Finding My Style

At The Reset Conference, I heard the term lifestyle photography. Amanda Zika of Dreaming Tree Photography and Christine Foehrkolb of Christine Foehrkolb Photography were featured at the Reset Conference and are both lifestyle photographers. I returned home and had to research the topic. I’ve enjoyed documenting my life thru photos and videos since I was in junior high, so this sounded like it would be right up my alley!

According to Wikipedia, “Lifestyle photography is a style of portrait/people photography which aims to capture and document real-life events, situations, or milestones in an artistic manner and the art of the everyday.” Even though I’d just spent the last 7 years perfecting posed photography, I knew I much more enjoyed those candid moments. The truer emotions that come through when people weren’t smiling perfectly and directly at the camera felt more real to me, and they obviously are! I LOVE that I have all those studio shots of my family on my walls, but some of my favorite images of my family members from these past few years are the ones I captured when I was camping with them out at Lake Carlyle, playing cards, hanging out at a birthday party, sipping wine at Hidden Lake, and just sitting around the family room. Those are the ones that I look at when I want to “feel” them. :)

I then reflected on some images that I shot since learning how to shoot in manual on my camera in October. My friend Stephanie’s two-year-old was my first test subject. These are some of my favorite images of him:

Braden Carrying Balls

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As any two-year-old would, he kept busy, picking up and carrying things. :) But I love this about kids! The precise way he experienced and handled things would be completely different in 6 months. It’s little things like this that I enjoy capturing in photographs.

In November, I visited my best friend Gina and photographed her daughter. While I was there for a birthday party and to try to capture some posed portraits of her daughter, my favorite shots were those unexpected, everyday ones!

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Her daughter’s curiosity and attention to detail is beautiful, and those images illustrate what I “feel” when I’m around her daughter. Gentle. Deliberate. Joy.

Although I now felt more comfortable with my camera, I think I also scared myself off of it for a little bit. Realizing that I felt stronger about these more candid photographs than I did the posed portraits I was trying to achieve, I had to take a step back from my camera. I can’t make a living shooting images like this! Everyone wants posed portraits, right? I felt a little torn and bummed out.

In late-March, I picked up my camera again. I needed to stay familiar with shooing in manual, and I had also started spending more time with my nana…so I practiced on her! While we sat together in her room, I snapped away. It was on a day like any other, but I aimed to capture all those normal, natural moments that I was so used to seeing when I was with her. As soon as I put my camera away, I was immediately grateful for those images already.

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When Nana’s no longer around, I’ll be delighted that I captured exactly how she held her knitting needles (knitting one of the 30-something scarves she created for everyone in her family), the way she laughed when she was trying to be funny, the fact that she had to use a spyglass to read anything in front of her, and those few times when I felt like she could actually physically see me. I’m already happy I have those moments recorded!

Unlike shooting predictable, posed photographs, I feel like I could do this more documentary-style photography all day! It doesn’t feel like work to me but more-so like it’s feeding my soul somehow. Until I attended The Reset Conference and learned of lifestyle photography, I didn’t think that I could actually make a living off of this type of photography, but maybe I can! Maybe this is my home! :)


Where’d It Go?

I took down my last post on The Reset Conference…within 12 hours of posting it. It was my very first conference, and I was unaware of etiquette regarding the knowledge shared at such events. I’m so embarrassed! I now realize my inappropriateness in posting my very detailed notes from a conference where people had to pay to attend and where others were paid to reveal their brilliant business secrets. My deepest apologies to anyone who was offended!

So, in short, based on the sheer amount of wonderful information that I received at The Reset Conference, it is worth the cost and I recommend it to anyone in the St. Louis and central Illinois area! :)