Has a family lifestyle shoot at home always made your nervous? Fear no more! Lifestyle photography has actually quite a spectrum to it. You will find in there some very posed photography all the way to pure documentary and everything in between. No matter where on the spectrum, the only thing that I believe lifestyle should have is true connection. True connection from the photographer with the family and true connections within the family. The way that this is achieved will be as unique as each photographer and family is. I like to prepare families with a questionnaire. If families know how they will spend the time while I am there, I will be able to gently guide with light, without interfering with how they are together.
I believe affection can be demonstrated in many different ways. People hug but they hug differently, not like I would do it, not like I might suggest for people to do it. We might feel that giving a kiss is a form of affection -of course it is- but perhaps, that’s not the only way that affection is being shown within that particular family. Perhaps, affection takes a different form than we might want to see or might expect. You might like to sit down together and talk, I’ll look for that smile, that look. Perhaps, you’ll play and I will look for a hand that very gently rests on our partner’s back. Whatever form it takes, I find this to be my true role during a shoot, looking for these connections. I really strive to give each family the unique feel of who they are.
I like to use a balanced approach: I prepare but remain open and flexible, I get involved, but I let people be. I won’t pose but I will gently guide, I won’t impose but I will suggest, I will invite but won’t force things to happen. In between all of that, life happens, it moves and it smiles, it holds and it laughs and it carries and it chats and it’s wonderful! Like teaching, this new path has given me and continues to give me opportunities to find happiness in: human connections. They are not always obvious, not always easy, but they are fascinating, and worth spending time exploring.
When I asked Lara what it looked like to “live in the moment” in her house, she responded “chaos, ha ha!” and thought to myself “YES!” with a big smile.
When I went over, it really wasn’t chaos at all, it was fun, it was lively, it was guided by their two gorgeous children, and even the grand parents relaxed in the end. It was life. Life As It Is. Gorgeous from beginning to end, because it is who they are, and it’s beautiful as it is.
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