lifestyle photography

5 inspiring lifestyle family photographers to check out

I have been meaning to write this blog post for quite a while and I’ve gotten a little behind on the blog! Photography is an art, is subjective, and is something that I knew I always had inside of me but never knew how much passion I had. I have the typical story that most photographers do – I fell in love with photography and started to photograph families, and from there my passion grew to where I am today. I have been self-taught and I am really enjoying this thing called life and the creative pieces of me that I’ve found.

My parents were interested in photography before I was born and they would photograph each other and develop their images in a dark room. I have several of these photos to this day, and I believe it helps me learn a little more about my family. The feelings that photography evokes is something unique to each family and even the photographs taken of the family. I’ve written a blog post called 3 reasons why I am a lifestyle photographer so I encourage you to take a read to learn a little more about by background.

In order to become better at anything, you really need to study and learn and observe and network and really find ways to hone in on your craft. And it can be a LOT to navigate and honestly a little overwhelming. What has really helped me is finding photographers that I gravitate towards, and essentially looking up to them as inspiration. I don’t mean copying their work, but simply admiring their art and how it unfolds.

I always knew I loved “candid” photography and I was quite excited to find out this thing called lifestyle photography. It’s actually quite popular. It infuses family dynamics by using light posing and direction and being able to tell a story through the images and the feeling the images create. Lifestyle photography is a little more posed than documentary photography, but the goal is to allow the families to infuse their personal style into the session, resulting in beautiful images.

I’ve put together a list of a few photographers that really inspire me. Be sure to check out their work and you’ll be so happy you did!

This is a part 1 list and there are several more lifestyle family photographers that inspire me and deserve to be recognized for sure!

Keep reading to see which photographers has made my list of…

5 inspiring lifestyle family photographers to check out!

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Elena S Blair Photography - Seattle, Washington

https://www.elenasblairphotography.com

I don’t remember to be honest how I came across Elena’s work, but I don’t know where I would be had I not taken the time to invest in her amazing education. She is a lifestyle family photographer and I can’t get enough of her maternity, newborn and family work. She is one of the most humble and transparent photographers I’ve come across, and I have purchased several educational materials from her. She truly loves to help fellow photographers, believes in community over competition, and her work is so inspiring.

She has taught me that photography doesn’t have to be perfect. For so long I would over critique my work because it wasn’t “technically correct” but I learned to dig deep into myself and my passion and learn what art means to me, and I believe through some of her education I was able to reach my “why”. If you are ever in the Seattle area, definitely reach out to her. I hope she comes back to Atlanta soon and hope to meet her in person one day!

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Sara Pietras Photography - Oakland, California

https://www.sarapietrasphotography.com

I have been following Sara for quite a while on Instagram and let me tell you - her feed is BEAUTIFUL! She is in the Oakland area and I so badly would definitely reach out to her for a family session! To me, her work is somewhere between documentary and lifestyle and she is so talented with her composition and how she wants to tell the story in the frame. She is so amazing at focusing on those details that you otherwise wouldn’t consider being important - the pigtails, the kisses, the newborn feet, and the way the little guy lines up his trains are all images I think of when I think of her work. I love that her work is also colorful and it’s really inspiring to me because I love color! Check her out!

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Xilo Photography - Oakland, California 

https://xilophotography.com/

One thing I love about Kati's work is the way she focuses on connection. Immediately you can see in the image below how she delicately framed this image to tell the story of a mama and her baby, in those moments we knew flee so fast. She specializes in Fresh 48, Newborn, Family and Maternity Sessions so there is definitely something for every family, no matter their stage. Her family work is told in the most unique places, and I am really loving the urban locations! Her newborn work is so amazing, connected, beautiful and helps to focus on the special moments of the family. Check out more of her work here!

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Tricia Reed Photography - Cleveland, Ohio

https://www.triciareedphotography.com

Tricia is based in Cleveland, Ohio and you definitely need to check her out! She has a beautiful style and an amazing talent at using light to enhance the image of the family. Her sessions look like a blast and I know the families are definitely happy with their images. I am excited to continue being inspired by her beautiful images of children, families, and newborns. Head on over to see more of her work here!

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Kate Lemmon Photography - Boston, Massachusetts

http://www.katelphotography.com 

I actually found Kate in a Facebook group that I belong to and I was absolutely in love with her work! I spent some time on her website and learned she also mentors photographers in several capacities! I had a mentoring Skype session with her last summer and she was amazing to work with! Her work is super colorful, cheery, beautiful, and she finds the best places in Boston for a family session. She is so bubbly and genuine and I love seeing her travels in my Instagram feed!

