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Portrait vs. Lifestyle Photography

December 20, 2018

I’ve coined myself as a Portrait and Lifestyle Photographer. I like to blend the two styles because every client’s comfort level is different and every client’s needs or desires of how to be captured varies. But what exactly is the difference between the two? Well Portrait photographers focus more on capturing the subject through various guided poses. While Lifestyle Photography documents a subject in their environment -often capturing life as it happens (running, walking, interacting with other people, working, playing sports, etc). Portrait photographers focus solely on the subject engaging them to really pull out their personality. While lifestyle photography is less engaging. It’s very similar to a documentary style where the photographer stands back and really aims to capture the overall story of the setting. I like to blend both during a family session to present a nice variety of different usable shots either for prints in the home, holiday and birthday cards or social media sharing. Afterall, there are different looks for different sharing platforms.

Sometimes, I realize that certain families or individuals prefer more portrait. Some aren’t as comfortable being candid in front of my lens. And that is certaintly okay! But all the more reason why I usually always start off with a few guided poses until I can tell they’re warmed up to me and the idea of being the center of attention.  As the session unfolds I like to throw out a few games and questions to get them interacting naturally. I stand back and basically document their interaction within their environment and really look for the connection that showcases their family.

When photographing just the kids…as in this session featured here, it can be easy with one of the kids to achieve more portrait looks while the other its easier to get more of those candid snaps! There’s nothing more frustrating than trying to force someone to pose and smile when all he/she wants to do is act silly and have fun. So its become my goal to understand what each subject prefers. Luckily because I specialize in both it’s easy for me to switch gears and use the style that best fits the subject’s personality.

Meet the Stark siblings…I’ve been photographing these kids for 5 years now. The sister loves posing and the brother loves being more silly and candid (check out the this cutie’s dabb)! What style of photography do you most prefer? Leave me a comment below! I’d love to hear why!


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