If you’ve ever endured a photography session at a traditional studio, perhaps inside a mall or department store, I’m guessing you’ve had an experience that goes a little something like this:
You show up about 10 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment time, entering a room that has nearly reached fire code capacity. There are no seats to be found amidst the sea of denim and Aqua Net, so you send the family into the lobby while you fight your way to the counter to check in. Returning to the lobby, you find your son has successfully managed to remove every last trace of gel from his hair and your daughter is lying down on the ground, shoes off, practicing what appears to be the “stop, drop and roll” technique.
By the time they call you back into the broom closet to take photos, the kids are on the verge of a stage 5 meltdown and the adults are no longer speaking except through clenched teeth. Despite the photographer’s desperate attempts at amusing a 3-year-old with a dog toy, the uproarious enthusiasm that played out in the lobby is nowhere to be found.
In an effort to avoid this grueling experience and to take a photo that captures the true-to-life spirit of their children, many families have forgone or at least supplemented the traditional “pose and say cheese” studios with what is known as “lifestyle photography.”
Lifestyle photography, often taken by private photographers or on your own, captures images of your family in real-life situations and settings.
Whether the moment is a monumental occasion or an everyday occurrence, the photos don’t just capture a smile– in fact many times the best photos have no faces at all–they tell a beautiful story.
I love this type of photography because of its artistic depiction of children in their true, present element with all the emotions that come along with that. Years later when you look back at the images, you’ll remember who your children actually were in those moments.
Although we haven’t completely abandoned the studio experience—a part of me still has to honor the tradition from time to time—my favorite pictures are undoubtedly the organic ones captured doing the everyday things I enjoy with the people I love.