Lifestyle or Posed
When people think about paying a photographer to have pictures done, they typically think about posed pictures with everyone fake smiling at the camera. I don't know about you, but when I see a picture that I absolutely LOVE and that really catches my attention, it isn't a posed picture. Instead, it's a picture that captures the personality of the person being photographed or a picture with raw emotion. This is the difference between posed and lifestyle pictures.
Someone might look at a posed picture and think, "That's a good picture" and then go on about their business. That picture doesn't reach out and grab them. It doesn't make them feel any kind of strong emotion. A lifestyle picture can often make someone stop and think, "Wow, that is amazing!" and possibly even make them feel what the subject is feeling. I think when you look back at pictures of your friends and loved ones they should help you remember a moment. If your pictures were done in a studio and were all just the photographer telling you how to sit and stand, then when you look back on those pictures that is what you will remember. If instead your pictures were taken while you were fishing with your family or having a tickle fight, then that is what you will remember when you look back on them. Which experience would you rather have?
I have known the Miller family for years. Brittany and I were actually pregnant at the same time and had the same due date, but her little girl decided to come early. So, I was so excited when she asked me to do family pictures for them and even more excited when she said she didn't want really posed pictures. The session itself was great as far as light and location. It was a couple hours before sunset at a state park and there were beautiful fall colors everywhere. They were a amazing to photograph and were up for anything I wanted to do, which is every photographer's dream.
How did the session go? Well, it started out with playing in the fallen leaves. They gathered them up, threw them and jumped around. To get some close group shots, they had a tickle fight. We wanted the kids to be kids and I love catching memories like that. So, we let the kids run around and play. From there we took a walk down the road to a farm, which led to a great shot of them holding hands as they walked. It's honestly one of my favorite shots from the session. Once we got to the farm, the older kids were climbing up a hill and the younger ones didn't want to be left out. Last we went to a little cabin for some quick slightly posed shots, but my favorites of those are the pictures I took when they were being themselves between poses. When they look back on those pictures, I sincerely hope that what they remember is the fun they were having with each other, the laughter, the love...and probably the cold!