Okay, I’ll admit that even though I consider myself a Denver Family Lifestyle Photographer I’m a bit “old school” in that I still like to get a great shot of everyone looking at the camera and smiling. It’s all that formal portrait training from years ago, I guess. And I do think clients expect it to some degree – the “we are all going to look our best and smile at the camera” aestheic. I start out with those images when everyone is fresh and try to engage children as much as possible, allowing them to help choose a location (I’ll be able to tweak it for the best lighting) and make funny faces at the camera (the shot that follows is the smile I’m looking for). Those images are the first 10 – 15 minutes of a typical family or children’s session, then everyone can relax and know we got those shots. Soon though, I shift into lifestyle mode – Lifestyle photography has a look that is much less posed, where the beauty lies in the “realness” of the moment. Lifestyle images are pictures of your family doing things they would normally do outdoors – run, laugh, swing, play, give hugs, hold hands… the kids might catch bugs or throw rocks in the river. For families with young children this is especially genuine and while I can usually get a pretty great smile from a child by being silly or talking to them, when they are playing their focus shifts and their personalities really shine. With Mom or Dad or brother or sister in the shot the viewer feels that relationship – I feel that relationship. It’s a little glimpse of “a the day in a life” of your family.