A New Style of Photography

by Sunlight Photo April. 19, 2019 637 views

In my professional endeavors, I am transitioning from portrait to "lifestyle photography," where I go to people's houses and follow them around, taking pictures of all the small-yet-beautiful little details that make up their life.

In portrait sessions, I can barely relax for a second. I'm constantly evaluating every angle and every setting and every smile and how everyone is posed, and to be honest.....it's exhausting. I have to make sure there is no mud on the kid's shoes, and act crazy and silly to get the babies to look at me, and also check that the mommy's hair is perfect, and that the dad is feeling relaxed. So when I heard about lifestyle, where none of that manufactured perfection matters and it's all about the relationships and interactions of people, I immediately felt compelled to give it a try.

For my first session of this more casual style, I had the great honor of capturing a few hours of perfect, precious, intimate moments of this amazing young family. Their 3 little girls are simply a delight, the daddy is full of fun and silliness that his children adore, and the momma is as sweet, warm and genuine as she looks. You can just see the love and joy radiating from every shot. They said this was a fairly typical evening for them, but it was eye-opening to me as I realized that THIS is where my true photographic passions lie. I felt almost like I was imposing, but they welcomed me into their personal lives, so I just snapped away!

Almost all of these are unposed and spontaneous interactions, flowing organically from one setting and activity to the next. I offered very few instructions or prompts, except to suggest we move closer to a window for better light. It was such a relief to not have to pose them, which everybody (including me!) dislikes.

Before the session, I made sure my clients knew that they did not need to look at me if they didn't want to, and for them to just forget I was there. Although, the children were having such a WONDERFUL time that they often looked right at me to make sure I was watching what they were doing!

Now, I might be a BIT biased, since this is actually my brother and his family, some of the people I love most in this world. But they graciously agreed to let me flex my creative muscles in this genre of art, and I think the results are pure magic. I just can't stop looking at their album; the emotions I see in their faces keep bringing me back.

Here are only a few of my favorites, of the 800+ shots I took! I hope you enjoy browsing through them.

My 5-yr-old niece is super-smart, and has been reading for quite a while now. She was reading this story (Blueberries For Sal, by Robert McCloskey) while her sisters listened with rapt attention.

My 5-yr-old niece is super-smart, and has been reading for quite a while now. She was reading this story (Blueberries For Sal, by Robert McCloskey) while her sisters listened with rapt attention.

I mean....wow. The girls aren't in focus because I intended for my brother to be the focus as he enjoyed listening, but then the 2-yr-old's expression just stole the show!

I mean....wow. The girls aren't in focus because I intended for my brother to be the focus as he enjoyed listening, but then the 2-yr-old's expression just stole the show!

My sister-in-law is an AMAZING cook, so I was really happy to catch her in her element.

My sister-in-law is an AMAZING cook, so I was really happy to catch her in her element.

Action shot!

Action shot!

She was up so high, and had ZERO fear! The way her legs bent with her hair streaming behind just make this shot very appealing to me.

She was up so high, and had ZERO fear! The way her legs bent with her hair streaming behind just make this shot very appealing to me.

holding hands and falling backwards together

holding hands and falling backwards together

My nieces have this amazingly beautiful hair. I was helping the oldest get her hair to drape behind her, and the younest said, "Fluff MY hair!" She may not have much yet, but just wait a year and she'll have the curliest hair of them all!

My nieces have this amazingly beautiful hair. I was helping the oldest get her hair to drape behind her, and the younest said, "Fluff MY hair!" She may not have much yet, but just wait a year and she'll have the curliest hair of them all!

Having only done outdoor sessions until now, I never thought about how fun it is to utilize mirrors! Now it's one of my favorite things.

Having only done outdoor sessions until now, I never thought about how fun it is to utilize mirrors! Now it's one of my favorite things.

LOVE

LOVE

See these faces??? That's what I'm talking about. So natural, so perfect. I could spend an hour TRYING to pose them like this, but they just did it on their own, and it's lovely.

See these faces??? That's what I'm talking about. So natural, so perfect. I could spend an hour TRYING to pose them like this, but they just did it on their own, and it's lovely.

My littlest niece and her DogDog and Baby, her 2 favorite toys. Beyond precious.

My littlest niece and her DogDog and Baby, her 2 favorite toys. Beyond precious.

The way she's kind of shyly holding her favorite toys......

The way she's kind of shyly holding her favorite toys......

It takes some effort to push the handle down, but she did it so well!

It takes some effort to push the handle down, but she did it so well!

Getting supper ready. It doesn't get more authentic than this.

Getting supper ready. It doesn't get more authentic than this.

smiling at something my brother said. And c'mon, isn't she gorgeous!

smiling at something my brother said. And c'mon, isn't she gorgeous!

potty time! Notice the book is upside down, hahahaha!

potty time! Notice the book is upside down, hahahaha!

This is SO my brother. Can't let the kids have all the fun!

This is SO my brother. Can't let the kids have all the fun!

"watch me, Aunt Kwissen! Watch how fast I can wun!"

"watch me, Aunt Kwissen! Watch how fast I can wun!"

I love their smiles. They are one of the most relaxed, loving couples I know, and you can see it here.

I love their smiles. They are one of the most relaxed, loving couples I know, and you can see it here.

Ok, I couldn't resist getting a semi-formal posed shot because the lighting behind them was just too delicious to miss!

Ok, I couldn't resist getting a semi-formal posed shot because the lighting behind them was just too delicious to miss!

Picking out her nightgown. There's something about this photo that I just love. Maybe it's her curls with the tutu skirt. Maybe it's her reflection in the mirror. Maybe it's that I felt like I was witnessing a very simple moment of her bedtime routine that I figure nobody has ever photographed.

Picking out her nightgown. There's something about this photo that I just love. Maybe it's her curls with the tutu skirt. Maybe it's her reflection in the mirror. Maybe it's that I felt like I was witnessing a very simple moment of her bedtime routine that I figure nobody has ever photographed.

bedtime prayers

bedtime prayers

their hands. I didn't tell them to do this, which makes it all the sweeter!

their hands. I didn't tell them to do this, which makes it all the sweeter!

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There are 4 comments , add yours!
Camellia Staab 6 months ago

You have captured beauty! Love these shots and they definitely speak to me. I am not nor ever will be a portrait photographer, just too much "posing" for my likes, but this kind of photography, as you call it "lifestyle" would suite me perfect. Love the candidness, it is so real and you have really captured its authenticity. Well done! 👏👏

6 months ago Edited
Sunlight Photo Replied to Camellia Staab 1 month, 1 week ago

thank you!

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
Björn Roose 6 months, 1 week ago

Great series !

6 months, 1 week ago Edited
Sunlight Photo Replied to Björn Roose 1 month, 1 week ago

thanks!

1 month, 1 week ago Edited
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