Capturing real-life events and moments in an artistic way has become a must for me each year, and I just recently started adding some magic to those memories. Keep reading to see five ways I make my shot more interesting.
I was drawn to lifestyle photography long before I knew what it was called. When I started my business, I loved to try new things I saw on pinterest boards and while I can roll my eyes at myself, this process helped me hone in on my style and how I like to capture my own family's story, as well as the stories of my clients.' famlies.
1. Shoot through objects. This is one of my favorite things to do during a session. I have a few fun items of my own I bring to each session but I also look for items on-location to shoot through. The image on the left was shot through a reflective sphere. I love using this because it doesn't just draw your eye to a particularly clear spot of the image; it also reflects light and can add beauty in bokeh by reflecting the light.
The image on the right was shot under my clients' trampoline; it had rained the morning of our shoot and we were all a bit hesitant to go out into the wet. But if there is something I love to incorporate into images, it's water...
2. Water. Water is great in still images because it reflects light and adds a magical element to any shot. Now this image is outside directly in front of a sprinkler (thanks, son!) but adding water to an indoor lifestyle session does not have to soak your house AND when we time your session just right in your home (or backyard), the result is a beautiful and fun memory.
3. Everyday moments. My kids are very used to me having my camera close by to document pieces of their stories. As they get older, they have requests and ideas for what photos they definitely want and some they feel "too old" for. I love to accommodate them and make their stories in images their own because that's what they are - their own stories. But also because it helps me grow; these requests help me step outside my box and see possibility in a different perspective. In the client session world, this style of photography takes a huge amount of pressure off the clients (you're welcome, parents). This is your space when we photograph in your home - you have routines and memories here. If your family decides to bake together during a shoot, your kids know where you keep the spoons and can go to get them. Baking together is a process and it can become a story that needs telling because it is a memory created.
4. Movement. Movement often leads to connection. In a solo portrait like the top left, movement adds visual interest because my daughter's hair is moving and is also reflected on the table surface. In the two family images, movement adds interest because everyone is doing something different in that movement. The movement also makes them clearly a cohesive group, and as they are either touching each other or doing different but similar things (throwing leaves), they are connected in their respective spaces.
5. Wardrobe. These days, I help my clients with a session guide and give them options for some great family photo stores online, along with tips to focus on neutrals first and then selecting a pop of color and adding accessories. I love picking up textures in clothing with my camera. I also love (this doesn't have to be every session) wardrobe with movement - flowy dresses and scarves are great for this. What the above images have in common are that they are cohesive for the group and fairly simple in color; this concept brings the eye's attention to the group itself while still allowing for individual expression.
6. Bonus Item: Editing. In the example on the top, there was still a little sunlight left but not as much as I wanted. It was definitely a cooler fall evening but we were both holding on to summer, hence the firefly bokeh on the ground and the warm feeling of the sun. In the example on the bottom, the season was not yet full-fall with dying grass and gorgeous brush, so I did quite an extensive edit on this image and had so much fun making it something different altogether. This is not what I do with most of my images but I do love to add some magic that wasn't present during the shoot.
Most of the magic during a photo session will come from the unique individuals that are participating and open to connection. This is the ultimate component of magic for every one of my shoots. They are all unique and different because we are all unique and different. Consider a lifestyle session this year; I don't just book them during the winter - there is never a bad or off-season time to document time together.