stl family photogrpahy

5 Reasons You Want A Lifestyle Photo Session by Michael Henson

We've talked about how some of the best documentary style photographers define their craft. Now, let's take a few moments to discuss how it's different for you. 

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1. IT'S THE MOST STRESS-FREE STYLE OF PHOTO SESSION

I've been there. On both sides of the equation. Having to stand a certain way, hold your hands a certain way, and behave in a way that isn't natural for you or your family. You're nervous that the photographer is judging you based on the way the kids act, or on how you are dressed, etc.  No fun!

Lifestyle photo sessions are so much more relaxed it will blow your mind! You don't have to worry about what your hands are doing, what I'm thinking about your kids running around and having fun...you just get to enjoy the family time!

2. NO TRAVEL REQUIRED

You can have your session right in your home, in your backyard, or basically wherever you want! If you'd like to have your session at a local ice cream shop, at a park, or anywhere else that holds meaning for you and your family. I mean, how amazing and stress-free is that!?!

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3. YOUR CHILDREN WILL LOVE IT

Why? Because they aren't forced to do something that they wouldn't already want to do anyway! They get to be themselves, play around, have fun with you, and explore! It's a blast! You know what else that means? It means that their authentic personality and expressions are captured in our session rather than that forced, "get-that-camera-out-of-my-face" look that photographers and parents with cameras know all too well.

4. NO POSING REQUIRED!

No posing, no "say cheese" moments...Real, authentic, fun expressions, activities, and interactions. You get to relax and enjoy the moment with no stress about whether or not everyone is looking at the camera or has a goofy look on their face. It's natural and, as a result, looks completely natural. 

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5. YOU CAPTURE REAL MOMENTS & EXPRESSIONS

I've alluded to this a couple of times already. You get actual expressions. You actually have real life personality showing in the photos, and it's effortless! It's crazy how when you allow people to do what they enjoy, their expressions lighten, their eyes sparkle, their smiles are contagious, and that enjoyment and happiness translate into beautiful images that somehow manage to communicate their joy. It's so much fun!

ISN'T THAT ENOUGH!?

I mean, you get to have fun, come out with incredible memories and beautiful images that capture those memories. What more can you ask for? Don't let THESE excuses steal those memories!

A trip to the ice cream shop... | Lifestyle Photography by Michael Henson

It's funny, this photographic journey seems as though it's come full circle. When I was first starting out, awkwardness was not uncommon. It felt weird to tell complete strangers what to do, where to stand, when to smile, and what to do with their hands. Now, years later, I've embarked upon a new photographic approach and, to a certain extent, that awkward feeling is back!

The difference is that now I'm working hard to not tell everyone what to do! I've become very comfortable with coaching my clients and working with them to create the beautifully posed, traditional looks that we all know and love. In my lifestyle/documentary sessions, that coaching doesn't happen nearly as much, if at all. Instead, I might direct them to a particular setting or draw their attention to something in the environment, and then allow them to interact as they naturally would.

Why this approach?

I've experimented with (and will be implementing) this approach because the images that I get are breathtaking. Instead of photo sessions all looking the same, parents worrying about children's expressions or unruly energy, or couples feeling awkward and uncomfortable in front of the camera, my clients are realizing that photo sessions can be FUN! Children can look natural and the expressions and activities that make them so unique can be captured. Couples are able to recognize the twinkle in their partner's eyes, see authentic expressions, and realize that they should have been documenting their life together all along!

One of my recent experiments was at a local ice cream shop and absolutely ROCKED!

Check it out and let me know what you think!