Lifestyle Photography…what’s that? (Part One)

One of my nieces very first sentences was, “What’s that?”  And literally she would point at EVERYTHING and say, “What’s that?”  So if you were going to babysit her you would constantly be identifying object after object.  And so it made me wonder if maybe you were cruising my website and saw something about lifestyle photography and thought…what’s that?  Just as I did for my niece, I will do my best to explain!

Let’s start from the beginning at photography school.  If you haven’t read about my journey in getting to photography school you can read about it HERE and HERE and HERE.  Now in photography school we could specialize in the three areas of commercial, portrait or journalism.  As I progressed through my schooling I met with all of my professors and none of them really knew how to advise me in my specialization because my style had such a unique twist.  To save my sanity rather than specializing in all three, I decided to try my hand at two of them, portrait and journalism.  Portrait photography being the photography of people usually in a posed situation.  Journalism photography, or photojournalism, being the photography the depicts a story through its images.  So is there a way to combine both of my loves?  Could I possibly take portraits of people while simultaneously telling a story?  That’s where lifestyle comes in.  It’s a beautiful combination of both styles by telling a story while creating unique portraits.

How does it work?  A lifestyle session is a session where a family, couple or an individual does an activity they love, and I just tag along on the activity and shoot images as they do their favorite activity.  Let me give you a couple examples.  First, my husband and I, we love ice cream.  I mean like it’s a food group around our house.  So a perfect lifestyle session for us would be for a photographer to follow us out to our favorite ice cream joint.  Second, let’s just say a couple had their first child.  A lifestyle session would be me following them around their home for an hour or two and photograph them feeding that beautiful child, laying them down for a snooze, calming them if they get upset, and just honestly staring at them as discover each other.  Third, remember that niece of mine? She now has three sisters.  And you can often find them playing dress up or Barbies.  So one day last spring I followed them around playing Barbies and dress up.  Lastly, let’s take a family.  And their absolute favorite thing to do is bake cookies or play a short game of football in the backyard.  You got it?  I come in and photograph that cookie baking progress or the game of football in the backyard.  Fun huh?  That is exactly what I have found – that lifestyle sessions are an absolute blast.  Because let’s be honest, a portrait session can be fun too but it can also get us all a bit stressed out.  The only reason I know this is because I have been on the other side of the camera and you first worry about what to wear and will our outfits work together and how should I do my hair and where should we go for a location and are my kids going to behave?  You know what I mean?  So with lifestyle sessions, it seems to eliminate so much of the stress and creates a whole lot more fun!  And the images?  Well, you’ll have to wait until next week when I will feature one of my favorite lifestyle sessions.