If you’ve ever been on the hunt for a family portrait photographer, a term you might have come across during your research is “lifestyle.” It might have been used to describe a session, for example a lifestyle newborn session, or it might even be used to describe the photographer’s style. But what exactly does that mean?
Candid family sessions
Basically, lifestyle is a word used by photographers to describe a type of shooting that is less formal and more candid, with the intention of showcasing more of your real life. There can be quite a range of what is considered lifestyle. Some photographers call anything that isn’t under studio lights this term. However, I personally think it’s more accurate when describing a session that takes place specifically in and around your home.
Posed vs Candid Family Photography
Often, a lot of photos from a family portrait session will be posed. Even if they have a candid feel to them, perhaps because nobody is looking at the camera, there was still likely specific direction. With a lifestyle session however, the posing tends to be looser, if there is any posing at all. Rather than telling people where to stand, a lifestyle photographer might instead give a family an activity to do, such as bake cookies or work on crafts together. Then, as moments within that activity unfold naturally, the photographer shoots with little or no interjection.
Photo session done in your home
Also, for an average portrait session, whether it be with your whole family or just the kids, the background or location is somewhere that’s meant to be pretty and serve only as a backdrop. In a lifestyle session, the clients’ home is usually the best location. Instead of it serving only as a backdrop to the photos, it becomes a part of the story within the photos.
Lifestyle photo examples
Take a look at these photos from a recent lifestyle session I photographed. We shot most of the photos in three main areas of the house: snuggles on the bed, hanging out in their newly renovated kitchen, and craft time in the girls’ playroom.
The result is a collection of images that are far from perfect when it comes to the technical... there's some motion blur, and the type of film I selected means there is more grain to the images. But, if you can embrace the imperfections, this type of shooting can bring a real artistic feel to how you tell the story of your family.
Turning your lifestyle session into heirlooms
Because of the story telling nature of lifestyle photography, this type of session looks incredible in a fine art album. With an album, you can include many photos from your session and look back on how your family lived.
Book a lifestyle session
If you’re interested in having a lifestyle session similar to this in your home, email me to discuss your family story.