In a world of “lifestyle” EVERY thing… if you have asked yourself what does lifestyle mean, you are not alone. Is it just another trendy word meaning hip stylish brands and people? The short of it is yes and no…it can describe a current socially desirable way to live or simply just a way in which a person lives. Therefore, this trendy buzzword is often used loosely and when applied to creative markets it can end up with multiple applications.
So what does this mean in terms of photography? It means that the focus of your session is to candidly capture your story in a true to life environment (messy hair, dirty little hands and all) as it naturally unfolds with little to no posing or staging involved. In this storytelling form of photography… It’s the ART of EVERY day.
Baby Lifestyle Photography
Miranda Hayek, of Blossom Blue Studios, tells the story of a new family in this documentary video that intertwines baby and family photography with live video footage from their lifestyle portrait session in Long Beach, California.
As we mentioned above, the term Lifestyle can also be used for documenting people or things to reflect a certain style of living in a more curated editorial format. It often has a magazine look with a specific message or story to be portrayed and shared with others. It is most often used for branding, marketing and can also be known as editorial or stylized. It’s the ART of you.
Is lifestyle photography for me?
Lifestyle photography provides a wonderful experience and produces beautiful photographs regardless of the focus of each session. The story of everyday is great when documenting children and families by telling the story of day to day happenings and their family in that moment in time. Particularly for families with young children because lets face it, carefree unstructured fun is what kids are all about and what parents miss most as children get older. However, you don’t need adorable messy little ones in your portraits to be a fan of this type of photographic approach. A lifestyle session is fantastic for documenting your life in a way that not only can be shared but also preserved to create legacy pieces that eventually become coveted fine art heirlooms.
Thinking Outside the Box
Documenting a person’s life story, family story or work story is fantastic but think how awesome it would be to get even more specific in focus. For example, documenting grandma making her “famous” apple pie might just give you a chance at that secret recipe! Think how wonderful it would be to share this slice of your family legacy for years to come. This is just one of many ways, you can document your family, tradition and journey.
Photographs provide a visual piece of your story particularly when coupled with video. They are universal treasures and the most lamented when lost. So if documenting who you are, who you love and what makes you and your clan special is important to you…then yes, a resounding yes lifestyle photography is for you!
Tips for Booking a Lifestyle Photographer
1) Choose a photographer with a body of work, which reflects a style of photography you love. When I find myself wanting to see picture after picture it’s a good sign I am drawn to that artist's work.
2) Get everyone on board. If you are looking to enjoy a shared positive experience it’s always a good idea to get all subjects involved in the planning process. It’s always best to discuss timing, expectations and plans with everyone involved. Have fun and get them vested in the process by asking for input from all members. If you are the planner and everyone says “whatever you want” then share with them your ideas and how it will involve them to make sure they are up for the adventure.
3) Decide what the focus of your session will be this way you can work accordingly around everyone’s schedules, needs and wishes. If the focus is to document life naturally at home, then think of something you naturally do together. If your focus is to share a piece of your life then work with your photographer to plan for the optimal time of day and discuss what will be necessary to achieve goals and the photographers approach to fulfilling that vision.
4) Less is more and keep it simple! With storytelling its best if it unfolds naturally. Narrow down key highlights of your story and keep it to one location and one focus, otherwise you will find yourself working off a photo list rather than allowing yourself to be present and true to the experience.
5) Trust the process. You hired a professional photographer to document your life. Sit back, relax and let them tell your story. During your session allow the artist creative freedom to design something beautiful for you. If your kids want to run, let them run, if they want to sit and read, let them sit and read. Your photographer will know how to guide the session, regardless if they smile or don’t smile, and be prepared for the unexpected. There is beauty and magic in the unplanned.