Lifestyle Photo-shoot: Photos that tell a story

My friend Paige is a genius photographer, who shoots families and newborns with Glean & Co in Boise, Idaho, and all across the Pacific North West.  I have been working with her on some copy writing, and jumped at the chance to sample for free her ‘lifestyle’ family photo-shoot.

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Our family do not get photos taken professionally.  We have one from when Smalls was born, but that’s it.  We don’t even have wedding photos up in our house.  We like candid, slice of life, this is who we are, take us or leave us shots.  Which means they are mostly  taken by me, and although I love taking photos and think I’m getting better at it every day, I am nowhere close to a professional.

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Paige told me about her love of taking similar slice of life photos.  When clients arrange a photo-shoot with her they usually dress up in their best clothes, stress about getting everyone to look the same way, pose and smile for the camera.  I’ve seen Paige’s more formal family shots, and I know she can still capture a family’s spirit and get the best out of them.  What really inspires her, however, is when she can watch a family living their life, and document them doing so.  Hence the fact she has launched this new product, which involves getting the family out of the studio and into the world that they regularly inhabit, where they feel comfortable.

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While Paige and I chatted about setting up a lifestyle shoot, she asked me lots of questions about me and our family; what do we love to do at the weekend, where do we go, why do we go there. It was pretty easy for me to narrow down that in Septembers, at some point in the weekend, we are likely to be out on our bikes. We chatted about our current favorite place to go, which is the bike park in Eagle. Even as we talked about it and I watched her enthusiasm for our activities, I felt invigorated as we made a plan together. This was not going to be a photographer telling us where to go, move your arm a bit to the left, smile now. This was clearly going to be a relationship where we worked together, and I was excited about being so involved in the process.

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We headed out to the bike park late on a Saturday afternoon.  I was a little uncertain at first; what should we even wear, should we try and match plaid shirts? I pulled out my best top, followed by my yoga pants.   Everything seemed silly.  I finally settled on some stretchy skinny jeans, sneakers, a workout top.  The boys obviously thought about none of these things, and I liked that I didn’t have to try and squeeze them into uncomfortable clothes that they weren’t used to wearing.

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It was so much fun! We chatted to Paige, Red examined her camera in detail, and then we jumped on our bikes and were off! She followed us around, and occasionally made some suggestions, but mostly she left us to it.  It made the whole experience so comfortable, we were barely aware she was there.

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We didn’t get any photos of the four of us all facing the camera, all smiling.  But we got so much more. The photos we chose to have printed as art for our walls, they are not just shots that document us on a certain day in September when Red was 6 and Smalls was 2. They capture a time period in our lives, when the kids are young and Smalls copies everything his big brother does. When Red still obsessively creates things with whatever he finds. When both boys plunge headlong into any dirt they find without a second thought. When we bike, together, as a family. This was us in September, and is still who we are now, four months later, and will likely still be who we are in a year, or even two. These images represent our family in it’s truest form and I couldn’t love them more.

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Thank you, Paige!

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4 Comments Add yours

  1. Alan says:

    Fascinating insight into the world of the professional photographer. I used to enjoy the (almost ruthless!) cut and thrust of serious amateur competitions until one day I realised I was observing life almost exclusively through a viewfinder. Spontaneity is definitely the way to go. At Christmas I had two 12in x 16in canvas prints made for 2 of my fishing friends. Completely transforms the impact of the image. Keep up the good work guys!

    1. wee1one says:

      I’d love to see the prints Alan! I have to say, I love having the large size of these pics for our walls, so different than looking back on a phone or computer.

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