Lifestyle Photography: What is it and Who is it For?
Listen, I get it. You have a busy schedule, full of many deadlines, family dinners to plan, making sure that homework is done, little shoes are tied, and teeth are brushed – not to mention that you need to make sure you don’t put on two different shoes in the morning. Families are a full-time job, and you don’t have time to even think about adding on to that workload – but, in the midst of your busy lives, time moves irreparably fast, and you’re going to wish that you had something to remember those special moments by, where all you can hear is laughter emanating throughout the house, where time stands still for just a moment, allowing you to take it in, making you wish you could capture these moments and make them last for a lifetime. I’m here to tell you that you can with lifestyle photography, and you’ll be glad that you did.
What is it?
Lifestyle photography means that I document these precious moments in the places where you hold your most valuable memories: including your home, backyard, favorite spots in town that you frequently visit, or the park that you go to every weekend. No matter where it is, if it’s a place that means something to you, it’s probably a great location to take lifestyle photos. This is a great way to start if you’re considering having a lifestyle photography session: talk with your loved ones about your favorite things to do together. Maybe the kids love to have game night right at home on the dining room table, or perhaps you all pitch in for make-your-own pizza night. It doesn’t matter, as long as it’s something that you all love to do together as a family, which defines what lifestyle photography is in a nutshell.
The best part about lifestyle photos is the authenticity of each moment. No two sessions are the same, and I especially love to photograph families that return to me time and time again. This way, I am able to watch how the children and family itself grow together, capturing special moments that bring out the personality in each and every member of the family. It’s always a treat to be able to see first hand how kids change so much every time I see them, even if it’s only been a couple of months! When you see your children every day, it may be harder to notice the many subtle changes that occur throughout the years. One day you can see your little ones running around playing in the grass, and then you blink and they don’t fit into any of their clothes anymore(which you swear you JUST bought), and their feet are hanging off their tiny bed!
With all this in mind, remember that lifestyle photography isn’t just any ordinary session; it’s a way to view memories in a tangible way, and document the closest and most important people in your life just as you remember them now – giving you and your family a valuable heirloom that can be passed down for generations. If you want a beautiful piece of wall art, a series of framed photos, or an album of all the best and most special photographs from your session, then you will have the power to dip into timeless memories and reminisce on your happiest days, with even more to come!
What can I expect?
Now that we got what lifestyle photography is out of the way, we can get into the basics of what really happens during a session.
Are my kids going to hate it and complain the entire time?
Will I end up being exhausted and probably grumpy/hungry by the end of it?
What if the kids are uncomfortable and bored and we can’t get the photos that we dreamed of?
Well, I have a way of doing things that minimize the chances of those things happening, but you might want to have a snack before the session so you don’t get hangry(or have a snack for yourself or the kids during the session if you like, it could make for awesome photos). Before your lifestyle session, I will help you plan your outfits, meaning that it should be something that looks good but stays true to what you would most likely wear on a regular day-to-day basis.
I know that it can be hard to not get all dressed up for a photography session, but for lifestyle, it’s going to make for better photos of you and your family. Once I arrive at your home, it’s important that we find natural lighting to get the best out of your session. If you are worried that your home is too dark, or doesn’t have enough windows, no worries! We can talk about this, and I will come prepared with the best equipment to ensure that your images are beautifully lit.
All About The Kiddies
I work hard to make every session go as smoothly as possible because this is for you and your family to make happy memories to look back on, not exasperated or frustrated ones. I always come to your home, which takes loading everyone up in the car, seat-kicking, and the million “are we there yet?” questions to rest. With lifestyle photography, that’s what it’s all about! When everyone is comfortable and in a familiar place, their personalities really shine through. Because I’m a mom of four, I understand that dealing with kids requires patience. Don’t worry. I make sure that I am fully tanked up with all of the patience your family needs from me during the session. Even if there are kids running and giggling about in all directions, capturing those instances in time will probably make for the best and most genuine images. The parents can even go along with them, making the kids laugh so hard that their cheeks turn red and their bellies jiggle – those are the moments I’m talking about. As a lifestyle photographer, those images are what makes everything worth it.
