Double exposure of a Colorado girl in the mountains

Family Photography

Year in Review: I Love These Beautiful Family Portraits

Favorite Family Portraits with Client Feedback

You know those Instagram Year in Review posts that everyone does? Well, this is not that.

I’ve tried to do those in the past, but I typically don’t agree with the photos that pop up. So this year, I decided to pick my very favorite family photos that I’ve taken for my clients in 2018. (This means that I am not sharing wedding photography or personal photography in this post, but those do sound like perfect content for another blog post!)

And, I thought it would be far more interesting (as well as helpful for mamas and papas who are looking for a family photographer) if I contacted my clients to get them to share their thoughts with the internet world. (And another thank you those who took the time during the busy holiday season to reply. I so appreciate it.)(And, while I’m at it, thank you to all of my 2018 clients. I appreciate each and every one of you more than you know!)

So, without further ado, keep reading for my 2018 favorite family portraits!

All images © Susannah Allen 2018

Towards the end of last winter, I headed to Denver to photograph one of my favorite families. (I have photographed their engagement session, their wedding, their son’s newborn photography session, and a couple of family sessions over the year.)(I always think it, and say it on occasion–I LOVE THIS. What an honor to capture life milestones for clients/friends and to hang out and take photos/make art!)

What mama Marisol has to say:

“I’m so appreciative of our family photo sessions because it’s rare when we can get pictures of everyone, together! And I love seeing our pictures in our home, reminders of fun moments and special times in our children’s lives that we can easily ‘forget’….since they grow up so fast.

…I think I gained a real appreciation of our family photos when I became ill, in late 2014. Our fall photos were taken the month before my illness and I was thankful that we captured a moment when I was healthy….and I loved that we were able to include Michael’s parents as well.”

Why I love these family photos:

I love the mama-daughter photos because it is film, because of the light on the right-hand side of the image, because of mama’s smile, and because of the sweet baby girl.

I pretty much love all family portraits taken on a bed. I don’t know why…our beds are such snuggle fests, so maybe bed photos just bring in good vibes from the get go. And I love how big brother and baby sister are interacting. Sometimes it is hard to capture babies having fun with older siblings while doing the same thing, and it works for me in the photo.

All images © Susannah Allen 2018

These photos were taken during a film photo session in Lyons, Colorado. It was so fun to hang with the family and chat with the parents. And photograph backyard chickens. Like, does it get any better?

What Mama Cristy says:

“I have always wanted to have a family photo session but was worried about how that could happen in my non-open-floor plan home and my unpredictable two year-old? But I wanted to capture our family at this specific time–in our first home together. I was worried it would be a disaster! It wasn’t.

…Susannah emailed me tips to prepare me for the day which helped tremendously! Mostly her go with the flow manner with my two year-old put my anxiety to ease! And this pics came out beautifully! She was able to capture my home in the background, and it seemed like such a natural and pretty setting nothing chopped up about it.

…Now I have my pics for Christmas cards, and am putting together a really eclectic collage with old antique frames on my wall with my professional pics of my family–something I have wanted to do for a long time. Just a 2 hour family photo session, and I have all these timeless pics of my family to have fun with! I’m so happy I got it done!”

Why I love these family photos:

First, wow, what kind words! Thanks Cristy.

Second, this was one of my favorite sessions ever. I loved the family. I loved setting. I loved the home.

And I love the photo of Cristy’s daughter playing with her hair because my kids don’t play with my hair. My boys just don’t. I imagine this is a mother-daughter thing, and I don’t have that same relationship with my boys. And it reminds me of being little and sneaking into my mom’s bathroom and looking at all her make-up and how fun that was. I would dream about being big. Mother-daughter relationships are more special to me now that I am a boy mom. (And, no, I wouldn’t trade that for the world!)

I also love the photo of Cass throwing his daughter into the air. I experimented a bit more during this photo session than I normally would during an in home session. I played with shutter speeds and motion blur, and like how this one turned out.

Image © Susannah Allen 2018

This photo was taken during a session in the mountains outside of Golden, Colorado. The family is traveling around the country in an RV, so I automatically love them. They sold their possessions to spend time traveling with their sons–this is something I fully support and feel so excited about. So I pretty much love every photo from this day.

What mama Rachel says:

“For us, it was important to have this documentation of our time on the road. We are so happy to have photos showing our family life in the rig, and of our boys’ excitement in experiencing snow for the first time.”

I asked if she was worried about anything before the session took place, and Rachel says, “We’ve had family photos taken before so we weren’t really worried about anything. We just wanted to be sure to have some fun, authentic family shots, and you delivered!

And for those on the fence about family photos, Rachel says, “Do it! It’s so worth having your memories documented in this way that you can always look back on.”

Why I love this family photo:

Because Rachel’s son has his arms wrapped around her leg. He is only going to be that size for so long. I want this photo with my own sons.

Image © Susannah Allen 2018

And earlier this summer I visited Boulder to take photos of an extended family. I asked Mama Wendy (wife/mom to the husband/father in this photo):

Now that you’ve done it, what would you tell a friend who was thinking about having their photos taken, but was hesitating for some reason?

Wendy replies, “Make the commitment.  Make the event special, a tradition, an opportunity for a family gathering, even it’s just with you and your cat. Our session was at my mom’s request, but we all couldn’t be more pleased to have proper pictures of our whole family not taken with a selfie stick.” And then she says to her “imaginary” friend who is on the fence about photos, “Also, I know you have lots of great photos of your family, but none will compare to the ones taken during an intentional photo shoot.”

Why I love this family photo:

It is the sweetest moment ever!

And I wanted to share a few more of my favorite photos of 2018 with you!

All images © Susannah Allen 2018

Thanks for taking a look at my 2018 favorite family portraits.

While I am on a favorite kick (Phish is my favorite band, Hamilton is my favorite musical, Udi’s Vanilla Granola is my favorite dessert, summer is my favorite season, St. John USVI is my favorite place in the world…), I am linking to several of my favorite family-related blog posts from 2018.

Lyons, Colorado Family Portraits

Nederland, Colorado Family Portraits

Niwot, Colorado Family Portraits

Preparing for Your In Home Family Photography Session

Most Beautiful Places in Boulder, Colorado for Photos

And I’d always love to hear some of your favorite things from 2018! Do you have anything that stands out from this past year?!

Beautiful Family Portraits from 20182018 Year in Review -- Family Portraits

add a comment

  1. Kaleigh says:

    All of these are so genuine and wonderful! 2018 was a crazy year for me…probably the most stand out thing was getting my studio done!

  2. Lauren casino says:

    These are all SO beautifully captured! I think looking back on the previous year and all of the sweet moments you captured for families is amzing. 🙂

  3. Kathryn Kim says:

    I love all these moments you captured! Love the perspective hearing from the fam and you on why they’re your faves. Beautiful!

  4. Shea says:

    What beautiful family photos! You did a great job capturing such fun moments!

  5. This is such a cool idea to combine reviews and praise for a blog post year in review. We just had some family photos taken yesterday in AZ while on vacation. It’s so important to capture these fleeting moments!

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I've been photographing families professionally since 2006. I am a wife, mama to 2 boys, companion to 2 cats who are named after members of the royal British family, a former preschool teacher. I love running, hiking 14ers, sparkly clothes, the band Phish, river float trips, St. John USVI, farm CSAs, and Colorado blue skies.