What is Lifestyle Photography?

So, three things have happened recently in my life.  I have been working hard at trying to really discover what my brand is.  What is my passion in photography?  What is my eye drawn to and what evokes emotion within me?  I follow so many photographers whom I love for a variety of reasons and I've tried to emulate their style and find myself failing to be totally satisfied in my work.  My grandmother passed away last week and I wish I had more photos of her.  Her details.  Maybe a photo of her hands, especially with her wedding ring in the shot.  I wish I had a photo of her laughing with her head tilted back.  Maybe even a shot right after she would say to me, "oh, hi darling!" because the corner of her mouth would turn up in a way that only came with that phrase.  My son's transplant anniversary (which we lovely refer to as his transplantaversary) is coming up next week.  Last year I posed him with a framed picture of when he was sick so I could capture the huge difference in his health and overall appearance.  It was drastic!!  In all of the soul searching for my style, the death of my grandmother, and trying to find a perfect way to capture my son's milestone I found myself stewing today while watching Ben play with his trains.  Sophia was napping and the house was otherwise quiet.  I noticed how beautiful his little hands were and how he curled his long legs up to his body so he could fit inside of the tracks he made.  Suddenly I realized what I wanted.  I ran and grabbed my camera.  I snapped as he played.  He stood by the window and although I knew that my images would be overexposed with hot spots I was ok with that.  I just wanted to, in the simplest way, capture Ben just the way he was on this day.  I also loved the way that light wrapped around him.  The light coming in that window while the rest of his room was dim was so stunningly beautiful.  I don't need a photo of him smiling beside a picture from when he was sick.  I will treasure the one I took last year, but this year I wanted pictures of him just being Ben.  I suddenly realized what "lifestyle" photography is!  Honestly, I've always said I was a lifestyle photographer but I added that in my description because I saw other photographers write that and it seemed popular.  I wonder if this same soul searching brought these photographers that inspire me so much to this conclusion.  That although a perfectly posed portrait is beautiful, it is often the photos that are candid and capture real emotion that steal our hearts.  So, I can say with convention now that I am a natural light inspired, lifestyle photographer.  Yes, I will still capture beautifully posed photos for your family, but I dare you to broaden your experience with me.  Allow me to see the real connections in your family.  Those will be the images you adore the most in any type of session you book.  See you soon, friends!