lifestyle photography

What Every Family Photographer Can Do to Create Connection During a Photoshoot

Elena S Blair Education For Photographers art of lifestyle photography

One thing I really want you to know is that connection starts with you. Before you can create meaningful photography you have to be able to connect to your subjects, even if you have only just met them.

This may sound impossible but it's doable.

Get the know the family and be relatable.

Creating connection within a lifestyle photograph is twofold. You are creating connection between the subjects you are photographing and you are also creating connection with the viewer.

When a viewer is drawn into a photograph they are connected to it, it builds interest and depth.

I believe for someone to feel something when they view a photograph something had to have been felt when the photograph was made.

You have to put genuine effort into getting to know your subjects and also be relatable so that they feel comfortable opening up in front of your lens.

I do this by having an effective client questionnaire completed prior to the shoot. I make sure to ask about each family member and simply ask them to tell me about their family. I am always surprised by how much info they give me.

I also work hard to connect with my families. I talk openly with them during the whole session to make them feel at ease. I truly enjoy getting to know them and want them to know that I care about who they are.

Because I create an environment for them to connect with me, I am able to create more authentic and connected photos.

So, really work hard to make a connection with your families. The results will be amazing!

Ready to take your lifestyle photography to the next level? Check out my free mini course download: How to Create a Relaxed Family Session!

Four reasons why I don't do traditional newborn posing

lifestyle newborn posing baby led posing Elena S Blair Education For Photographers

The journey of an artist is a long one.

There was a time when I brought a newborn posing bag, a stock pile of props and hats, and a space heater to my newborn shoots. It took a lot of trial and error, self discovery, and facing my fears to realize that I didn't enjoy posed newborn photography. It really wasn't in line with my "why" and my overall values as a human.

“Baby Led Posing”

Now, I practice what I call "Baby Led Posing." This means that I don't ever put a baby in an unnatural pose, that I don't spend countless hours calming or posing my babies, and that ultimately, I don't really pose at all.

Sure, I do place my newborns for portraits, however I don't "pose" in the way that many traditional newborn photographers do.

Four reasons I don’t pose newborns:

1. I don't believe that babies should be out of their parents arms for any extended amount of time. You see, I used to be a Newborn Intensive Care Nurse. During those years I learned that a newborn needs to be held, nourished, and ultimately with their parents and in their arms as much as possible. It doesn't make sense to me to have a baby on a beanbag or a surface away from their parents for an extended amount of time, even if in the name of photography. During my sessions, babies spend most of their time in their parents arms, where they belong, in my humble opinion.

why i don't do traditional newborn posing elena s blair photography education

2. I think babies are beautiful as they are. The natural unfolding of a newborns limbs when the stretch, the way they curl up when placed on their belly for a moment, they way they look when comfortably swaddled, all of that is so simple and beautiful to me. That is how I want to remember my babies so that is how I capture them.

3. Frankly, I don't think major posing is safe. If a baby has to be molded into an unnatural position, I believe their safety is at risk and that is not worth it to me, even in the name of a pretty photo.

4. I don't want my photo sessions to be stressful. When I used to pose babies, I would spend up to four hours at a session, trying to make the baby sleep, trying to get the poses just right etc. I know what it's like to have a newborn. It is already so stressful. I want my families to know that I think their babies are perfect as they are. Awake or asleep. Placed on a bed or in their parents arms. I have no expectations. I am in and out of my families homes in under two hours now that I don't pose. I don't wan to invade their precious time any longer than that.

why i don't do traditional newborn posing elena s blair photography education

The Takeaway: Babies are perfect.

There you have it. My top 4 reasons why I don't pose newborns, mostly, because I think babies are absolutely perfect as they are.

xo,

Elena

P.S. I have a FREE downloadable PDF to get you started with lifestyle newborn photography today! Click the button below to get yours.

What does the term "lifestyle" even mean?!

lifestyle family lifestyle newborn what does lifestyle mean elena s blair photography education

The term “Lifestyle”

I wanted to talk a little bit about the term "Lifestyle" since it is one that is quite often thrown around in our industry and it is what people of use to describe my work.

The words we use to describe our work matter very little in my mind. What matters is how I work makes those who view it feel.

However, as humans we like to label things and use words so Lifestyle it is. ;)

What is “Lifestyle” photography?

Lifestyle photography sits comfortably between traditional portraiture, which is more posed, and documentary photography which isn't posed at all.

Lifestyle photography is a more emotive approach to photography, really allowing you to break some rules and express yourself creatively.

Lifestyle photographs typically captures the essence of the humans you are photographing, really capturing a little piece of humanity. It often includes movement, loving gestures, and often environmental storytelling.

