What exactly is lifestyle photography and how does it differ from traditional photography? The answer may be different depending on who you ask, but I’m going to try to explain what lifestyle photography is to me.
Lifestyle is somewhere in the middle between traditional portrait photography, and documentary photography. Portrait photography is a session where the photographer will pose everyone in a spot that the photographer has chosen and will direct everyone to look (and usually smile) at the camera. Documentary photography is where the photographer will follow the family around and just photograph them going about their day. The photographer will do nothing to alter the scene. If lights are turned on, they’ll leave them. If the family is in an area that might not photograph well, they’ll leave them there and continue to shoot anyway. So, where does lifestyle photography fit in? My approach is to manipulate the scene a little, but ultimately, I still aim to capture the family as it is. Once I arrive at your house, I typically look for the places with the best light, or anywhere that looks like it would be an interesting backdrop. I will direct the family into that space and I may guide them into position. For example, if I have the family on the bed, I may ask young children to hop on their parents’ laps, but that’s where my direction stops. I may offer prompts such as “Can you tickle your baby brother’s feet?” but what I’m really looking for is to capture the emotion once I have you in the place I want you. Normally once I offer a prompt or two, families will just start interacting with one another, and that’s what I’m aiming to get. I will also manipulate the light if needed. I always turn off artificial lighting, and if needed, I will close a shade or two if I want light just from one direction. I love to capture you enjoying just being with your people and I believe that that’s what family photography should be about. Love, connection and a whole lot of authenticity.
If this is how you want your family session to look, please contact me. I would love to chat with your more about a photography session that captures the heart of your family.