including ISO and shutter speed, along with using a wide aperture to create a shallow depth of field. Then, jump into camera gear, including cameras and lenses. Learn why a fast, wide-angle lens is often great for lifestyle portraits and what focal lengths for prime lenses are best.

  14. Tips to Create Authentic Shooting Sessions

    Jump into lifestyle portrait photography tips to create authentic images. From letting go of perfection to arriving early, pick up on essential tips to create a fun session with great images.

  15. Plan an In-Home Shooting Session

    Going into an unknown location -- someone's home -- and getting great shots requires planning. Walk through the process of planning a lifestyle portrait session and learn what to plan ahead of time. From deciding what rooms to shoot in, to talking to clients about clutter, learn the essentials to planning for a successful session.

  16. Activity Tips for In-Home Shoots

    Planning a family activity helps create that genuine interaction. Generate some ideas for in-home activities, then learn how to tailor those activities to that particular family instead of creating a cookie-cutter formula.

  17. Develop Your In-Home Session Flow

    What happens when during a lifestyle portrait photography session? Learn how to get started with your session and how to keep the session moving. Read through Emily's shot list to build your own.

  18. Live Shoot: Find In-Home Natural Light

    Evaluate a home for the first time by walking through the home with Emily as she plans where to shoot in the session, eliminating the locations with harsh light. Learn how to work with natural light instead of artificial portrait lighting by considering what direction the windows are facing -- and turning off all the lights.

  19. Live Shoot: Engaging Children in Fun Activities

    Watch a live shoot as Emily interacts with the youngest clients. Learn how to keep the shoot moving by introducing several short activities that create genuine smiles and interactions between siblings.

  20. Live Shoot: Introduce In-Home Activities to Shoot

    After introducing fun activities with the just the kids, create interactions among the entire family with this live shoot. Follow Emily as she works with the family in the master bedroom for some snuggly family portraits, from lens choice to composition. Learn how to work with the family together -- including the dog -- as well as how to create one-on-one images.

  21. Live Shoot: Implement In-Home Shooting Flow

    Flow keeps the session moving and the family from getting bored -- which is especially important with any families with young kids. Go through the essential shot list and then dig into the last live shoot, working with the family in the living room. Then, examine the images from the live shoot, from colorful compositions to emotional black and white, to see the results.

  22. Tips for Engaging Clients

    Engagement is key in lifestyle portrait photography. Gain valuable tips for creating that engagement, beyond the live shoots. From the details to look for ways to build that engagement, this lesson contains valuable lifestyle portrait photography tips.

  23. Photoshop: Edit Live Shoot Images

    Getting the shot is far from the last step. Learn lifestyle portrait post-processing using Adobe Photoshop. From perfecting skin tones to eliminating color casts, watch essential editing techniques for polishing lifestyle images while maintaining that natural look.

  24. Lightroom: Edit Live Shoot Images

    Moving that post-processing into Adobe Lightroom, many of the ideas are the same -- but where all those tools are located may be a bit different. Learn basic Lightroom edits using curves, HSL and more.

  25. The Importance of Photo Composition

    Composition keeps the viewer's eye on the subject -- and it's essential when working with an in-home session to eliminate distractions. Build compositional techniques like negative space, leading lines, texture, and juxtaposition into your lifestyle portrait photography.

  26. Get Clients to Connect Naturally In Photos

    Lifestyle photography prioritizes natural connection over getting every detail perfect. Explore techniques for creating a natural connection in the images, from connecting with kids to developing a relationship with the parents.

  27. Example: Successful Family Shoot

    Go beyond the live shoots and walk through the results of this real-life session. From preparation to the results, take a look a full lifestyle family portrait session and everything that went into making those images.

  28. Example: Perspective in Shoots

    Perspective carries power in portraits. Learn how perspective changes an image -- and how to quickly decide during the shoot what perspective to use. From capturing that close-up to shooting from a tall angle, dig into how perspective plays a role in lifestyle portraits.

  29. Incorporating Pets Into Family Photos

    The four-legged family members were often the families first "kids" -- and are important to the session. Gain valuable insight into working with different types of pets in a lifestyle family session.

  30. Sales Techniques That Work

    With the session finished, how do you maximize the income potential by selling prints? Find valuable insight into easy, actionable sales tips for lifestyle portrait photographers.

  31. Sellable Products and Packages

    Build a pricing list for lifestyle portrait packages. Learn why your middle package is often the best seller and how to build the best packages for your business.



Emily reignited my passion for lifestyle photography and gave me the tools that I needed to give my business a creative and profitable boost. Seeing how effortlessly she interacted with families and the efficiency of her workflow was inspiring. I'm excited to shake things up and make some positive changes in my business that I know will lead to success. Thank you Emily and thank you Creativelive for this fun and informative class!


Watching Emily on CL - I rarely comment, but wanted to pop in and say what a great class it is! Full of helpful information and good content. One of the first classes that moves at a perfect pace, keeping things interesting & engaging. I tend to lose interest quickly when classes drag, but she really does such a fantastic job, which is refreshing. Makes watching the class really enjoyable! Thank you!


I was just hoping on here to post how much I loved this class. I used to be a portrait photographer, veered away for a bit to focus on more conceptual art photography but i still am interested in lifestyle photography. Emily is very inspiring, her bubbly personality was a joy to watch how she interacts with families especially the kids. Her work is phenomenal! (in response to one of the bad reviews, about her cutting off children shooting on a live workshop while tethered and teaching can easily explain this away as you can tell from her portfolio that she always has compositionly beautiful images) This class has renewed and inspired my love of lifestyle and i have been shooting so much since the class! Definitely used her tips and tricks to improve my pictures! highly recommend this class!