Despite many pandemic related shifts and postponements, 2021 was one of my best years as a photographer as I finally found a consistent rhythm, style, and niche (I LOVE capturing families and babies...mirrors my own life right now). I got to capture many repeat families and some of my closest friends with their first born babies. I consistently delivered full galleries to families within TWO DAYS because editing is where I find flow and a sense of peace after a full day of work and my evening routine with small kids.
Since deciding to focus almost exclusively on newborns and families for 2022 and beyond, I got a lot of insights into what this relatively new genre of “lifestyle photography” is all about. In a nutshell, lifestyle photography focuses on everyday people, mainly families, and is a hybrid between documentary style photos that are not posed or guided at all and nudged candid shots (I like the phrase plandid) taken in order to document key milestones in a family’s life. One of the things I absolutely love about capturing families is allowing people to not only interact in authentic ways but also dress in outfits they feel most at home in or would actually wear on a special day. Clothing (and not overthinking outfits) is as central to telling the truth about a moment as is the actual moment between the people involved.
Lifestyle photography is also moving away from “everyone smile and look into the camera” and focusing on families playing together, doing an activity, and where a majority of moments have smiles or tender touch without kids having to look straight into the camera. This genre is perfect for families who are ready to engage their kids vs. trying to get their kids to “cooperate” and act in specific ways. Adding one’s artistic touch, finding the best light/angles, and amplifying natural emotions is heavy part of a lifestyle photographer’s job and I LOVE this creative challenge when kids aren't cooperating (my own kids give me plenty of practice on a day to day basis)! Plandid lifestyle sessions often come with significantly less stress for everyone involved and are perfect for folks who want to be captured just as they are - laughs, mismatched shoes, tantrums - all of it!