What is ‘Custom Photography’

As a ‘Custom’ or a ‘Lifestyle’ photographer, I am asked often what these two things even MEAN. How does a ‘Life Style’ photography photo shoot really differ from the typical big-box photo-stuido experience and can it really be worth paying more money for?

I recently addressed these frequently asked questions on my website’s ‘FAQ‘ page….

What is ‘Custom Lifestyle’ photography?
‘Custom’ or ‘Lifestyle’ photography is loosely posed, (usually) naturally lit photography that captures your family in a natural setting, interacting in a candid, comfortable and organic way. It is less focused on getting lighting just right and angles just right and more focused on capturing YOU and your family having fun & being authentic. 

What makes it better than just doing to an inexpensive big-box studio?
I suppose whether it’s ‘better’ or not depends on your personal preference. Clients who seek out a ‘Custom/Lifestyle’ photographer and usually drawn to how FUN & relaxed the sessions look. They like the idea of shooting at a park, or a beach, or even in their own homes. Also, Custom/Lifestyle photographers are usually much more laid back and allow for unlimited poses & outfit changes, allowing you as the client to call the shots and express yourself. If a session runs over by 15 minutes- no problem! If you need to take a break to feed the baby, or consol a grumpy toddler– don’t sweat it! A custom photographer understands that family life can be crazy and they work with you patiently and happily to get the best possible images out of your session.

And just because photos speak louder than words, let’s have a look at the following two photos… The first one, is a pretty standard-issue ‘studio’ photo taken likely taken at one of the half-dozen big-box photo-studios.

As you can see, this is a beautiful little family with 3 adorable daughters.  But the photo does very little capture their true personalities. It’s definitely a decent photo that would put a smile on Grandma’s face but it is a real GEM?

Photo Credit to 'Sears Family Portraiture'.

Now, let’s compare that photo with *this* photo. I chose this photo because the Children are all about the same age & are dressed similarly in matching Holiday Dresses.

Photo Credit- Tamara Lakeman Photography

I will let you make your own decision on which image you prefer.. However I think we can all agree that the second photo has a bit more ‘life’ a bit more ‘pizazz’ and punch.

THIS is the difference between a ‘big-box studio’ and a Lifestyle Photographer.

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