Family Photos with Teens and Tweens | Boston Family Photographer

It’s important to take family photos even when your kids are getting older—perhaps ESPECIALLY when they’re getting older. Boston family photographer Joy LeDuc shares her best tips for getting beautiful portraits with tweens and teens.

I’m not exactly sure how it happened, but my niece and nephew are tween and teen respectively.

They were born long before I became a family photographer, so it’s only over the past several years that I’ve been able to document their growth. Now, thanks to their dad’s gorgeous Polynesian genes, they’re both taller than me!

When they flew from Hawaii to Massachusetts to visit us, I insisted on getting their family memories on camera.

Tweens and teens loosen up in front of the camera when they have things to do. Movement, prompts, and activities make the sessions go by quickly, and we capture so many beautiful memories! Boston photographer Joy LeDuc.

Families often give up on family photos by the time their kids are this age. I don’t blame them. Kids this age can be unenthusiastic about family photos—and moody. Believe me, I was one of those kids, too!

Have teens who aren’t enthusiastic about family photos? It’s probably because they’re worried about looking awkward in front of the camera. By focusing on connection and movement, I help teens to get comfortable in front of the camera so that we can capture you family’s memories. Boston lifestyle photographer Joy LeDuc.
Sweet moment between dad and tween daughter. Boston family photography. Natural light lifestyle photographer. Golden hour family portraits.

Our parents had us take family photos all the way through high school, in a dark little studio in Hawaii, and I always dreaded it (even though the photographer was the nicest man in the world). But family photography today is so much different and so much more fun.

Laughter, movement, and prompts help to take the tension out of family portraits with teens and tweens. Family photos with older kids. Boston family photographer Joy LeDuc.

I promise I’m not just saying that because I’m the photographer now!

It’s because the goal for family photos today is to capture real connection between family members. You don’t have to hold still and look at the camera—in fact, I don’t want you to look at the camera. I would rather you look at each other and ignore me all together.

The goal is to get older kids to forget that the camera is there. Family photos with tweens and teens. Boston portrait photographer Joy LeDuc.

Traditional, old time-y portraiture looks that way because it used to take a long time to take a photo. Cameras were slow. But guys, my camera is FAST and so am I, and so I want you to move and laugh. I want to capture the changing dynamics between family members as quickly as they come and go.

How to get tweens and teens to loosen up for family photos. Natural looking family photos with older kids. Boston photographer Joy LeDuc.

My parents said it best: "It’s really hard to capture natural looking photos of the kids at this age.”

When it comes down to it, my secret is this: to have them forget about the camera.

Golden hour family photography in Belmont, Massachusetts. Joy LeDuc Photography.

Yes, they’ll be embarrassed and likely feel awkward about the things you want them to do. But in their embarrassment, if they’re walking and laughing and piggybacking their siblings, they’ll loosen up and look like the beautiful beings you know are in there.

Teenager and senior natural light fine art photography in Belmont, Massachusetts. Boston senior portrait photographer.

I wish that more families would take photos with their older kids, because these are memories you’ll want to hold on to, as well. You’ll want to look back without a big gap in your family’s history and see that, yes, they have been your babies all along.


P.S. I’ll be doing mini sessions on Oahu on August 24th and 25th! If you’re in Hawaii or will be in August, I’d love to take your photos. More details here!

Joy LeDuc