Why lifestyle photography? | Family Session: Princeton, NJ

Picture it.  Beautiful park in Princeton.  Beautiful family decked out for the holidays.  Beautiful light as the sun starts to lower on the horizon.  What could possibly go wrong?

An adorable toddler who wants nothing to do with a family photography shoot.


That's life with kids, right?  So, we roll with it. 

This is why I love documentary and lifestyle photography. 

Documentary?  Lifestyle?  What's the difference?  Glad you ask, because I had to Google this very same question not too long ago.  In documentary photography, the photographer does not interact with her subjects.  She just observes and documents.  Hence, the name.  This is what I do when I photograph a birth.

Most family sessions I shoot are lifestyle, where there is some interaction between the photographer (me) and the subject (you).  I'll give minimal direction, like when I shout, "Family hug!" everybody gets together for a squeeze.  But mostly, you play and walk and discover.  Lifestyle photography is about you, the family, doing what you do best.  Being together.  Don't worry about smiling or getting your children to smile.  Just be.  It may feel like a great picture couldn't possibly come out of what's happening.  But I promise you: I'm getting those moments. 

Some photographers are masters of the perfectly posed family portrait.  And they produce gorgeous shots.  I'm not one of those photographers.  If I was to try to pull that off with this little lady on this particular day, we would have had one stressed out set of parents!

I think kids should be kids, and if your little one is having a rough afternoon and wants to stay with mama, let's work with that.  Because that's who you are in this season of your lives and that makes these moments beautiful just the way they are. 

This awesome family was so easy-going.  They ventured around the park and played and jumped and did lots of family hugs.  I even caught little Miss Not-Having-Any-Of-It giggling on a few occasions. . .

Christine Wright