Take the Leap Into Lifestyle Photography

Eleanor R.

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Past Reset attendee Sarah Morgan is our guest blogger today, encouraging our readers to give lifestyle photography a try. She has a list of practical tips to share!

The perfectly imperfect life. Some days feel like a tornado. Rushing around to get to the school bus in time, making sure lunches are packed, finding something for myself to wear to a newborn session (knowing it may get pooped on!), heading to the preschool carpool line knowing I only have a few hours to work before I’m right back in the line. I walk into the studio and the rush stops. My patience takes over and it’s a relaxing experience posing these precious babies. We wrap up the session just in time to pull into the carpool. It’s almost if my role and identity are changing every few hours of the day! That can be hard when it comes to staying focused and organized while also wanting to be there for everyone who needs you. We get home and before we know it we are headed to the bus stop to pick up big sister. Add in some outside playtime, homework, dinner, and bedtime. Suddenly another day has passed in this crazy season of life.

“You must have the MOST BEAUTIFUL photos of your children!” my clients often say. I love photographing them, but being a full-time family and newborn photographer, I don’t often take my camera out at home. There is and will ALWAYS be an excuse — my home is messy, I need to fold the laundry, it’s hot outside, I need to paint that room, etc. etc.

One of the best takeaways I had from Reset 2019 was in Cristin More’s class. She said, “Your home is already perfect because your family is in it.” Wow. What could be more true! When I was asked to photograph my family for this post I knew I had to document my favorite details about their childhood at this moment. As a photographer, I love to create a scene and then the subject will make it their own.

A few of my favorites details are their giggles while jumping on the bed. When they want to have a dance party in their rooms. Quiet moments reading together. Being outdoors is a big part of our family life so exploring the neighborhood, learning a new skill of roller skating or searching for worms. Even their silly personalities on our trips to the grocery store. This is who we are. This is who they are, in this tornado season of life.

Want to take the leap into photographing your kids in a more lifestyle approach? Here are a few tips!

1. Jot down a list of at least 5 details about each of your children you want to freeze. It may be their freckles, personality, favorite activities, or silly quirks!

2. Decide what areas of your home or community best represent these details.

3. Plan out what time of day or day of the week that works best for each. My daughter loves to arrange approximately 1000 stuffed animals on her bed before night. This was a must capture for her!

4. Tell the kids to have fun! You create the stage and they make it their own.

5. Get ALL the angles. Closeups, wide shots, from above, from behind, peeking in the door. I LOVE how wide pull back shots (I shoot these with my 24mm often) show not only the action but the details of the scene.

6, Encourage them to move! Dancing, racing, high fiving, jumping, remind me how much they love to move at this age.

7.Embrace the imperfect lighting, the grain if you have to bump that ISO indoors, the motion blur, the shadows. The content is more important.

8. Lastly, actually ENJOY your photos! Print a photo book of your playful session and flip through it together every year. You will be surprised at how much your kids will LOVE to see themselves.

Photographing this series reminded me why I started on this entrepreneur path years ago. I would always tell people I wanted to find a way to be there at the bus stop every day. I always kept that as a focus when building my business. The balance is crazy. I absolutely LOVE being a full-time photographer and being part of my clients’ memories. I am thrilled to have taken the time to tell our own story.

Sarah Morgan is a former hotel interior designer turned newborn and family photographer who strives to create, simple, classic portraits and family films. As a designer, she loved to create spaces for people to experience. Now she focuses on all the beautiful experiences of a young family’s story. Through still photography and filmmaking she documents clients “from bump to birthday,” and everything in between. She is based out of Atlanta with her husband, 2 silly daughters and 1 fluffy Goldendoodle. She has a passion for education and supporting both local and online photography communities. You can follow Sarah on her website, Facebook, and Instagram.

And did you catch the news? Attend the Reset Conference like Sarah did, no problem. We now have payment plans starting at $150 and you can pay the rest in 2020. Save your spot here!


Eleanor R.
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