Over the last few years I tried a whole bunch of styles of photography, I love chasing the sun for those lovely sunset photos but even more I love the lifestyle photos. What is Lifestyle Photography? (I hear you thinking that)
The definition that F-Stoppers* likes (and really does make the most sense) was found on Wikipedia - "lifestyle photography is a style of portrait / people photography which aims to capture and document real-life events, situations, or milestones in an artistic manner and the art of the everyday."
Translation: it's me in your home (or a location that is meaningful to you, your family, and the reason You reached out to me) taking genuine photos of your family or you and your significant other. So if your favorite place is the coffee shop on the corner...then that is the where, the what is you and your new fiancé drinking coffee and reading the paper together, the why is because you love each other and spend time at that coffee shop together.
Now, why I love it? That is easy.
1. A Balance of an Artistic point of view and real life
Your doing things you do on a normal day, the things that you will talk about at the dinner table when your children are in their mid-twenties... the 'remember when...' moments. Only now your around freezing those moments in time. You'll have photo evidence that both your kids did actually get along at one time, or when you played monopoly on family night but everyone is in those photos and you have a one of a kind gallery on your wall.
2. Genuine Emotion
Fully posed photographs are what we are all used to and anticipate. Kids and some adults don't cooperate, you stress over what to wear and how to do everyone hair, and then you sit trying to get smiles and everyone looking at the camera for 30 minutes for 2 super cute images. We have all done them, I have and my husband is the worst when it comes to photos (seriously he is). A magical thing happens when your already doing the things you love to do - everyone forgets that the photographer is there!! Continuing with my husband.... I take photos of him doing things with my daughter all the time if he loves it he ignores me and focus' son the moment with her and I get amazing shots to warm my heart. He is the best guinea pig.
Why did I say Emotion though? Smiles are great, fabulous really, especially when they are real. When we are experiencing life we encounter much more than happiness and when it is genuine, things like sadness or being content can be just as heart warming to the viewer. It may show the importance of a defining moment in our lives. Ever see the movie 'Inside Out'? No matter the emotion, as long as it is genuine it has meaning.
3. 30 years from now...
Photos are some of our most cherished things. Think about it, every mom has a book and/or a box of photos of children, grand children, pets & happy moments; it's one of the biggest expenses on your wedding day after food; and technology is geared towards the ability to include photos in our normal lives. Those books get pulled out on birthdays and holidays when you start a story like 'Do you remember when...' and mom or dad goes 'I have that picture somewhere'. Your box (even with a hard drive please have a box or books, so much more meaningful when it is tangible) will have so many moments of with everyone in it when a lifestyle photographer is involved. You can still have the school photos of your kids and the studio holiday photos but when you have the real moments mixed in I guarantee you your kids will love them that much more thirty years later.
4. It's a time capsule worthy
Lifestyle photography freezes not only your memories in time but also gives a future generation an idea on how we lived. 'Wow grandma! Your TV
wasn't painted on the wall?!?' Might be extreme but these images can teach evolution or spark creativity in a future mind. I love old photos. One of my resolutions is to ransack the boxes in my grandmothers basement for old photo gold. Every time I look through old photos I learn something new wither about the people in them or the time they lived.