What is Lifestyle Photography?
Lifestyle. Emotive. Documentary. Authentic. Storytelling.
These are words that get tossed around a lot in the photography world. This is especially true among family photographers. But what does it all mean? And what should it mean to you?
As a photographer and artist I am fueled and inspired by so many things. Sometimes it is a patch of light. Most times is is the simplicity of childhood. And I’m always inspired by the legacy of family.
Lifestyle photography is a genre of photography that has become very popular in the past few years. Gone are the day of Sears portraits where everyone is perfectly posed and looking at the camera in flat, boring light! Lifestyle refers to the authenticity of a portrait. It is about capturing a slice of real-life with an artistic edge. Lifestyle photography aims to take portraits revealing real people and real personalities, rather than stiff portraits showing just what you look like. A lifestyle photo session will capture real life relationships, moments, emotions, and milestones. It feels candid but it’s not. It’s also not completely posed. Lifestyle falls somewhere between classic posed portraiture and documentary. It’s real-life, everyday with an artistic edge!
Lifestyle documents families but it is not documentary photography. Documentary photographers do not interfere in anyway with their subjects or environment. Their photography is totally organic in that they don’t control the scene. Lifestyle photographers insert their creativity and artistic eye to create images that speak to the true soul of their subject while controlling the artistic manner in which the photo is composed.
But there is a fine line between creating and documenting. My job is to bridge that gap between my art and documenting your story. I seek to honor my creative process while at the same time preserving your authenticity.
I look to create moments that could happen in real life: snuggles, laughter, twirling, loving gazes, etc. But instead of waiting for these interactions to occur on their own within the time constraints of our session, I interfere. However, unlike a classic portrait photographer, I do not want to have full control over the moment. I create the scene for a moment to occur in and give you prompts to encourage the engagement. In this way I am like the director of a movie. I know what I want to the scene to be about and where I want the actor to stand. But you are the actor who infuses the scene with your unique personality, experiences, relationships and emotion. That is what makes your photos authentic to you! And that is how I achieve the Lifestyle style of photography.
I want to honor your truth. To create legacy pieces of your family history. As an artist I infuse my creativity to make it the most beautiful version of your story. I utilize light and movement and incorporate it with your story to make it a raw, honest, emotive and beautiful! This is what Lifestyle Photography means to me.
So what does emotive mean to me? For something to be emotive it arouses or is able to arouse an intense feeling. But there are lots of different kinds of feelings! For me, I seek to capture joy. When you look at my work, the emotions I want to evoke are happiness, comfort, intimacy, chemistry, easiness, trust. They say that life imitates art and vice versa. That is how it works for me as well. I focus on family photography because that is where my life is right now. We are in the midst of growing and learning and loving and milestones and memory making! I am beyond appreciative for my marriage and I’m crazy in love with my husband! My kids are my world and if I could cuddle them all day I would! I am building my legacy and that is where my art has taken me as well.
What can you expect from me as your photographer?
I will honor your truth and tell your story. I have no expectations on what you wear or what your family dynamic is. I love you for you! Your story is worth being told and worth being heard. I just want to soak you in and be a part of your beautiful mess!
I will direct you at your session. There is no one more awkward in front of the camera besides me. Seriously. I have no idea what to do with my face! And I understand that you aren’t professional models with years of training on posing. There is no way I’m just going to stand there with my camera and wait for you to figure it out! I will plan your session based on the information you provide in the survey and create moments for your family to engage in. They will be real and honest and fun! Your job is to be yourself and to have a good time with my crazy prompts!
I will make you look like you. Sorry. I don’t Photoshop. Well maybe I’ll remove that random guy that’s walking his dog in the background. But I’m not going to change the shape of your body or whiten your teeth. You are already beautiful! Do you think your kids are going to care what your midline looks like when they are looking through photos? The answer is no. They are going to see their beautiful mother and they are going to frame it and look at it when they need to feel happy and safe. Now is the best time for photos. Yes I will turn your shoulder and tell you to lift your chin to get the most flattering version of you. Don’t worry about that! But you are going to look 100% like your beautiful self and you are going to love it!
I will make your session personal and memorable. I’m awkward but I’m also really funny! I have no shame in my game and I will dive in head first to get to know you and become a part of your family! Breaking the ice was my major in college. I want you to let your guard down and feel comfortable with me and my camera. This is how I get raw and emotional and real images. Do you get nervous about being photographed? It’s ok. I’ll help you get over that real quick!
As with all forms of art, interpretation is up to the creator and the viewer. This is how I interpret Lifestyle Photography and there are other photographers who have a different take on it. What’s important to remember is that there is no one right way to do things. And there isn’t one way that’s better than another. And it’s perfectly ok to like all the ways it’s done! (Or none!)
My goal here was to share a little bit about me as an artist and as a person. I wanted to let you in on how I see the world and what matters the most to me at this point in my life. I hope you choose me as your photographer and if you do, you now know a little bit about what to expect!
I love you all, beautiful people!