{Mentor Monday} Honoring the Details

I'm a "lifestyle" photographer. Many of you may not be familiar with that term, so let me introduce you! Lifestyle photography foregoes the glamour of weddings and the structure of studio work, and focuses (in part) on the beautifully mundane details of life. It is photojournalistic in nature, telling your life story and celebrating it's imperfections. 

Sure, this sight is enough to make this grown woman weep. But one day, my children will be too old for high chairs and food-flinging, and I'll have only these pictures to remember this time in my life by. 

Sure, this sight is enough to make this grown woman weep. But one day, my children will be too old for high chairs and food-flinging, and I'll have only these pictures to remember this time in my life by. 

Between camera phones and social media, we've all become amateurs in "lifestyle photography." That fantastic looking brunch your mother posted? Lifestyle photography. The elaborate nail art your friend instagrammed? Lifestyle photography. Granted, some of it is far more artistic and/or meaningful than others. 

Here are some of my favorite excuses to break out the camera!

Routines

Don't let those doe eyes fool you, this child can destroy a room in minutes!

Don't let those doe eyes fool you, this child can destroy a room in minutes!

The only constant in life is change. This holds true for every age. So while Kaelyn's daily ritual of emptying her drawers of clothes seems like it will NEVER end. It will. (...I hope) 

Not a parent? Still applies! I only graduated JMU a few years ago, and going back this December for my sister-in-law's graduation was like going to a whole different campus. The quad I walked every day is now completely different, and I have precious few photos to remember my campus by. 

No routine is too small - take a picture now before you miss the chance! (Is your routine SUPER boring? tackle this photo-taking challenge with some helpful composition tips)

Idiosyncrasies

Nothing sucks the personality out of a photo like a stiff pose, uncomfortable wardrobe, and saying "Cheese!" That's not you, that's not your friend, that's not your child. Instead, make it your mission to catch the quirks that define the people around you!

For instance: Kaelyn LOVES elephants. But, like most 20 month olds, she can't say "elephant." She CAN make a trumpeting sound and pretend her arm is a trunk. And she will run circles around our downstairs "trumpeting". 

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Maybe you have a friend who is obsessed with dancing Gangnam style, or your brother is on a workbench-building kick (True story. I'm not the only DIYer in my family!). These are traits totally unique to them, and - like all things - subject to change at any moment with the next dance craze or hobby undertaking. 

Relationships

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Our lives are made up of relationships. Relationships with people, and relationships with things. I can't picture Kaelyn's life without her stuffed "Bubby", or my husband's without golf, or mine without either of them! Neglecting to incorporate those relationships into our photo albums would be a great injustice to these relationships and how they've molded our lives.

Transitions

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As you may have heard, our family has gone through some pretty big changes as of late. Sure, we'll all adapt and find a new "normal" as a family of four, but until then this transition has made for some really heart warming photo ops. Above, K couldn't decide if she wanted to play mommy to her baby "Bubby", or if she wanted to stay the baby and swing instead. I knew this was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, so I snapped a few pictures of my conflicted tot.
Life changes throw us all a little out of wack. Just remember to pull out the camera and document the transitions as you go! 

Unexpected "Firsts"

First day of school, first dance recital.. these are a few of the more obvious "firsts" most of us will break out our cameras for. But don't forget about all the other "firsts" you'll encounter along the way!

This week, we had our first "tummy time" session with baby E. I'm glad I had the camera handy, because our rescue Gulliver decided to join the fun (and kinda stole the show..). BOOM. "Relationship" AND "Unexpected First" all in one. Man, I'm good! Healthy dose of confidence this morning, too ;)

This week, we had our first "tummy time" session with baby E. I'm glad I had the camera handy, because our rescue Gulliver decided to join the fun (and kinda stole the show..). BOOM. "Relationship" AND "Unexpected First" all in one. Man, I'm good! Healthy dose of confidence this morning, too ;)