What is Lifestyle Photography?


It seems as though the term “lifestyle” is everywhere you look these days….sort of like the word “vintage”… but that’s a different story altogether.

Lifestyle photography to me has a less formal, more everyday REAL look to it. Combine that with real expressions, raw emotion, true connections, it’s like posed and un-posed all at the same time. It is a controlled environment ~ with a bit of chaos! Lifestyle to me is the in-between moments that make up YOUR story.

Today, I’m going to talk about my passion for my style of Lifestyle photography, namely IN HOME Lifestyle photography….and why maybe YOU should give this type of session a chance!


  • First off, I tend to get a lot of worried moms letting me know that they don’t think their house is fit for photos… Let me just tell you that I haven’t come across a client’s home yet that I couldn’t find a decent area of light for photos….Even if we have to move some furniture around (the controlled environment) we will be able to find somewhere to shoot. You’d be surprised, but a doorway can be a perfect place for photos…
  • Secondly, the questions arise about little ones not cooperating because of being in “their territory”. I find this to be exactly the opposite actually…. I come into their environment and BECAUSE of that I am able to capture them exactly in their element…they usually end up warming up in no time and show me all around their favorite things.
  • Lastly, it’s not the “Traditional” photos that I’m used to and I’m worried that I will invest in this and not be able to give family and friends what they’ve come to expect year after year . Well, this is true. It’s not the stiff , uniformed …SAY CHEESE photos that you may be used to. And certainly there isn’t anything wrong with traditional portraiture… but do your research and see if this is a style that you are interested in, you, along with your family & friends, just may be pleasantly surprised…



  • Are you wanting to capture this time in your life with glimpses of HOW LIFE REALLY IS, the way you live it everyday? Notice I said glimpses… don’t worry, if you have a huge laundry pile of clothes in the other room… we don’t have to document that  🙂
  • When you look at an image that isn’t so staged, do you envision yourself and your family there…. do YOU relate to those images, even if they are of strangers? Maybe because it’s more than just a pretty smile, and a pretty outfit… but it’s a story that maybe you have lived as well.

  • Ideally, of course,  you will end up with a nice amount of REAL LIFE images to look back and love in the years to come. One thing to consider before going into a session is letting your photographer know what your main objectives are. Do you want to end up with one large canvas mount over the fireplace, or are you looking for the coffee album with a collage of most of the photos. It’s always good to give your photographer a heads up on what your end result wish list might be.
  • When scouring the internet, be sure you do your research on your photographer. Ask around, you want someone who will roll with the punches, who can interact without hesitation, who is patient, but ready for when the moment suddenly strikes….(by the way, look no further, e’hem 😉 ).

  • Think about those special interactions, or split second moments, where it can be elevated from a snap shot with your phone…. to a unique piece of art. How cool is it, that an outsider, is welcomed into your  home and sees your life as art. Just watch how meaningful those everyday tiny little moments become, when you get to witness how beautiful your life is from your photographers point of view.

  • You may think you don’t have any props…. okay, I hate to burst your bubble here, but there is more to photography than props. REALLY! I love myself some good props, they have their place, don’t get me wrong… but imagine if you were capturing  something deeper that which knitted hat to replace the last one with. Maybe seeing the beauty in the things that are minimal… maybe a true connection with the subjects in the image.
  • So perhaps the backgrounds aren’t “Technically” perfect…. it’s life & it’s home. Both of which  are, in my opinion, UNperfectly perfect.

  • It’s about finding the beauty in those in the imperfect things.  It’s not a flawless setting, nor is it out-of-this-world smooth as wax skin, or fake made up hair and makeup…I embrace the scrapes on toddler knees and the true flaky newborn skin….It’s about capturing a piece of time that evokes that amazing memory, of a time that so quickly passes. It’s YOUR story exactly how you experience it daily.

  • Everyday activities ~ the first things that you think of when you mention your child… What does your child do, say, love to play with at THIS moment in life? Those are the precise things that make this type of photography real. Forget the stiff pose while he holds his Tonka truck… Let him PLAY with that and capture the real feeling. Maybe it’s painting, coloring, dress up, musical instruments…. let it happen!
  • “I am afraid that we won’t look natural if we don’t know how to pose.” Well this is the photographers job to guide you and your family thorough. If your photographer is me, you will be “set up” in a certain way and directed into a relaxed and very natural pose…however it’s usually the moments between that pose that end up being the winners.

  • With Lifestyle photography, there is usually always an implied context or story to the images. Something to notice in the individual photos…. usually more than just a pretty pose like I stated before.
  • “Is it believable? Can it be real?” The MAIN thing is that it IS real and believable. With only a little  guidance from your photographer, like directing you in the way of the best light or suggesting an activity….. you can have everyday interactions with TRUE emotions frozen. When you look back you will remember what you felt in that instance.


  • So now that you have a clearer understanding of the in-home Lifestyle approach to photography…. What do you think? While every photo session doesn’t need to be done like this, I do believe everyone should invest and capture it at least once in their lives. Whether it’s a relaxed of day baking cookies with the grand kids, simple little activities and routines or welcoming a new baby into the world….you will be so glad you tried it!

P.S. Be watching my FACEBOOK PAGE for an upcoming promotion this winter on IN HOME LIFESTYLE SESSIONS!! You won’t want to miss it!!

Thanks for stopping by ~ feel free to share this post with anyone considering this type of session!

Much Love ~Heidi

  • Autumn - Perfection! I bet this family is so happy to have you in their lives.

  • Stacy - I LOvE this!!! I do wish I could more sessions like this!!

  • Kory Grell - Love this style so so much, awesome photos!! (as always)

  • Meghan - Hey I saw you working at the gpicnic at grant park and I love your style. I’d really like to talk to you about your session types, packages and prices. We haven’t ever had a family picture taken and with fall approaching it would be cool to get a small outside session done…
    Please email me if you can:)

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