She truly believes in the power of storytelling and printing your work and I wholeheartedly believe the same! Print your digitals and frame them in your home. Choose an album and show it off to your friends and family!

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I hope you enjoyed reading some of the ways I have learned from the photographers I just mentioned. It’s such a good feeling when you can be inspired by other people’s work and it helps get closer to your why. I can’t wait to continue seeing more of their work!

Talk to you soon,
Tabitha

5 Things You Might Not Know About Tabitha | Tabitha Maegan Photography

Since you’re here on page I will guess that you are either interested in learning more about me as an artist and photographer or maybe you like my work and you are interested to book a family session. I have written a little blog post that may help you get to know me, by sharing 5 things I want you to know. If it’s your first time here, first of all thank you for being here! And head on over to this blog post to read 3 reasons why i am a lifestyle family photographer.

As a photographer it can be easy to hide behind our camera and focus on other people but families are most comfortable with photographers they know!

I’d love you to hang around for a few minutes to read 5 things you might not know about me, and head on over to my contact page if you like what you see and you are interested in booking a family session! I’d love to meet you!

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5 things you might not know about Tabitha

1. I studied psychology and have always been interested in human behavior and connection

There is something about people that really interests me. There’s actually quite a lot about people that interests me. Human behavior and connection are probably two of the things I enjoyed most throughout school. I would always get the best grades in psychology classes because that’s what I was motivated to learn. I incorporate connection in my work and you’ll see it in my lifestyle family sessions. I always want to make sure people are connected and I think it helps to tell your family’s story. The human behavior piece definitely fits into my photography style and I make the effort to pay attention to family dynamics as well as the attention span of the little ones. If the little guy would rather go collect sticks, chances are I will tell his brother, Mom or Dad to follow him and see what happens. Likely we can follow the child’s lead for a little while and get genuine expressions in the moment rather than forcing a pose.

2. I always wanted to be left handed

I’m serious! Is that weird?? Is anyone else right handed and wish they were left handed? I used to practice writing with my left hand on many many occasions just so I could improve my handwriting. Let me tell ya something – I’m actually pretty good at it! I always wanted to be left-handed. I’m sure it’s not too late! I don’t know if it’s because it’s less common and it’s like a, “you’re left handed?” thing, but it’s just something that I always thought was so cool! I guess we want what we don’t have, isn’t that right?

3. I have a food blog

One might think that a food blog and family photography have nothing in common, but my passion for photography is what holds those two things together. My work might not ever be in a food magazine or on TV, but I have so much fun creating a photograph that makes a dish look appealing. Not to mention eating the food. I mean, helloooooo I LOVE TO EAT! Although I do the grocery shopping, cooking, photographing, and eating, I do wish that someone could come behind me and clean the dishes. I am NOT a fan of washing dishes. But I can put that aside because working on my food blog is still so much fun! Head on over to Tabitha Talks Food to check out my work! You will find easy to make, delicious recipes that keep my heart and tummy full and happy.

4. I was born in the Philippines

In this blog post I mentioned that my mom would photograph our family to send to my dad when he was away on the ship. You can start to see how my love for photography began! I was born on a navy base in the Philippines and we lived there for a few months when I was a baby. It was pretty neat that my Dad was stationed there because my mom’s side of the family is also Filipino and Spanish. I went back when I was in college and it was such an interesting experience that I don’t know I’ll ever get the chance to do again. I was there for about a week and I think I seriously photographed everything I encountered! I also tried almost all of the food that was in front of me! Finding Filipino food is such a rarity here in Georgia so when I am craving Filipino food I’ll head into the kitchen and make a few dishes.

5. I have never moved away from Georgia

After leaving the Philippines when I was a baby, we moved to California for a few years. When I was six years old we packed up all our bags (who am I kidding, I probably didn’t help at all packing) and drove across the country to Atlanta, Georgia. I went to elementary, middle, and high school here. When I was applying for colleges I didn’t apply out of state and I ended up going to school in the city. Most people move away from home for a job or school, but I actually have been here since I was a child. If I were to move I’m sure it would be a great experience but Atlanta is my home!

Now that you’ve learned some things about me, I’d love to learn something about you! Leave a comment below with something you’d like me to know about you.

 I’d love to tell your family’s story so take a look at my family portfolio and see if we would be a good fit for a lifestyle family session!

3 Reasons Why I am a Lifestyle Family Photographer | Atlanta Family Photography

When I am thinking about my reasons for being a photographer I like to think about my “why”. I like to reflect about what it is that pushes and guides me to be a photographer and what I hope to accomplish each time I pick up my camera for a session. I make sure I speak and execute my “why” for each newborn, maternity, and family session I get to photograph.

