The Secret to Creating Authentic Lifestyle Photos

there is nothing more humbling than parents telling me ‘just photograph our kids like you photograph your kids’ during a session. i love knowing that parents enjoy authentic lifestyle images just as much as i do.  it is so simple to capture the lifestyle feel–so simple that it took me much too long to figure out… i spent so much time making it complicated! that’s why i’m going to share my secret with you. so that you can stop fighting with your subjects to ‘look + smile’ when that’s probably not the photo that you’re after anyway. the secret? photograph doing. not posing.

see? simple. i found that the instant i stopped asking my subjects to awkwardly ‘look out the window’ or ‘look at each other and smile!’ i started capturing photos that made me feel things instead of just seeing things. now i simply ask my subjects to do something fun, i step back, and i photograph it. one of my favorite things to do is ask my kids to do something they’re typically not encouraged to do so that i can capture as much genuine goodness as possible. below you’ll find a few images that i snapped while my oldest was jumping on her bed. for the first image, i just photographed her, quite literally, jumping on her bed. for the second image, i hopped on the bed with her and stood above her while tickling her toes to capture her giggling. thirdly, i told her to hide under her bedsheet and play peek a boo with me. i had my camera ready when i lifted the bedsheet and caught one of the most authentic smiles i’ve captured of her to date.

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photographing people doing things vs posing them has been my secret to capturing the most authentic lifestyle images. i love the movement and imperfections that are embraced when subjects are engaged and enjoying being a part of the photos. this week i challenge you to grab a subject and ask them to do something, anything, and photograph them doing it. whether they’re jumping on the bed, dancing, playing hopscotch, whatever it is, let THEM do the ‘doing’ so you can focus on the shooting. think less about the technical aspect of the photo and more about capturing the whimsy. if you’re smiling while you’re shooting, then that means you’re doing it right. don’t forget to post your images to social media using the hashtag #ClubClickPic! i can’t wait to see your images!