Brooke Snow Advanced Pro Class- Lifestyle Session

Love the sweet moment I caught of the girls playing on the top bunk bed.

Love laughter and close knit family happenings!!

Love this feisty little girl! I did not ask her to do this. I love that I can really capture real life moments with lifestyle photography.

Introducing a “Day in the Life” Photo Sessions!!!!

My thoughts:

Still totally loving this class!!!  Only a couple more weeks to go.  This week I chose to do a lifestyle session, which is really a “Day in the Life” session where I capture life- the good, the bad, and the messy, too!  This was my first full lifestyle shoot from beginning to end.  We had tons of ideas going into it, but it’s funny how a toddler can change all plans real quick! 🙂  I love working with kids.  They keep me on my toes, that’s for sure!  We still did a lot of the ideas Anna (mom) and I came up with, but I totally had to be flexible with Norah’s positioning of herself.  It was a “get what you get” shoot because that girl had a mind of her own!  She was interested in doing it all her way.  She’s 3…need I say more? 🙂  Ha!

During lifestyle sessions, I work really hard to understand what the family loves to do together and what represents the kids the most at their given ages.  I am more concerned with capturing authentic expressions and moments.  I never ask anyone to look at the camera.  I never say cheese (I try not to do that ever anyways!)  I do not force posing.  I catch life happening moment by moment.  During this session the family read a favorite book together on the couch, played with their favorite silly monster puppet, ate cookies, swung the girls around, tickled, petted the cat, and played with the toy kitchen.  Dad even juggled some toy cookies! 🙂 Mom let the girls play beauty shop and fix her hair…one of their favorite activities with Mom!  The girls also played dress up, danced, pretended with stuffed animals, climbed up and down their bunk beds, and Gillian read her little sister a book inside the bed tent.  Oh, and I caught a pic of Norah (the 3 year old) throwing a fit with a pouty crying face (it’s at the bottom of the page!.)  LOVE it!  I enjoyed capturing a moment…a glimpse, if you will,…into a day in the life of the Styers-Barnett family.  There’s so much more meaning in photos of real life happenings.  It’s authentic.  It’s expressive.  It’s fun!

The hardest thing about photography in the winter is the lighting.  Ugh.  Indiana winter dreariness is in full swing!  It was last Saturday anyways.  I found myself switching between natural light and flash.  Trying to figure out which one I liked more.  Little Norah is a busy body so I felt like the slow shutter speeds were a challenge and I wasn’t digging the REALLY high ISO’s.  About 2/3 of the way through I started using my external flash.  I kinda wish in retrospect that I had done all flash for this session and here’s why.  There weren’t big windows in this house.  It was really cloudy out so minimal natural light from the small sources.  (I really was scared I wouldn’t like the natural light photos so I popped the flash on.  Still trying to decide what I like best for indoor photography.  I’m a bit torn!)  AND because it was so dim inside, I had to have mixed lighting going…natural light from the window mixed with incandescent lighting in the room just to get my ISO to 1600 with slow shutter speeds.  I know I probably could have gone higher with my ISO, but sometimes I’m too chicken to do so.  I just don’t love really soft photos that have had to have tons of grain removed.  I feel like most natural light photos have to be black and white in order to look good if you have a mix of lighting going on.  Perhaps one day I’ll upgrade cameras again and get one that handles even higher ISO’s.  (I have the Nikon D300 and it goes up to 3200.  It’s a great pro line camera, but other higher level cameras go higher in ISO.)  It definitely makes it hard to get the right coloring when you have both types of lighting blending.  I know lots of natural light photographers just cancel and reschedule for a brighter day, but for me, it just wasn’t conducive.  I had to make it work.  Next time, when it’s really that dark, I will just go with my external flash for any pics I want in color and do natural lighting for black and whites! 🙂  Or maybe I’ll just work on getting even better with my flash and creating non-flashy looking photos.  Hmm…food for thought.

Other Favorites:

To get a better idea of what lifestyle photography entails go to http://vimeo.com/36409104 and check out their slideshow!!

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