All About Lifestyle Sessions

What is a lifestyle session?

A lifestyle session is a session that is all about YOU being YOU. I capture your family in your natural element. We don’t focus too much on perfect poses. I lead you with a few prompts, and we’ll take a couple looking-at-the-camera shots, but you mostly go about your business like I’m not there. These sessions are fantastic for newborn photo shoots because we just follow baby’s lead and get tons of natural, sweet photos that capture all the goodness that comes with those first few weeks at home. These sessions also tend to be nice for little kids, since they’re comfortable at home and they’re SUPPOSED to be their silly, wild selves for these sessions!

What makes a good home for a lifestyle session?

We can do a lifestyle session in just about any house, but here are a few things I especially love:

Homes with light and bright wall colors. Taupe, gray, white…these all bring more brightness into the room, and light and bright will always be the kinds of photos I prefer! I also prefer a minimalist style, but this doesn’t mean you have to be a minimalist! I simply will ask that before I arrive you have your home tidied up, with any clutter hidden away. We typically only shoot in a couple rooms, so it’s pretty easy to grab the clutter, throw it in a laundry basket, and forget about it for a while. Don’t worry about your home not being perfect – who’s house is perfect!? A little tidy goes a long way!

I also love when homes have natural light, so big windows are perfection! Again, we can make it work without windows! This is just my personal preference.

Who is involved in a lifestyle session?

Your family! And your four-legged family, too, if you’d like. Lifestyle sessions are for immediate family, so while all the aunts and uncles will need to sit this one out, it’s a great time to love on your husband or wife, and all your kiddos. Just like a normal session, we’ll get tons of combinations of everyone, as well as individual shots when possible.

How long does a lifestyle session take?

Because of the natural flow of a lifestyle session, they tend to take a bit longer. Lifestyles sessions are usually around 1-2 hours; lifestyle sessions with a newborn are closer to the two hour mark. Don’t worry too much about the time during a newborn session – I purposefully plan for those to take a bit longer because we do what baby let’s us do.

What time of year can we do a lifestyle session?

We can do lifestyle sessions year round, but I find they can be excellent options November-April, when the weather outside is not as ideal for a family session. Plus, that gives the opportunity for a fun, seasonal activity we can capture during the session! I love taking photos of families baking cookies, decorating their tree, or just playing a game!

How do I prepare for a lifestyle session?

I mentioned this a bit above, but you’ll want to do a quick tidy of the rooms we are shooting in (usually a family room, and bedroom/nursery – but really just where the best light is). And, if there are things you simply don’t want around while I’m shooting, those can go into hiding too.

As far as wardrobe, I have suggestions for that as well! For normal sessions, you’ll hear me practically scream about all the COLOR I want you to wear. It’s much different for lifestyle sessions! These sessions are sweet and natural, and bright pink or blue would look a bit strange indoors! Plus, we’d be dealing with color casts that just aren’t flattering. I recommend sticking to brighter neutrals. Dad’s often like dark taupe or camel, or shades of gray. I think it’s also totally appropriate to do a “colored neutral,” like olive or navy, to add some richness. Moms usually like white or cream. These colors photograph so nicely indoors, and help to reflect light.

If your session is a newborn session, I love having baby in something super simple so we can just focus on their perfect new-ness. My favorite choice will always be a simple, white long-sleeved onesie, maybe with a little pair of pants (without is just fine!). It’s not a bad idea to have some bows or headbands on hand for little girls, but I wouldn’t recommend anything too colorful or big. Again, we’re going for simple and minimal! A sweet, neutral swaddling blanket can be great, too. If you must have color, try and stick to lights: baby blue or blush pink can definitely work if they’re light enough. But truly don’t feel bad about that simple white onesie!

Is a lifestyle session right for my family?

I think just about every family should have a lifestyle session at some point in their life. A lifestyle session may be for your family if:

  • It’s hard to convince your significant other to get photos done.
  • You get so nervous about your kids being kids that you can hardly enjoy a more traditional photo session. Looking at the camera and saying cheese just doesn’t work for that stage of life, and that’s OK!
  • You want precious newborn photos, but you don’t have the energy, time or will to leave the house to do them.
  • You want to capture your family just being themselves; maybe doing something fun.
  • You’ve just moved into your dream home and you want to remember how your family is in it RIGHT NOW
  • You’re not in your dream home yet, but you’ve made your house a home your proud of and you never want to forget.
  • You’re ready for a lot of laid back, easy fun resulting in amazing photos of your favorite people (no, seriously!).

Need more convincing? Here are a few more of my favorite photos from lifestyle sessions!

I love when I’m able to capture natural milestone photos. These were for Eli’s third birthday (as well as his new baby sister!).

We get lots of groupings, but mama + baby is one of my faves. There’s just something special.

We keep sibling photos super simple and lead by the kiddos so they don’t feel forced or unnatural. This happened totally naturally because we were just letting kids be kids!

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