MZ Productions
Event marketing done right.

Melissa Zimmer Photography

Photography that moves your soul.

traditional vs. lifestyle {random photographer thoughts, chicago family photographer, darien, il}

Over the past few weeks I have been thinking about what kind of photographer I am. Obviously I specialize in newborns and family - I love it! But am I more "lifestyle" more "traditional" - where do I fit? It's winter here in Chicago so naturally I have had many more sessions inside than out, and I have been utilizing the studio set on a very frequent basis.

Now with that said, I have to admit I don't like the term "studio" photographer - as I feel that term is too constricting. I take great pride in getting to know all my clients, and knowing the subjects of my work. For me, photography is capturing emotion, true personalities, and moments, whether in the studio or out. Whether in a traditional sense or a more candid situation. 

There is great value in both lifestyle and 'traditional' work. Lifestyle is so subjective. I have found some photographers find "lifestyle" means to shoot outside of the studio. Others use it to capture every day life. I personally define "lifestyle" as a session that captures a moment in time - much like Eva's high chair session. It's candid. It's raw. It's a moment in time. Like this.

Traditional work, to me, means more posed. However, not less natural. There is a bit more control from the photographers stand point in a traditional shoot. Typically a traditional shoot is set so that it matches the feeling of the room it will be showcased in. It's often more contrived - though it shouldn't feel forced. I think all good photography should have a natural feel like it - so while the surroundings are conceptualized, the personalities and moments are still authentic. This piece below was shot with the intentions of being our new playroom decor. I love it - on a set that I created knowing what our playroom looks like. However you can still very much get the authentic, true personalities of both girls.

So what do you prefer? Traditional? Lifestyle? Or are you like me and prefer a mix of both? How do you define lifestyle?