A Manhattan Family Portrait: Luca Turns Two!

Manhattan family portrait of parents and child blowing out birthday candle

Little Luca had one of the most exciting days of his young life yesterday — he turned two!  After a day spent playing in the pillows and blowing bubbles, the family enjoyed cupcakes and then had an adventure running the streets of New York (well, the sidewalks).  Happy birthday, Luca! Check out all the images from his Manhattan family portrait session in today’s blog post.

Manhattan family portrait of parents and child playing guitarLuca is an adorable little boy who would be easy to photograph no matter what the situation.  His mother, Sara, made my job even easier, however, with a series of activities planned for for our Manhattan family portrait session.  We played with Manny, the dog; played with pillows on the bed, blew bubbles, and even had a family sing-along in the living room.

Even though I was exhausted afterwards, Sara was smart to have planned so many activities for our time together.  To get the most natural, documentary-style portraits possible, you all need to be actively engaged in an activity so that you can forget the camera is even there. In short, the family that plays together, takes good photos together. Further, the younger the children in the family, the more activities you need to have planed as backup distractions. (Boredom, as I’m sure you are aware, leads to frowning…and worse, tantrums.) A few activities I might suggest include:

  • Hiking in a park and exploring nature
  • Walking and playing on a beach, complete with sand castles
  • Playing a sport in the yard
  • Cooking a meal together
  • Baking a cake or favorite dessert
  • Having a family picnic in the park
  • Taking a private art class together
  • Washing the dog
  • Gardening
  • Playing tag
  • Board games
  • Flying a kite
  • Decorating the house together for the holidays

What do you like to do together as a family? Do you watch a lot of sports? Then how about playing a game of tag football in the yard? Are you a family of homebodies that likes to play video games? What about adding in a few cosplay props to give a nod to your favorite pastime? Talk to me about what you like to do, and I bet we can come up with a game plan.


I have had the pleasure of photographing little Luca several times over the years, and I have lots of photos to share with you. Check out photos from his trip to daycare here or photos from another Chelsea family portrait session here.

Interested in scheduling your own family portrait session? Drop me a line, and let’s talk about your photography needs.

If you would like to see more images from my event photojournalism portfolio, then please visit my website – KellyWilliamsPhotographer.com.

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