What Is Lifestyle Family Photography?
Picture a perfectly coordinated family, standing just right, looking at your camera screaming cheese. Now scribble away that image, because that is exactly what Lifestyle photography is not. Lifestyle photography is about capturing the messy, chaotic, and perfectly imperfect moments in your lives and your clients’ lives and making it look AMAZING.
I love a perfectly posed portrait of my babies as much as the next Mama, but show me a picture of my kids cracking up, playing and doing the things that I LOVE to watch them do and do with them, and you’ll find me on the sofa hugging a box of tissue.
THOSE are the moments that I want to hold onto. Those are the moments that I will treasure when they’re all grown up. And most importantly, those are the images that will bring them joy as adults, and when we parents are no longer around.
Lifestyle photography is all about people and their relationships, with a little direction from you, the photographer, to make it all look beautiful!
BALANCE BETWEEN POSED AND DOCUMENTARY PHOTOGRAPHY
Lifestyle photography is the perfect balance between posed, studio-style photography and documentary photography.
A true documentary photojournalist will stay completely out of their clients’ way whereas a lifestyle photographer will give a little direction to help create and move the scene. A documentary photographer won’t open lights, close doors, move things out of the way. A lifestyle photographer will do those things if it leads to the right photograph.
A posed portrait photographer is generally concerned with capturing how a person looks, placing every element to make their images beautifully perfect, a lifestyle photographer cares more about how the images feels.
The best part of lifestyle family photography, for me, is that there are no rules. You can pose your clients, or you can document them. You can have them sit in the best light and give them prompts to draw out natural emotions. You can have them look at the camera and get a more posey shot (you’re welcome grandparent’s everywhere) or you can skip that if the kids aren’t having it because it’s not expected anyway.
The end goal is to create images that are not stiff, that are filled with love and emotions and give the family ALL.THE.FEELS.
EACH FAMILY DEFINES LIFESTYLE FOR THEIR SHOOT
Because each family is so different, so is each session. I always follow my client’s character and the way they interact with their children and allow them to set the tone for the session.
Some parents are playful, crazy and straight-up clowns, and others are buttoned-up and less emotional – whoever they are, I adapt to their character and use that during the session to guide whether the session will lean more towards the playful documentary side or the more guided side.
Either way, the end goal is the same, create images that are emotional and nostalgic for the family in front of my lens.
So, lifestyle photography can really be anything you want as long as you’re telling the story of the subjects you are photographing.
P.S. Leave a comment letting me know how you view lifestyle family photography.