 Keep reading to learn a bit about my style of photography and what drives my passion.

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3 Reasons why i am a lifestyle photographer

1. Telling a story

When I was young, my Dad was in the military and would leave for several months at a time. My mom took photos and videos of our family and little things that made our family special. This could be anything from photographing the way we played on our swing set or showing off our new clothes and toys to show my Dad. All of these photos tell a story.

When I would go to my grandfather’s house in California I used to make it a point to sit in his living room and pick at least two or three photo albums at a time to look through. He would look through them with me and laugh so hard that he couldn’t even tell me the story about the photo. He recently passed away but I will always cherish the moments and the stories told through photography.

Photography gave me a way to learn about his life from several years ago, and gave me a way to also learn about my mom and her siblings. He actually told me that if it weren’t for my grandmother he wouldn’t have any of those photos of the family or his children. It’s so nice to be able to get closer with friends and family members over something that seems so insignificant but is actually very important. Situations, families, jobs, and experiences can be so different several years from now and being able to use a camera to document the moment and memory is a way to help tell the story. It might be hard to remember how your daughter looked and felt when she lost her first tooth. And you may want to look back at that silly face your son made when Daddy held him close.

Sometimes photographs can tell a story without words and I try to incorporate that every time I press the shutter.

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2. Documenting memories

This relates to telling a story and really captures the moment in time. Take the time to think about what memories of your child you have and what you want to be sure to document and not forget. A good example of documenting memories is photographing your new baby during a lifestyle newborn session.

You might not remember how little her toes were or what kind of blanket she loved being swaddled in, but it’s important to have those photographs to look back on.

Maybe your little girl is teething and makes a funny face with a little bit of drool. That’s okay! More than likely I wouldn’t edit that out of my photo, it stays in to tell a story and document the memory!

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3. Because life isn’t perfect

What I want to show in my lifestyle work is the viewer to be able to see the connection and the love. I do try to make sure everyone looks and feels comfortable, however I don’t want to take away from the family’s connection. I prefer connection over perfection any day. I don’t fix my hair to be perfect every day and 90% of the time my nails aren’t manicured or painted. Half of the time my socks are mismatched. It is interesting to see how my personal feelings are embedded in my work.

I love the documentary aspect of lifestyle photography and the way the details show life and don’t focus on perfection.

There is always a time and place for perfection but I hope to be able to provide the means to tell your story in a way that is specific and tailored to your family what is important to you right now.

Sometimes your child would rather look at you and sing than look at my camera. Sometimes your child wants to read a book with you and would rather read than sit on a couch for a stiff family photo. And I’m okay with that. It’s connection. And I can’t wait to meet you!

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I’d love to photograph your family for a lifestyle family session. Check out my family portfolio here and send me a message on my contact form about how we can schedule your family session!

10 Ways to Tell a Story During your In-Home Newborn Session

I love love love lifestyle newborn sessions.

Being a lifestyle photographer means helping to tell a family’s story and incorporating meaning and emotion into the image from the session.

Looking through my last few newborn sessions I realized there are some important detail shots that I tend to take that help to document the special time of welcoming a new baby into the world.

Here are 10 ways to use photography to help tell a story during your in home newborn session.

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1. Include the Entire Family

Sometimes Dad’s aren’t particularly jumping to the opportunity to get their photo taken. I like to take a few photos of the entire family at the beginning of the session and then let Dad be on his way. 

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2. Focus on the Baby within the Family Photo

While I still have Dad’s attention and the family is still together, I like to crop in tight to get a shot of the baby. This might mean moving the family around a little bit, but it’s a nice way to create variety within a family shot. The baby was awake for almost this entire session and I love this photo with her eyes open.

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3. Photograph the Baby Feet

I don’t think I could have a newborn photo shoot without photographing the baby’s feet! The baby is so precious and new and getting close up photos of the baby’s legs and feet is so important. They grow so fast at this age so make sure you don’t forget that detail shot!

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4. Use a Window

The master bedroom in this home had really great window light. Most of my sessions are taken with natural light when possible, and for those sessions I like to take some photos near a window. My focus is more on the baby and the family so it doesn’t bother me when the windows are blown out. 

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5. Capture Connection

I typically like to schedule my newborn sessions when the newborn is 2-3 weeks old because the babies are more alert. When they are awake it tends to be a little easier to capture connection. Whether you are photographing the baby’s connection with the family or with the viewer, it can be a nice way to tell a story.

