Lifestyle Photography: Tips from the Pros, Part One

Lifestyle photography has become so popular in the past few years, and it’s easy to see why.  Photographers are capturing the everyday life of their clients in the most beautiful ways.  With popularity growing in this genre, and many photographers opting for lifestyle sessions over traditional portrait sessions, we decided to ask our users to share their favorite tips for photographing lifestyle sessions.

Silver Pennies Photography, Family Portrait

Image by Silver Pennies Photography

Brittney of Silver Pennies Photography:  “When shooting lifestyle, I always remember the relationship has to come first.  I get to know my clients; ask questions, find commonalities.  We talk A LOT.  It’s human nature to feel at ease when you are known and understood and when my subject is at ease, every shot is more authentic.  It should look & feel effortless.  Real life is quite simply what moves me. I think lifestyle sessions are the best way to illustrate the family connection. There is a timelessness & purity in sweet, natural, happy people, just being themselves.”


Cara Boyer Photography, Newborn Photography

Image by Cara Boyer Photography

Cara of Cara Boyer Photography:  “My favorite tip for photographing lifestyle sessions is to pretend I’m a fly on the wall. I tell my clients not to look at me unless I specifically ask. We set up some kind of an activity, whether it’s reading a book together or cooking dinner and then I give very little direction if any at all. After a few minutes, they get so engrossed in the activity that their tense postures or strained faces begin to relax and set the stage for a truly authentic experience. That’s when the real magic happens.”


Catherine Barkley Photography, Iris Works

Image by Catherine Barkley Photography

Catherine of Catherine Barkley Photography:  “Capture the details of the everyday. Mom and Dad will remember the big milestones, but its the quiet details that will bring them back to those fleeting moments of the everyday.”


Erin Leigh Studios and Iris Works

Image by Erin Leigh Studios

Erin of Erin Leigh Studios:  “Use your surroundings to create photo opportunities. If there’s an important photo or design in the background, incorporate it into the photo. If the family has a pet, capture the family or newborn with their pet.”


Have some other tips for lifestyle photography?  Leave us your tips in the comments below, and check back next week for part two of our Lifestyle Photography, Tips from the Pros.


Learn more about our featured photographers below.
Silver Pennies Photography, Brittney Paterson:  “I’m a photographer of children, families, and their relationships.   An optimist & dangerously sentimental, I believe in gratitude and have faith that the heart of life is good.  I am a lover of light, coffee, and words and am lucky enough to have married my first love.  We share three crazy children in our Indianapolis home.”
Cara Boyer Photography:  “I graduated from Purdue with my B.A. in Photography and am currently based out of Indianapolis. I tell stories using color, light & if I’m lucky, a little bit of magic.”
Catherine Barkley Photography:  “I am a Denver native (Go Broncos) and a Univeristy of Kansas alum (Rock Chalk) and a mom of two young, sweet, very loud boys. My passion for photography is long-standing, and my past work in marketing and advertising helped hone my skill for communicating through images. It wasn’t until I had kiddos of my own in 2010 and 2011, however, that I began to document their adventures, play, and the magical moments of raising a family in photographs.In 2013, I started my photography business, and have found so much joy in capturing the love, happiness, and delight of families. Life moves so quickly, all of us find ourselves wishing we could hold on to the beautiful moments and feelings that define our lives. That is what inspired me to pursue photography. And that is what I promise you—pictures to help you capture those feelings and experience them again each time you linger over a photograph. I like to think my whimsical, candid style puts clients at ease and I hope you will find that feeling, that I’m-the-luckiest-person-in-the-world feeling, in photographs.”
Erin Leigh Studios: Erin Ostgulen is a newborn and wedding photographer based in Kansas City. She loves photographing all those important moments in your life. She also loves creating parties, invitations and more for her Etsy Shop, Erin Leigh Design. She’s the mom of a 2 year old boy named Luca, who is into everything these days. She enjoys hanging out with her husband, son and two dogs when not capturing photos of her clients. Erin’s work has been featured in many publications such as The Knot, Borrowed & Blue, Eco-Beautiful Weddings and more.




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