Northern Virginia Lifestyle Photographer

What is Lifestyle Photography?

A lifestyle family session is a little different than what we typically think of when we hear “family photos.” I will guide your family into flattering poses, but once you are in those positions you are encouraged to interact with each other as if I’m not there. You will never hear me ask you to “cheese,” and I ask that you refrain from telling your kids to “cheese” during our session as well. It may not seem like we're getting good images of your little ones because they're running around exploring and enjoying themselves, but I promise we are! I aim to capture genuine images of their childhood, not stiff unrealistic poses. Some prompts I might give include tickling, nuzzling, or whispering to each other. These prompts will help to create genuine smiles rather than a stiff, fake smile. I like to think the subject of my images is not only you and your family, but the connection and emotion between your family members as well.


What Should We Wear?

Gone are the days of identical outfits for everyone in the family, but it’s still important  everyone look their best and their clothing coordinate with each other. In general busy patterns should be avoided since they don’t always photograph well. Neutrals like white, beige, gray, brown, and black are timeless and go with almost every setting, but don’t be afraid to try bright or bold colors if that’s your style! Words, images, and logos should be avoided as they are distracting in images.

Mamas-to-be: all of the above guidelines apply to you as well, but you should also focus on highlighting that beautiful bump you've got! You typically want to avoid loose fitting maternity dresses and instead choose something that fits tightly over your stomach (counterintuitive, I know!).

For newborn sessions, it's best to dress your little one in a plain white onesie. Clothes with words or logos will distract from all those precious newborn details we're trying to capture. 

Make sure to have your outfits chosen and ready to go at least a day before our session. This will eliminate frantic last minute searches to find the only black shirt you own, or realizing your baby outgrew that dress you wanted her to wear.

Don’t forget to pay attention to your footwear as well. Outdoor photoshoots involve some walking from one spot to another, and often I’ll take photos during these transitions. Make sure to wear shoes you don’t mind walking in.

For more ideas on what to wear, you can visit my Pinterest board. I am always happy to help give suggestions about wardrobe choices if you feel you need it!


How Should We Prepare For Our Session?

First, prepare to arrive at your session at least 10 minutes before our scheduled time. Because I work exclusively with natural light and typically schedule my sessions during golden hour (the hour before sunset), when the sunlight is gone, it’s gone. If you arrive late we waste valuable light during which we could be taking stunning photos!

Secondly, make sure everyone is well-fed, including you grown-ups! A full belly puts everyone in a better mood and means we won’t have to cut our session short to get home to eat. If you have little ones I encourage you to bring a snack your child enjoys to keep them from getting hungry (Cheerios are a favorite at my house!). And don’t forget something to drink as well!


Do We Need To Bring Anything?

I always make sure to have a big blanket with me so you’ll be comfortable and never have to sit on damp grass or cold stone. As mentioned above it’s a good idea to bring a small snack for young children if you think they may need it. Additionally, you may want to bring your child’s favorite book, stuffed animal, or lovey. These items can serve a dual purpose; they’ll keep your little one occupied and they may not even notice that I’m still taking their photo, and they’ll create meaningful images of your child with the items important to them at this stage in their life. The goal is always for children to be having fun and enjoying themselves, but every child is different and it can be helpful to have these items if you think your child may need them.


What Will Happen During Our Session?

We’ll take some pictures where everyone looks at the camera and smiles nicely, but the truly beautiful photos are those where you’re simply being yourself. Not everyone needs to be looking at the camera for every picture; in fact, it’s often better if you’re not looking at the camera. So I encourage you to love on and play with your kids as if I’m not there- cuddle them, kiss them, tickle them, chase them, throw them up in the air, however you would play in a park together- play!