Besides weddings, the only other type of portraiture I choose to specialize in is lifestyle. You might be wondering, what is a lifestyle session exactly, and who is it for? I’ve written on the topic previously, but my quick definition is that it’s about documenting a person (or small group of people) in their everyday life – doing what they’re passionate about, living their everyday moments, and surrounded by the ones they love.
My fine art photography style is a mixture of gentle direction + careful observation that results in candid, natural, and timeless images.
In the case of a family, it often takes place at the family’s home, so I’ve prepared some helpful tips to prep yourselves + your home for a lifestyle session. Believe me, I want you to head-over-heels love your resulting images, and also have an enjoyable + relaxing time during our session together.
1 // Use naturally lit spaces (i.e. lots of windows): This is number one because simply put, it’s THE most important factor for your session. I would take a tiny + cozy space with beautiful light over a large space with inadequate light any day. The reason? Natural light can not be artificially made. That may sound obvious, but the best light to use for your session (light that portrays skin tones in a very honest + flattering way) is natural sunlight. Along with that, also choose a room in your home that has light or neutral-toned walls. Bright colors will reflect in your images and make your skin tones appear whatever color is on the walls, whereas white or neutral-toned walls will reflect that sunlight beautifully onto you. If you follow this tip, you will receive light + bright images that are completely consistent with the work you see in my portfolio, and that you fell in love with in the first place. You’ll love your images for years + years to come!
2 // Tidy up beforehand: You’ll want your home to appear lived in a bit (because it is, right, that’s the honest truth), but this is a wonderful opportunity to clear the clutter and give your space a good cleaning. When in doubt, less is more, especially for photographs! For example – if you have a bookshelf in your living room space that’s bursting at the seams, take the time to sort through the items, put some away in storage if they haven’t been touched in months or years. Then you can create plenty of blank space, and fill some of it with meaningful pieces, photographs, and some decor you love. Remember, less is more. Your space will seem very neat + won’t be visually distracting from what’s important – your family!
3 // Put time + thought into your oufits: My favorite tip for wardrobe choices is to coordinate, but not match exact colors or patterns. In other words, if your family doesn’t all wear matching t-shirts and pants on a regular everday basis, no need to dress in that way for a photo session. You’ll want these images of your family to be authentic + reflective of your life together, so choose clothing that is comfortable and coordinates well with each other. When in doubt, light + neutral tones are the best for creating light, simplistic images. Dark tones often appear heavy and can weigh you down in photos, despite the age-old idea that black slims your figure. Your figure is beautiful, embrace some neutral tones + natural textures, and wear what makes you feel like the most beautiful, yet comfortable, version of yourself. Need some inspiration + ideas? You can browse my inspiration board that I created specifically for my lifestyle clients.
4 // Snacks + naps for little ones: Before I arrive, plan to have your child/children fed and as well rested as possible. Although things may not go exactly as planned, it’s always a wonderful idea to make sure they’re feeling content – it will likely impact their mood in a positive way.
5 // Relax + enjoy yourself: I realize it can be difficult if your child or children aren’t cooperating exactly as you’d like, but they are children after all. You certainly don’t need to feel bad (in fact, I won’t let you) if things don’t go exactly as planned. I always factor in a little bit of time in case children are fussy or need a little extra bribery or attention. We will keep things light + fun, and by doing everyday things that they enjoy too (story time, playing, etc.) they will likely keep entertained, and YOU can relax as well + make the most of our time together.