Some things that I definitely won’t do in a lifestyle session would include asking anyone to pose in a way that isn’t natural, or demand a smile on(especially for the kiddies). Some of the time the people captured during a lifestyle session will look directly at the camera, which can still produce great images – but organic moments stem from when you just forget I’m even there. Just ignore me the whole time! I promise I won’t get upset. Just think about things you would normally do, like interacting with the kids, or reading a book(I got some beautiful shots of this family with a mommy and daughter reading session). You don’t need to pose in a full suit and tie in a chair with a pipe in your mouth, with a pocket watch in one hand and a glass of wine in the other – unless you do that on a daily basis… but you probably don’t! When lifestyle photography is in its purest form, it is because the photographs were authentically you.
Who is it for?
Lifestyle photography is for growing families, maternity portraits, extended family… it’s pretty much for anyone! As long as it captures a relaxed, organic style in which the people in my sessions are comfortable, happy, and in an environment that they are familiar with, then a lifestyle session is for them. Without thinking about it, I want to document fleeting moments that might otherwise be forgotten, or not even recognized as a special moment. There is no right or wrong in a session, as long as you have fun and let me do the work, you’re doing just fine!
Telling Your Story As A Family
I want to tell a story with the images, and make sure that in any candid shot, it is a true representation of who you are, what your emotions were in that frozen moment, and allow you to relive that moment for as long as you have the album or wall art! One of my favorite things is to see the family’s faces when they receive the final products – it never really gets old. Seeing faces light up with surprise, recalling the way they felt in each photo, happiness over the wide, bright smiles and laughs that you can almost hear in real life again – that is my bread and butter.
What is offered?
I want to create museum-quality wall art for you that will be displayed in your home, allowing you to see your greatest accomplishments – your family – every day. In a lifestyle session, it’s my job to capture photos in an organic way, which entails me basically being a fly on the wall. Of course, I help direct you as much as you need: whether that is choosing your clothes, your location, or even where to stand. The truth of the matter is though, that your lifestyle session will be successful as long as you relax and do what you usually would in your own environment. Any guidance I give should be minimal, but trust me on this – it’ll only benefit you to just let loose and laugh!
If one of your favorite activities to do together as a family is bake cookies, then there can be some AMAZING and fun photos that come from that, not to mention that everyone will be happy and the house will smell delicious. If your child wants you to read them a bedtime story, play around the house with their toys, or make funny faces at the camera during the session – I can almost guarantee that those will be your favorite photos, and it will all take place in a happy, relaxed environment – relieving any stress from you, your spouse, the kids, and even myself in the process.
With these tools that I have and will offer during any lifestyle session, it’s important to know that this style of photography – and quite frankly, any style of photography, is a work of art. Not to toot my own horn here, but artistic quality takes practice! As a person who has been taking photos since 1997, I can say that I love the art of storytelling through lifestyle photography. When I have the privilege of being able to share intimate moments with a beautiful, growing family, I feel like I am able to document their story in an accurate way, and this is how I can take a plain image from dull to colorful, exciting, and ridden with personality.
Is it for you?
So, do you think this style of photography is really for you? Well, if you want a true to life and different approach on the usual session that involves you and your family getting dressed up, hauling everyone to a studio, and taking posed photos, most likely with props, then maybe you can give this a try! There’s nothing wrong with a traditional family portrait photography session, but lifestyle photography will give you some variety. This is because it brings out your unique family in a way that will give you a sense of who each of you is, and how you engage with each other. In this way, it can help to create a dialogue in each image that will authentically tell the story of your family, and there will be no need for captions and labels because the photos will be able to speak for themselves!
I truly hope that I answered any questions about lifestyle photography that you may have had, and have given you some insight as to what exactly it is, and who it is for. The truth is, whether you are a parent wanting to capture your family in a natural way that features raw, authentic emotion, or simply wanted to get to understand more about this style of photography that takes place outside of the studio, the end result is the same. I work hard to get the best images during a session, the most organic moments, use only the highest quality products, and at the end of it, you will receive a book of memories that tell the story of who you are as a family, whether it is large or small.
If you want more information about lifestyle photography, you can check this out to answer any questions I may have missed. Life is extremely fleeting, and with such a fantastic way of making those memories last, I only want to spread the word about lifestyle photography to others, so that many more families can enjoy these tangible memories before you miss out on capturing so many precious moments! If you’d like to schedule a consultation with me about your lifestyle session, contact me – I’d be happy to answer any questions you may have!