Managing Expectations: The Key to Getting the Most Out of Your Lifestyle Photography Experience

The key to getting the most out of your lifestyle photography experience is managing expectations. These factors should be considered when you set goals for your session:

  1. What are the ages of the people being photographed?
  2. How many people are being photographed?
  3. Is the location indoor or outdoor?
  4. How long is the session?
  5. How comfortable/familiar are you with your photographer?

If you have small children, a healthy goal would be this: for everyone to be generally happy and for your family dynamic to be beautifully captured. If you get a perfectly posed photograph where everyone is smiling and looking at the camera and not a hair or finger is out of place, consider it a miracle and blessing – but don’t expect it. When your expectations aren’t in line with your circumstances, it leads to a stressful experience for everyone!

If there are more than 3 or 4 people being photographed, a mini session will be a stretch. However, this all depends on what you’re looking to get in terms of the final product. If you want a collection of beautiful photographs, enough to assemble a memory book, go for a longer session. If you’re hoping to get a few new fresh framers or a holiday card photograph, a mini session makes sense for you – IF you are familiar with the photographer. This brings me to my next point…

The first time you work with a new photographer, try to book at least half an hour. It takes time for kids and grown ups to warm up to one another. I’m an excellent energy reader and can connect easily with clients, but even given that, half an hour is a great starting point with new clients. Save the mini session for the following years!

If you choose an outdoor location, there’s always a chance it’s going to be hot or cold or overcast. There may be animals, wildlife, people in the background. Take these things into account when you choose a location! Parking is also something important to consider. If you’re shooting at a busy spot, allow extra time for parking/walking.

One last thing – always arrive about 15 minutes early. This gives you time to get everyone out of the car, straightened up, lint rolled, hydrated – whatever you need to feel your best! And just remember to BREATHE.

The absolute best thing you can do it have reasonable expectations for your circumstances. And relax. Ultimately, you’ve chosen a photographer you love and have faith in. Let them work their magic.

Professional lifestyle photography isn’t about capturing perfection; it’s about perfectly capturing beautiful imperfection!

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