WHY IT MATTERS
In the photography world, there are many different styles and genres of photography and a lot of interchangeable language that can become overwhelming and confusing to clients. Just as art has styles such as realism, abstract, impressionism, photography has styles. I hope to use some samples of my own photography to clear up some confusion surrounding the words photographers generally use when describing the style of their business. I think it’s truly important that clients know what to expect during their photo session.
These definitions are not exhaustive, and there is no style better than the other. I have offered all types of photography, and my sessions often incorporate all styles with the majority focus in documentary. Within each style, there can be an overlap or a style can be strictly one way or another.
Classic portraiture focuses on creating traditional portraits. Photographers not only control the camera settings, but also the posing, the environment, the lighting, and this may be done in studio or on location. These photos are typically more formal. In my opinion studio newborn photography falls within this category. It is not uncommon for this style to include retouching of many elements in the environment including skin. I used to offer this style of photography but no longer include it in my sessions and instead prefer to offer more lifestyle portraits.
Documentary photography involves no control other than the camera itself. Documentary photographers capture events as they happen naturally. These sessions revolve no control over the environment or subjects, and instead the photographer works to create beautiful images by positioning themselves where they can best frame and light their subject. For my outdoor sessions I do primarily documentary, and my home family sessions are 100% documentary.Lifestyle
Lifestyle photography is a mix between documentary and classic photography. Photographers may position clients in good light and encourage them to do things by prompting them or encouraging certain activities. When doing home sessions, photographers may move objects add lighting or clean areas. When I offer outdoor family sessions I offer lifestyle posed portraits for the first 15 minutes of the session.