Moving families from traditional to lifestyle portraiture - part 1 of 1 2 3

by Alison Carlino Published 01/08/2015


If you're finding yourself a little tired of the traditional sit-down-and-pose, smile-at-the-camera type of photography then perhaps it's time to liven up your images with your client's hobbies, activities and interests. Lifestyle portraits are contemporary and are seen as the hot trend in family portraiture.

What is a lifestyle photo session? A lifestyle session revolves around what the family does for fun, or activities that are passed down through the generations. It captures a slice of their life at this moment in time using the activities that keep them busy on a daily basis. Lifestyle photography can also capture a day in the life of a family doing what they do on a regular basis in their home environment. It can involve going to the park with young ones, grocery shopping, walking the pets, or simply enjoying being around each other in the same space. When sports are involved it's very easy to get family members active and moving in front of the camera. Baseball, football, swimming, soccer, etc open the door for the family to laugh and play with one another in a natural setting that is familiar to their lifestyle.


How do you plan and convince a family to be captured in this modern style? In my business, I have found that merging the two worlds has proved successful for us. The first 10 minutes of each session, we still capture the posed, smile-at-the-camera type portraits. I feel that there will always be a place for traditional portraiture with images passed down through the generations. The rest of the session time, however, is spent interacting or being active and not so much looking at the camera. If a nervous family member knows that they won't have to look at the camera after the first few minutes, that could be the incentive that helps that person relax for the traditional portraits. You'd be surprised how having something fun to look forward to during a session will really help a disconnected teenager to look forward to something they can show off doing in front of the camera. For example, if a teenage boy excels in baseball he would be thrilled to be photographed taking a swing or sliding into a base. If a teenage girl knew she was going to be photographed while diving from a high platform and was told that her form would be captured in continuous motion, she would probably do her best to make sure she was on target. Kids love being able to see themselves doing the action or the hobby! Once they understand that you are invested in watching their every move, they will really start to perform for you.

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1st Published 01/08/2015
last update 07/04/2022 09:14:27

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