EVERETT-SEATTLE FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER SHARES HER THOUGHTS
Why do I love lifestyle photography? Oh let me count the ways... When I first started working as a photographer in Everett and Seattle, I used to imagine making images that were all candid but with some prompting and guidance from me. I didn't know the name for this style of photography until I came across the term "lifestyle photography". Nothing has felt the same for me since then. Let me begin by explaining a bit about myself and what I think lifestyle photography means.
what is lifestyle photograpy anyway?
If you've been a family I've worked with already, you probably already understand the types of photo gallery I aspire to produce and send to you. A lifestyle photo doesn't have anything to do with riches and fame. I understand it as a snapshot of you and your family's dynamic in that current phase of your life. It is like documentary photography with a little more assistance in posing from your family photographer. Considering that none of us are professional models, it is a photographer's job to give families posing prompts and cues that facilitate candor and help create artistic images that could easily find their way into a magazine. The portraits created are always relatable and evoke a "feeling". There is purposeful preparation that happens before every photoshoot that helps us photographers collaborate with our families to get genuine photographs that feel the most true to life. In short, there's very little of looking directly at the camera.
so why do I love lifestyle photography?
focus on storytelling
I still consider myself a writer (and big reader) and there is nothing more visceral for my process that to see a pictorial representation of a story. Basically I love graphic novels :D As a photographer, I get so much joy about hopefully creating images for your family that helps you feel every moment of your photoshoot. Every time I look at a photo from my past, I imagine all the things happening around right before a button on the camera was pushed. With lifestyle photography, together WE get to create a story for your family all through your session. With playful prompts and allowing every family member to express whatever emotion they might be feeling, we end up with photos that are full of love, joy, silliness and everything in between.
beautiful outdoor locations
A key element of most lifestyle photography is that we get to take our family photo sessions to some of the most stunning national, state and local parks in the Pacific Northwest. We get to experience the flowers of spring, the long grassy golden hours during the summer, the lush foliage of Fall and the rust-toned (and sometimes snowy) shades of winter. It's all so breathtaking to be a photographer in the Seattle area and to be able to take your family photoshoots outside. The outdoors is what this state is best known for so it makes the most sense that the "lifestyle" in lifestyle photography includes some of these backdrops.
we also get to work indoors
With my families' home as my canvas, I get to make the most cozy images of them living in the space they love the most. These photos end up being some of the most natural looking images because it really shows how comfortable you are being in the familiar. Apart from the location, there is very little that varies in the process of indoor and outdoor lifestyle photography. I still get to direct you in a similar way, as I would outside.
create authentic connections
My posing cues and prompts during a lifestyle family photoshoot place a lot of emphasis on helping families connect with each other while I hold the camera. I love seeing the relationships between grandfather and grandchild, mother and daughter in my daily life. Through a photoshoot, I get to creatively magnify how their relationship looks and feels. It requires so much vulnerability from all of us and to create those small authentic moments is priceless.
the element of surprise
I wouldn't be transparent if I told you a lifestyle approach to family photography is all smooth sailing. Every parent comes to the session with the expectation that their child behaves a certain way but realistically, that is impossible to predict. Even though some lifestyle sessions can feel hectic or scattered to the parents, trust me when I say your photos will surprise you. I make sure to educate you about your family session, hopefully easing some of those expectations and relaxing into loving you family. The playful, joyful energy never fails to produce family photos that will surprise you in the best way.
Creating my own trends
There is so much spontaneity in the moments families share with their pets, kids or each other. With a lifestyle approach to family photography, I get to choose how I want to highlight these moments. Sometimes it could be as simple as a close-up of a child's hair as she is running like the wind. I don't have to say the word "cheese" at all and rarely do I expect my families to look at the camera. I get that some families prefer a traditional approach but being a creative means I can interpret the world differently. We get to create out own trends, together.