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6. Peek In

For rooms and space that allow, I like to step back and take the photo that allows the viewer to “peek in”. I couldn’t have asked for a more perfect way for the family dog to join the photo. When taking these peeking-in shots, you can frame the shot with the door and/or crib if the room allows.

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7. Document a Feeding

When Moms are comfortable being photographed nursing their babies it gives me an opportunity to walk around from different angles and document this special time. Newborns naturally eat often so don’t be afraid bring your camera and document a few of these photos for the family to enjoy.

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8. Photograph the Baby in Crib

This photo can be taken with the baby in their crib awake or sleeping and I think it helps to tell the story because this is where the baby spends so much of their time.

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9. Encourage the Parents to Look at the Baby in Crib

Photographing the parents looking at their baby in the crib is another idea to tell the story with a different perspective and creates connection between the parent and the baby. Another thing you can do is have the parents put their hand on the baby. Babies are so small so I always like to incorporate objects, furniture, and people in comparison to document their small size.

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10. Place the Baby on the Bed

Placing the baby on a clean bed and photographing them from different angles is another way to tell the story. This one allows you to compare the size of the baby and remember what they felt like.

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If you’ve had photos taken of your newborn, did you get any of these photos?

If you’re a photographer would you add anything else to this list?

Leave a comment below!  

{kaleb} | kaleb turns one | marietta lifestyle family photographer

They say time flies when you're having fun, and I assure you, Kaleb had so much fun turning one! I was excited to document his first birthday party, because ya only turn one once! 

He's such a lucky little guy to have so many family members around him. From getting help looking like a cutie wearing a bow tie, to getting help opening presents, and then eating birthday cake outside, it was sure of a day!

If you'd like to enjoy your child's special day, allow me to take the pressure off and help to document the birthday! Head on over to my contact page or check out the family gallery here!

{jenna & cole} | mommy and me session | atlanta lifestyle photography

This was my second time photographing this Mommy and toddler and we decided to do a Mommy and Me session! Click here if you want to see Cole's one year cupcake smash! Cole is such a fun toddler and we went with the flow during this in-home lifestyle session. What I love about this age is that it ends up being more fun and relaxed when you go with the toddler's lead and what he or she wants to do.

We had so much fun today reading books, playing with puzzles, eating a snack, playing with toys, playing airplane with mommy, and really just seeing what Cole had in mind to do. I love capturing the way she and he look and adore each other. Mom is a local photographer so it's always fun to give her some fresh images of her and her little snugglebug!

That's what lifestyle is all about. Capturing real life. If you are interested in booking a family session, get in touch with me by filling out this contact form and we can get something on the calendar! Can't wait to meet you! 

{krishan} | six months | decatur family photography

I was so excited to see this little guy, I hadn't seen him since I photographed him at 3 weeks! So much has changed in six month and he's such a big boy! Mom and Dad had a cute nautical theme that looked so cute with the decor and matching outfits! We had it all planned out to have more than just the one boat in the scene but this little guy was busy and totally didn't care we were trying to stage the area! 

I loved the lifestyle feel of this session, there's such an intimate feeling having lifestyle sessions in the home, and they had the perfect master bedroom for it. A clean space and more focus on the baby! What I also loved was that Grandma joined the fun and got in for a few of the photos. I love including all the family members and it provides such a nice variety of choices of natural interactions! 

We went outside to the backyard to wrap up our session and the little guy loved it! I can't wait to see him at 9 months. If you're interested in a newborn or family session, please contact me and we can get something on the calendar! 

-Tabitha 

{hollis} | fresh 48 | northside hospital | fresh 48 atlanta

One thing I love about Fresh 48 newborn sessions is that I get to document the in-between moments, the snuggles, the comfort, the naps, hugs, and everything in between. Typically during Fresh 48 sessions, the photos are taken in a documentary and story telling way anytime during the first 48 hours of the baby's life.

During this hospital session, I spent some time with Mom and Dad while they admired their new baby girl. This family was previously a family of three, and it was so fun to help them welcome a new baby girl, to their now family of four. 

I got to meet big brother and he couldn't have been more excited. He would tell friends and family, "she's here!" and enjoyed holding his new baby sister. He was also really excited to help soothe her with her pacifier. I let him borrow a toy turtle and he seemed over the moon to show her the little toy.

Baby Hollis slept so well for us during our session, which made photographing her quite easy. She might have missed out from some love, hugs, and kisses from her big brother, but I'm sure there are many more moments to come in this family when big brother gets to love on baby sister. 

If you would prefer to have a lifestyle newborn session in the comfort of your home, check out the blog to see this Family of Three and this in home Newborn Session. Head on over to my contact page if there are any questions I can answer for you!

