What is lifestyle photography?
Wikipedia tells me that lifestyle photography is:
“is a kind of photography which mainly aims to capture portrait/people in situations, real-life events or milestones in an artistic manner and the art of the everyday. The primary goal is to tell stories about people’s life or to inspire people in different times. “
Gah, just that description right there gives me all the heart eyes. The art of the everyday. Talk about why I do what I do.
Somebody asked me the other day, “why lifestyle and documentary style photography? What made you want to be a Beaumont lifestyle photographer? Especially in this day and age where everyone has cameras on their iPhones and these are the images that they are filling up their camera roll with…”
And there’s your answer. People have an entire camera roll of the kind of images that I create. Little moments in time that will never age and never fade. You value it, or you wouldn’t be taking up precious space on your iPhone when you get the dredded Storage Almost Full pop-up. There wouldn’t be hysterical tears when updating your new iPhone makes it go nuts and wipes everything clean. These are moments that you treasure, and that you value. Is this part of the reason that we as a society have begun to worship our phones? Aside from holding our contacts, our schedules, our emails, every link to the world currently around us, they hold our memories. Our babies first pictures. Their first steps. The first time they tried spinach. The first time they got their now-favorite toy and fell absolutely in love and it made you cry a little bit because their happiness is your happiness.
So that begs the question – you hire a wedding photographer for the moments you don’t want to forget, so you can be completely in the moment and focused on your day. You hire a birth photographer. You hire a newborn photographer because their newness is so fleeting and you blink and its gone.
So then why, all of a sudden, does the thought process change from documenting your memories to obtaining that ‘perfect’ family photo?
There is no perfection, y’all. My family is perfect, because we’re real. Because we laugh and cry and squabble, and my house is only clean on holidays and I never make the beds in the morning and could care less, and sometimes when my son sees a camera he screams and runs in the other direction, and my husband has to make himself laugh in order to not look like a total doofus in photos when he smiles. Your family is perfect too, in other ways that make them perfectly imperfect and deliciously real.
Have you ever tried to print iPhone photos? I have. It’s okay, but it ain’t great. I’ll do what I have to do in a pinch, and listen. My camera roll is full too. There’s no soapbox here, no choir that I’m preaching too. I’m not telling you to change your ways. I’m saying change the way you think about family portraiture.
All of those photos on your camera roll – they’re worth more than that. THOSE are the moments you can’t get back, not the hour you spent in a park with a photographer. And all of those moments are from a singular perspective, especially if you’re a stay-at-home mom. Your kids deserve memories with their Mama present and in the frame. They deserve remnants of this amazing life you all shared that are real and true. These photos are all that your children, and your children’s children will have of you one day. Treat them better.
I follow several lifestyle photographers from around the world on Facebook, and I was reading the comments on a lifestyle session that the amazing Halee Betzner shot. The mom in the session (who is also one of my buds) commented a photo of herself with tears in her eyes and said, “You’ve given me a version of my children that will never grow up.”
And that. That right there. That’s why lifestyle photography, y’all.
Jo Truncali is the premier Beaumont Lifestyle Photographer specializing in lifestyle and documentary family imagery. She is located in Beaumont, TX and serves all of Southeast Texas and Southwest Louisiana, including but not limited to Beaumont, Houston, Lake Charles and surrounding areas. Available for travel worldwide.