Family Lifestyle Photography – How to Capture Those Special Moments
Family life is shaped by a constant stream of fleeting moments. Although gone in the blink of an eye, it is these collective moments that make a family unique and define their life together. As a wife and mother, myself, I understand the urge to grasp these moments and hold them close, and it’s what led me to become a family lifestyle photographer.
My main objective when photographing a family is to capture them interacting naturally, bouncing off each other and behaving as they would if I were not around. I've found the best way to achieve this is to photograph them in their everyday environment – be it in their home or at a place they visit regularly, like the local park, gardens or beach.
At the beginning of a family photography session, I hang back to give my clients time to feel comfortable and establish their natural rhythm. I keep my camera in my hand throughout the session, clicking away, making sure I don’t miss those special moments – the smile that lights up the frame; the glance that catches the eye of a loved one; the tumble that elicits howls of laughter.
Lifestyle photography is all about movement and expression, and, like life itself, is never static, which is why you won’t find me shooting posed portraits in a studio. I view photography as an artform and have a very particular style, which if described in just a few words is, natural, honest, earthy and, often, romantic. I take shots from an array of different angles and perspectives, including close-ups to highlight personalities, expressions, moods, and wide shots to take in the surroundings and family energy. The result is a chapter in a family’s story, presented to my client in a gallery made up of at least 30 high resolution photographs.
In recent years, I’ve noticed a real upsurge in people wanting their lives documented “authentically”. A way of achieving this is for me to learn a bit about my clients, finding out what makes them tick. What are they like as a family? Are they homebodies or outdoorsy? What individuals make up the family unit? Is there a sporty one, a bookish one, an artistic one?
I offer four different lifestyle photography sessions which are:
I will help my client decide on the best setting for the shoot which ideally should be where they feel most comfortable – perhaps somewhere they describe as their ‘happy place’. I try to make a photoshoot as relaxed and fun filled as possible, as I want the session itself to be as special as the end result. I view lifestyle photoshoots as a collaboration, which is why I ask my clients the questions I do. As I always say, these photographs are an investment, a way of preserving cherished memories, and it is important that I capture my clients’ true selves at that particular moment in time.