Lifestyle photography means that you are going beyond stiff and boring portraiture to capture the true personality behind the humans you are capturing.

What I do want you to remember is that Lifestyle photography does require quite a bit of guiding and directing. But it does give you the room to express yourself more creatively, I think.

There you have it... a very simple explanation of lifestyle photography. I hope that helps.

Have a great week!

xo,

Elena

P.S. Are you interested in learning more about Lifestyle Newborn Photography? Or maybe you want to brush up on your Lifestyle Family Photography? I have free education just for you ;) Click the buttons below and have at it!

How to attract high quality clients with a high quality portfolio

high quality clients high quality portfolio Elena S Blair Education For Photographers

Hey there, friend!

I hope you are enjoying your summer.

I wanted to talk to you about something very important and that is your portfolio.

There are two main things I want you to focus on when you are preparing your online portfolio.

Your portfolio should be a place where you:

1. Show your best work.

2. Show the work you want to attract.

This can be tricky when you are first starting out or trying to make a shift.

For example, if you want to attract clients who appreciate emotive lifestyle images YOU CAN'T post images that aren't in this fashion. If you have a portfolio full of images of everyone perfectly posed and all looking at the camera then that is what you are going to attract.

Clear as mud?

Okay let me go deeper.

I strongly believe that you should push your portfolio to its limits. For example, if you check out mine, there are no photos of everyone looking at the camera. Do I take shots like that at every single session? You bet. But I never show those images on my portfolio or online. Why? Because I want to be absolutely sure that the clients I am attracting are connected to my true artistic style.

As I mentioned above, you have to only show your best work. I see so many photographers with super out of date portfolios full of images that are not their best work.

Don't do that.

How can you expect to attract high quality clients if you aren't showing high quality work?

Now I get it. When you are learning your work will change and grow rapidly. So this means that your portfolio needs to reflect that. Go in regularly and remove your subpar work and replace it with your better work.

Your portfolio is where you show off your talents and skills AND where you share your unique style.

Okay, friend. So ask yourself this. 1. Am I showing my best work? & 2. Am I showing what I want to attract?

You got this!

xo,

Elena

P.S. I have a free mini course that I think can help you! Hit the button below for three steps you can take right away to ensure that your clients arrive relaxed and ready for a laid back and fun family session experience.

Stop doing what you "should" do and do what feels right

create before you consume tips for entrepreneurs Elena S Blair Education For Photographers

If you are at all familiar with my newborn work you know that it is completely "Lifestyle."

Now the words we use to define our work aren't really important. What is truly important is the feeling behind our work.

My newborn work is family and baby centered. I don't pose my newborns on a beanbag and rarely take them out of their parents arms.

But it didn't used to be that way. Until about four years ago I was still operating as a traditional "posed" newborn photographer. I had the beanbag, brought the heater, and even had the props.

And if you know me you know that this so so NOT me.

But I was believing the lie that in order to make money doing this I had to do it a certain way. I had to pose babies because that is what my families would expect.

After I gave birth to my third daughter I realized that this was so not in align with my artistic vision and my values.

Right then and there I rebranded, took every posed image off of my website, and started over.

Guess what happened? My newborn business exploded. Why? Because people can sense when something isn't coming from a place of passion. When something isn't authentic.

So if you are doing something that just doesn't feel right, don't be afraid to make a change. I know it is scary to do that, but I am here to tell you that you can and that you SHOULD.

I hope you all are having a fantastic week!

Be you!!

xo,

Elena

P.S. If you are curious about Lifestyle Newborn Photography and how to get started or make a change to this type of Newborn Photography in your business, grab my free download "Getting Started With Lifestyle Newborn Photography” by clicking the button below.

My number one trick for "posing" newborns

One of my favorite things to do when posing newborns is to use the parents' hands.

Now I use the word "pose" loosely as I do very minimal, newborn led posing.

But I do like to get some shots of the baby alone on the bed, awake or asleep, if the baby is okay with it.

Simply ask the parents to come and hold the baby firmly in the position you desire. This allows you to capture the newborn with their parents loving hands on the baby, which is a beautiful shot, then allows you to capture the newborn alone. The baby is usually very calm after he or she has just been comforted by familiar hands.

Parent’s hands:

lifestyle newborn posing baby led Elena S Blair Education For Photographers

Calm baby:

calm+baby+newborn+posing+elena+s+blair+photography.jpeg

Try it out next time you photograph a newborn. Let me know how it goes.

xo,

Elena

P.S. I have a FREE downloadable guide to get you started with lifestyle newborn photography. Click the button below to get it sent straight to your inbox!