My husband asked me the other day if becoming a mother had changed how I would photograph future clients. I quickly answered with one word – Absolutely. I have always photographed for the mother. As I experience motherhood for the first time, I see how quickly time passes. There are so many little details I want to remember, and I know the experiences of the last three months will be a reminder during my session prep.
For each session, I prepare by thinking about the following:
- What types of images would she like created?
- What is important to her with this season?
- What does she want to remember?
The way I approach photographing is through a mixture of lifestyle and portrait photography. The way I define lifestyle photography is a style of photography that takes a “fly on the wall” approach capturing life as it happens without interfering with the experiences. Portrait photography, on the other hand, is one where the photographer has more control over the experience and directs the shoot. The photographer will choose backgrounds, clothing, poses, and props. The photographer will create the shoot to his or her discretion and will direct the subject throughout the experience.
My style of photography is combining both lifestyle and portrait photography. I begin my client experience by getting to know my families before we shoot together. I schedule calls or meet ups. I ask questions. And I do my best to see what makes a family special. This information comes in handy when I photograph because I use these details to direct a shoot.
My goal with sessions is to create opportunities for clients to do things they would naturally be doing if I were not there and to capture it.
When I meet clients in their homes, I direct them do things they would naturally do. Maybe a little one is really into reading books during this season. I would photograph the family reading together. Or, maybe the family loves the way their pets interact with their little one. I would create opportunities for us to play with their pets. Or, maybe mom spent her pregnancy creating the nursery and loves rocking her little one to sleep. I would have mom rock her baby during our session. All these details help me to photograph a family and truly capture moments important to them.
Similar to portrait photography, I direct certain aspects of a session. Lighting is so important with photography, and I suggest shooting in areas of a home with the best light. I may move furniture around to create less distractions in an image. I give recommendations for client attire as certain colors photograph better than others, but I advise clients to pick outfits that are natural to them.
These steps help me to combine both lifestyle and portrait photography and to create a unique photography session for a client.
- I do get to know my clients and find details that are important to you to incorporate into your session.
- I do provide direction during sessions by suggesting actions that you normally do with your family (e.g. hugs, kisses, singing, dancing, etc.).
- I do provide suggestions for attire with color preferences and styles, but I advise you to choose outfits that represent you. I want the photographs I create to be a true representation of your season.
- I do not include props or backdrops. Instead, I use your home or the hospital or a location that is special to you and your family. I do love to include items (e.g. toys, gifts, etc.) that are special to your baby and family.
- I do
So, what do you think? Are you a fan of lifestyle photography, portrait photography, or a combination of both?