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!
Elena S Blair Photography - Seattle, Washington
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!
Sara Pietras Photography - Oakland, California
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!
Xilo Photography - Oakland, California
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!
Tricia Reed Photography - Cleveland, Ohio
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!
Kate Lemmon Photography - Boston, Massachusetts
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!
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,