How to Prep for your Family Documentary Shoot

What is Lifestyle Photography?

Lifestyle Photography is meant to capture real life, meaningful interactions, and those sweet moments between you and your loved ones. In the end, these photos that are going to make you feel something and bring back memories. It is somewhere between documentary photography and a posed session because even though it’s not posed we can plan a setting or activity to capture you in, naturally guide you through, and then allow the real interactions to happen.

 What can we do during our session?

This session is all about you and your loved ones. Your session can be to capture and celebrate your engagement, your family, your newborn, or even your love for drinking coffee, it can be almost anything. We want to capture you in your natural habitat, whether that is baking cookies in your pajamas with your family on a sleepy Sunday morning, exploring your favorite park, or just hanging out in your home. Then, once the activity or non-activity is planned, during the session you can just relax and enjoy yourselves. I may gently prompt you, ask questions that lead to an interaction, or guide you to good lighting and composition, but you don’t need to overthink it, just be in the moment

What should we wear for our session?

Wear what you are comfortable in! If you don’t normally dress up in fancy cocktail dresses and 5 inch heels, do not wear that! I tend to be drawn toward neutral colors and black and white, because I want to keep the focus on the emotion and most likely most of these images will be turned to black and whiteIf you and your family are all about loud colors then wear those! This is about you! Sometimes a pop of color in a neutral setting works, and sometimes a lot of color looks beautiful too. 

How can I prepare my home for my session?

Do not stress, your home does not have to be spotless for your session. If you’ve chosen an activity, say baking cookies, just clear out any extra clutter in the kitchen area (you can even shove it in another room). The great thing about photos is you can only see what’s in the frame! I am a natural light photographer so I will be looking for rooms that have the best light and or course we can shoot outside in your front or backyard. 

How to mentally prepare for your session…

A Lifestyle session should be relaxed. If you are stressed and uncomfortable, it will show, so your biggest job in preparing for your session is to just chill out. Everything does not have to be perfect, even the suggestions above don’t have to be perfect, because if you are relaxed, having fun, and making memories with the people you love, that will overpower everything else.


I look forward to photographing your family!