{biscuits and burlap} | atlanta food blogger | atlanta lifestyle photographer

I had the pleasure of meeting Pam and Sara at an Atlanta Food Blogger's meetup and I was so excited when they reached out to me about lifestyle photos for their blog! Pam and Sara from Biscuits and Burlap were so comfortable in front of the camera and you can totally see their passion behind their Southern roots and their loving nature to provide delicious recipes for others!

It makes me so happy to capture people in their element, and even better when it's in their home and their most favorite surroundings (or food)! 

If you're interested in booking a lifestyle session, family photo session, or just because it's a Wednesday, please reach out and say hello! I'd love to hear from you. Here are some other recent posts on the blog

{yowler family} | two weeks new | atlanta newborn photography

I love meeting new families and learning about what makes their family special. Mom is a photographer and I am always excited to photograph another photographer because they get to actually be in the photos with their family! This was an in home lifestyle newborn session so the focus was capturing the newborn in her natural environment. The home makes the perfect backdrop for lifestyle newborn photos! 

I loved how natural the family was and baby girl got all the love! How cute is her older brother being so loving and giving her all of the kisses! 

I always like to spend time with not only the family for photos of the newborn and the family, but also the little things like the sibling playing with blocks in his room. Mom and I chatted for a while and just let him do his thing. If you're interested in a lifestyle family session, head on over to say hello and we can chat about booking a session!

{carrion family} | christmas fun | dallas family photography

Although we aren't technically family, I enjoy every bit of the time I get to spend with my best friend's family. They take me in as their own, and I get to play with the two silliest, smartest, cutest little girls (okay I might be a little biased) a couple times a year. I have watched these girls grow over the years and I enjoy the time I get to see them. I bring along my camera to document the activities and silly games because it's always a treat to look back on them even just a few months later to see how much they've grown!

We began our day outside as the girls showed me their new Christmas gifts. They were so excited to show off their new clothes and their new bikes. Don't they just look so cute? We spent a little time inside to take a break to color, and then ended up going back outside in the backyard. They live in a small town north of Atlanta and they have so much land on their property. Living in the city you wouldn't get as much land as they would, so we definitely take advantage between having the bonfire going, the 4-wheeler rides, and letting the dogs run free. The backyard was such a wooded dream! The family stayed warm between having the bonfire going and staying warm with snuggles.

What I love about lifestyle sessions is the ability for the family to carry on the way they would as if I wasn't there. I just happen to be at the right place with my camera, ready to click! With two fast-moving little girls they definitely keep me on my feet and I love the way the photos tell the story. They are used to getting their photos taken but I still sometimes try to be sneaky so I can capture the genuine expression and emotions when they are playing. 

Check out the blog for other recent sessions such as this Newborn Session and this lifestyle session at Ponce City Market in Atlanta! 

{trumbull family} | family fun | lilburn family photographer

I had a coworker reach out to me about a lifestyle in-home session of her family and I was so excited. This was actually the second time I got to photograph them and knew it would be fun to get some holiday images for them to send out! She's the only lady in the family but I will say the boys in her family have so much personality!

We spent some time outside capturing some day to day activities. The little one loved playing with the basketball and the older one loved showing me riding his bicycle. There is so much personality in these images, and I was so excited to get the gallery to this family. Our outdoor activities included playing around and of course getting tickles and snuggles from Mom and Dad. I was excited to see how the family decorated their Christmas tree, and everyone was so excited to show me all of their ornaments. It was special to photograph their family traditions. 

I love when families reach out to me about lifestyle holiday family photos because you can allow things to naturally unfold. Check out this little guy's outfit for these holiday photos!

{brian & abby lynn} | daddy daughter playtime | atlanta lifestyle photographer

Sometimes as photographers we don't spend much time in front of the camera. I had been talking to Brian about scheduling a time to get some photos of him and his daughter so I was so excited when the family session finally happened! He's an Atlanta photographer as well, but today he was a Daddy that got to go play at the park!

I got to spend a couple of hours them today and one of the things they enjoy doing together is going outside to play. The visit at the park began with them play fighting with sticks, which I thought was absolutely adorable. We then took a walk to the trail that was in the back area, where they played peek a boo behind a tree. I don't know many toddlers that don't enjoy peek a boo! The two of them enjoyed talking about what they saw on the trail and the trail walk ended with an adorable piggy back ride. We got back to the grassy area of the park and the little girl giggled her way into Daddy's lap.

I loved the lifestyle feel of this because most of the moments were candid and natural. Interested in a play session at the park? Fill in your information on my contact page so we can schedule a family session!