What is Lifestyle Photography | Northern Minnesota FAMILY PHOTOGRAPHER


I’m often asked, “What is lifestyle photography?” This post will share my take on the genre and give you a little taste of what it’s like to have a session with me.

There are varying opinions on what lifestyle photography is. On one end of the photography spectrum is classic portraiture and on the other end is documentary photography. Lifestyle photography falls somewhere in the middle.


First, let’s look at classic and documentary photography. Classic portraiture takes place in a completely controlled environment, like a studio, and the photographer has control over all elements of the session including lighting, props, and posing. Documentary photography, on the other hand, captures what happens, when it happens, without intervening. An example of this would be a photographer capturing an event for the news. They are documenting what is happening through their lens as it unfolds.

Lifestyle photography is a blend of classic portraiture and documentary photography. It goes beyond simply showing what you look like at a particular point in time. It captures the personality and relationships of your unique family. Lifestyle photography highlights family's real emotions and genuine interactions. It encompasses the big picture and the little moments, whether it’s a look between a couple or a sweet snuggle with baby. As with classic portraiture, the lifestyle photographer utilizes their professional knowledge of their camera, the available lighting, directions, and posing to create beautiful, emotive family portraits.


Throughout the lifestyle session, the photographer guides the subjects with games, prompts, and direction. You are not left standing in front of the camera, awkwardly trying to figure out what you must do in order for their photos to turn out like the amazing lifestyle images you find online. Movement engages active children who may otherwise be unwilling to sit for a stiff, smile and say cheese photo. Prompts and directions will evoke a range of emotions, including laughter and smiles. Parents can relax knowing the entire session is led by the photographer.

To me, lifestyle photography is an artistic way of showcasing the relationships in your family and creating a beautiful collection of images. I believe my work shows families how beautiful they are without making them something they are not. The style of photography may not be as important as the emotions the photographs evoke. What emotions do these images evoke in you when you view them? What questions do you have about lifestyle photography?


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