5 Things You Didn’t Know About Lifestyle Portraits

As I am sat writing this the double doors are wide open and the sun is pouring through into our studio – This weather just makes me so happy, almost as happy when I play a video game!  What’s even more special is that our Spring Mini Session campaign is in full flow and with light like this, I just know every session is going to be a stunner!

With this in mind I wanted to share a few thoughts on what to expect from your mini session and also a few insights into what ‘Lifestyle Portraits’ actually mean and why (in my opinion) it is THE best way to capture the essence of the people we love,

1. You Don’t Have To Pose – The term Lifestyle portraits is exactly that – life.  It’s a snapshot into your life at this point in time.  the years fly by so fast especially when children are young so this is an opportunity to capture and savour this stage of family life.

A little bit of direction from the photographer is great but also being yourselves is just as important.  It really works well when your not looking into the camera. When you are all interacting and being natural with each other (even if it’s prompted) makes for a much more powerful image as does portraits of your child with an arm of a sibling or parent framing them it makes the connection so much stronger and the image has a deeper narrative.

Lifestyle photography stands in contrast to documentary photography.  Although we are storytelling, we are also working together to create some beautiful artworks. which leads to my next point….

2. It’s a Colaboration – You’ve booked a photographer because you want someone with the skill, experience and the equipment to capture beautiful photographs of the people you love, but you also want it to tell YOUR story.  It’s important to work with your photographer and collaborate on ideas, especially when it comes to location.  You don’t want your photographer to suggest a studio session when you’re outdoors people! Equally it’s no good booking a beach session if you really love walking the dog through forest in Autumn.

A good photographer will listen to what you is important to you.  If you have a location that is significant then it’s important that you can talk this through with your photographer and share your ideas with each other.  Clothing, location, time of day are all crucial factors that can effect a lifestyle session and working together will guarantee great results.  Another great tool is sharing ideas on Pinterest and then you and your photographer can really share some great ideas of what is possible (and impossible) ahead of your family session.

3. It’s Not All About You – My worst nightmare as a people photographer is when I turn up for a session and Mum says ‘oh just take pictures of the kids! I don’t want to be in any’  ARGHHH!

Of course you are the ones paying for the shoot but it’s not just for you – it’s for every generation to come! Without photography we have no history!

Imagine if suddenly some family pictures turned up that you had never seen before? How would you feel?  I’m betting you would be blown away with emotion seeing your parents young again?  My parents turned 80 last year and if I saw some new images of me as a child with my mum and dad and seeing them young again, it would absolutely blow me away – those pictures would be priceless!

Think about how much the images from your session will mean to everyone and get yourself in front of the lens.

4. Embrace All The Imperfections – Probably the most important point in this post.  A few years ago I had a photoshoot booked with my all time fav photographer in the world Jonathan Canlas.  He was touring his famous workshop Film Is Not Dead (which I attended in 2012) and so in 2014 it was FIND Brighton.  There was a call out for models and I snapped up the chance of our family modelling for the portrait part of the workshop.

We turned up and Jonathan was straight in there getting high fives from Nate & Marnie and starting to build a rapport with them but unfortunately Marnie was having none of it!  She spent most of the session frowning and refused to smile!  I could feel myself getting stressed out especially as she was normally such a happy girl – also because this was a unique opportunity.  JC lives in Hawaii so weren’t going to book a shoot anytime soon!

Here’s the thing!

I was only just looking back at those images very recently and I LOVE it that Marnie wouldn’t smile that day!  Those pictures just make me so happy because that’s real!  That’s what little strong defiant girls are like!  If we had a session now at 6 years old she would be totally different.

So what if your little girl won’t smile.  So what if your on of your boys refuses to open his eyes for the family portrait.  So what if YOU have a few more wrinkles around the eyes then you did in your twenties.

Life is full of flaws, people are full of flaws.  It’s what makes us unique – it’s what makes us so special to the people around us.

5. Don’t say SMILE!

This is an easy one – make your kids laugh, DON’T tell them to smile!

If you order a kid to smile on cue, guess what?  They will not smile on cue – even worse they will make a weird screwed up grimace as they try to give you their version of a smile.

It does always help when you interact with children on a family shoot but having fun will always yield the very best results.

It’s also ok for kids to not smile in photographs.  Some of my favourite images ever are when children are more pensive, or deep in their own thoughts.  Every picture tells a story and sometimes it’s best to just trust your photographer and know that he or she is seeing the beauty and defining the moment with every click

There are only 4 spaces left for the Spring session promo we have going throughout April and May.

Book your session HERE