Lifestyle photography lies somewhere in between documentary photography on the one hand, and classic portraiture on the other hand. Lifestyle tells the story of real life, as it happens.
Lifestyle photography is a mix of mostly authentic and some staged. What I am shooting could actually happen in real life, however I would never have captured such a variety of images in such a short amount of time if I had not interfered. During a session, I create a diversity of opportunities that will generate real-life type of images which might not have spontaneously happened at that specific moment if I hadn’t been there to jump-start the
1) Prep your space
Your home does not have to be perfect. I promise. It’s your home and it’s supposed to look lived in, and if you have little ones, it’s VERY well lived in 😉 You don’t have to professionally clean your house before your session or redecorate the living room; I’m there to focus on you and the interactions with your family.
If you’re planning an outdoor session, consider places that are familiar to your family or a place where you go together to unwind or play. It’s good for me to know in advance so that I can check out any restrictions and/or conflicting schedules (like a festival of sorts) before we get there.
2) Prep the family
Toddler and kids can be tricky to prepare and the challenges vary depending on the age. Babies of course are typically unpredictable so the best thing to do is not have any expectations. For kids, it’s important to prepare them for the session by giving them advance notice and providing reminders as the session date approaches. Don’t underestimate their capability of understanding an important photo shoot and their need to prepare mentally.
Pick your outfits the day before TOGETHER. They are big part of your family and most likely the reason you want these photos so involve them in the ENTIRE experience
3) Have activities camera ready
Prior to your session, I will ask you to complete a questionnaire. It’s important for me to know what your family enjoys doing together and which interactions are must captures. For an in-home session, it’s important to have those activities prepared to allow for the shoot to run smoothly and not cause any unnecessary stress trying think of “something” to do. If you love to read together, have his favourite book ready for action. If she loves to play with puzzles, have a puzzle started and ready to complete together. You could enjoy baking cookies together, so a good way to prepare for that would be to have a batch made, and have another batch ready to roll and bake. If the baby needs to go for a nap, plan that towards the end of the session; it’s a very intimate and tender daily ritual worth capturing. The goal is to capture what you do during your days – and let me be a part of it.
For an outdoor session, bring along the familiar items you would generally bring with you when visit that location. If you like to lay on a blanket and read at the park, bring your quilt and your favourite book. If you like to blow bubbles, bring that magical liquid along and blow your little heart out.
4) Comfort is key
Keep in mind that I’m documenting a day in your life, so keep it real by wearing what you’re most comfortable in and by being yourself. If your little one lives in a superhero cape – fun! Let them be themselves.
Primp yourself just a bit; enough to photograph well but still be YOU. It’s not the time to try a new hairstyle or redefine your style. The same thing applies to your kids. Coordinate outfits without being too “matchy” and avoid bold patterns, wording or logos. I realize that coordinating outfits doesn’t come as easily to some as others, so check out this incredibly well written and detailed blog post by painthemoon.net for everything you need to know and lots of inspiration here.
This is your family; embrace it – ALL of it! Don’t get stressed out because your kids are just being themselves; it will show in your photos. Concentrate your energy on smiling and laughing for the camera. Look at your kids, play with them, run around with them, ENJOY them. Your kids will enjoy themselves so much more during your session if you goof around with them and tickle them rather than telling them to behave or to sit down.
Oh and don’t worry me; I’m used to running around, being silly and burning a lot of calories during a session 😉
Ultimately, I want REAL smiles. I want you to enjoy this experience as much as I enjoy capturing it.
Intersted? Drop me a note!