My biggest challenge is balancing my work with my time with my boys. I work so that we can go on fun adventures, but sometimes they take a backseat to my work, and it kills me. I want to show them the importance of a strong work ethic as well as the importance of women who work, but I don't want them to ever feel like my work is more important than they are.
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Normally, I try to keep the number of extended family sessions I do to an absolute minimum. They tend to be very difficult to coordinate, lots of stress for Grandma ( who is nearly always the one who has hired me) and full of crying babies.
I have to say, this session has made me rethink my policy. Mona came to me after seeing the portraits I've been making of her grand daughter, Ruby, and I agreed to help plan and execute a family portrait with a 'timeless' quality.
We spent weeks planning clothing ( another blog post altogether!!), location, and logistics. I spent the same time also wracking my brain for a way to make these images that was more intense and exciting than the standard white polos and jeans party.
Day of, we had 5 kids and 5 adults and RAIN. I was so worried but miraculously, the rain cleared about 10 minutes before our session and the clouds gave us a wonderful dramatic effect. We got all our formal set ups done and in between, I spent time trying to really capture the connections and personalities of each family member.
Lifestyle Photography. What does it even mean?
Lifestyle is a type of photography that is a blend between documentary photography and studio portraiture. We get beautiful natural looking images but with all the thought and preparedness of portraiture.
There's no family in a row and CHEESE! There's no; ok let's try that again. and there's definitely no, Alright, 1,2,3 SMILE!
Really great lifestyle can look like the most amazing snapshot you've ever seen. In some ways, it is. It's a snapshot of daily life; the love, the interactions, the tears and hugs. It is defined largely by the skill of the photographer to be able to capture the right light, the right pose, the right frame and still make it look effortless.
Lifestyle photography is for you if you want images that reflect how you are really living your life; you want the fleeting moments of childhood caught in a frame on your wall to look back on. You want all those moments of toe-kissing and chubby cheeks, first bike rides and 3rd birthdays, blowing bubbles in the summer heat and eating popsicles on the back steps. You want to see those perfect memories of your life with your children in an album as well as in your mind because we know memories can fade and eventually we will be gone and our children will look at our photos and smile to see how much we loved them.
One of the best things a client ever said to me came from a mom who was struggling to balance her work-life with her motherhood. It was her first child and she was desperately in love but also felt that somehow she wasn't cutting it. We spent several hours together; just hanging out and making photographs. It was a few hours of books, lunch, playtime, giggles and of course a few tears. When we went through the images later, the mom cried and told me " These show me as a mother. I can see what kind of mother I am!"
It was a profound moment for me and it sealed in my mind the true power of lifestyle photography.