I was very flattered when a fellow photographer (brytneeannephotography.com) asked me to write a guest blog about lifestyle photography. That was when I also realized I rarely blog (or write) on my own blog site! I admit I can be a slacker when it comes to writing.
So, what the heck is lifestyle photography? I guess it is kind of self-explanatory, but I think of it as capturing those moments when the subjects aren’t really paying attention to the camera. It’s capturing them, living their lives without being posed. I prefer natural light, so my shoots are usually done outdoors. I seem to favor black and white images for lifestyle photography, probably because of the mood it creates and it is not as distracting as some color images.
Because I seem to always have a camera in my hand, my friends and family now expect me to be taking pictures of all of our get-togethers and of other life events. This also makes my gift giving easy. Those photos make great Christmas and birthday gifts!
I love shooting children interacting naturally with their parents. It’s amazing to look at the photos later, and see where you’ve captured tiny, loving nuances in their expressions while they play, smile, tub noses and kiss. Those are memories to cherish!
While doing actual family portrait sessions, I try to snap lots of photos in between trying to get the child(ren) to LOOK at the camera! Ok, don’t look at the camera! Now I’m off on a tangent, but don’t you hate having to say the child’s name, over and over…I feel like I sound like an idiot. And, I’m sure the child agrees! And, I often use a “shutterbuddy,” * which is a silly looking little lens cover of an animal and has a SQUEAKER. So, I’m running around calling the child’s name, “squeaking ” and pleading with the child to LOOK at the animal (or whatever it is). Well, for what it’s worth, it does work. Sometimes. I can’t imagine what the parents are thinking.
I think it’s also important to catch those moments when a child isn’t so happy. That is usually when the child is tired of the “old” lady with the black box in her face, following them around. So, don’t forget to get those pouts and tears, too! Those will be great shots for their parents to embarrass them when they’re older and they show them to their boyfriends/girlfriends.
Of course you always want to try to get shots of genuine laughter. I can usually get those shots when I’m backing up and falling over a rock (or a big stick, or a dog). They always seem to think that is pretty hilarious. They also find it amusing that once I am on the ground either from falling or trying to get “at their level,” I can’t get up, not very easily at least. I sometimes have to roll around to get to up on my good knee. Ha ha. Very funny. “I meant to do that!” ;-p I get so wrapped up in shooting, I fear one day I’m going to back over a cliff I’m sure many of you can relate.
Ok-seriously though, just get out there, let the parents play with the kids and shoot away!
I have found that many of my clients’ favorite images are the ones they did not know I took. Sneaky, huh?