Lifestyle Photography Experiment

I am a poser. It really happened on accident. You see, when you start photography there are so many moving parts that you need to understand. Light, aperture, ISO, shutter speed, focal length, distance to subject, composition, and so on. So, when you start it is only natural to want your subjects to be still so you can figure all of those things out and get a decent picture. So, I posed my small children. Please. Stand. Still!!! Maybe not my best idea, but it’s what I had to work with. As time went on, I accidentally gathered a following of clients that were hiring me and referring me based on what I was already doing….posing. I barely knew what I was doing, but I did it anyway. By the time we were in Houston, our primary income was through our photography so to keep the brand consistent and to keep a consistent flow of clients, I knew I needed  to continue posing. And that was good, and it has certainly served us well. We are so thankful for that.

But, our life has changed since then. Significantly. We have moved from a big city to a small farming community. Photography is no longer our main source of income. While we still have a wedding business that helps cover the cost of equipment and business expenses, we have pretty much shut down the portrait business aside from a few sessions here and there for friends or family. And, in a lot of ways, this is a good change for us. Frankly, because being home with and educating our 5 kids really is a full time job for me, and also, the hustle that comes with running a full time business is exhausting. I am still wrestling with what to make of  this change. In some ways, it feels like I have lost some of my identity. In other ways I have gained great freedom.

As I have taken a step back and slowed down, what I have noticed about the few sessions I take on is that what gets me really excited about photography…the images that keep me coming back to photography…are actually the images that aren’t posed. They involve movement, expression, emotion. They show relationship and silliness and big feelings. What compels me to continue to pick up my camera is the desire to share the joy that I have of seeing these images of my family laughing and playing blown up big on the walls. For me, it is daily inspiration to keep showing up better for my kids. To keep things fun. To connect amongst the chaos.

While I’m not ready to take on another full time business, I find I am not quite ready to let it completely go either. I keep coming back to it. I’m in this weird middle place. I imagine a lot of us end up in this space at some time, at the end of one thing but still unsure of what the new thing looks like. So, I have decided to conduct an experiment while I wait to figure out what is next. And I need one family’s help.

How I want to do it:

  • First, I want to come to your house. I want to look at a wall that you would like to be filled with images. I want to talk to you about your family and about the details of your session.

  • Second, I want to give you a “day in the life session”. It will likely be around 2 hours long. Probably at your house, possibly at another location. It will involve laughing, playing, and daily life. All of the details of the session: clothing, location, times, activities, etc. will be worked out in that first meeting.

  • Third, when the images are finished, I want to meet with you and help you pick the images for your wall gallery.

  • Fourth, when your printed images come in, I will frame them and come to your house and hang your gallery for you.

How to apply:

First, here are some things that I am looking for in a family.

  1. They live within an hour of German Valley, IL.

  2. They are excited about and have the time to commit to the above process.

  3. They understand the type of images I am looking to get here and are willing to fully cooperate. Not sitting and all looking at the camera, but engaging one another, playing, and being silly. Note: I am talking about grown up cooperation here, not about child cooperation.

  4. They are willing to commit to paying for their gallery wall. It costs $200 and likely includes 7 simple white frames with white mats and deep matte fine art prints. Probably this will look like 1 20×30 print, 2 8×10 prints, and 4 5×7 prints, depending on the space we have to work with. This is a crazy deal, folks.

  5. I am really looking for families with young kids. Probably 10 and younger, but you can feel free to try to convince me otherwise.

Here is how to apply:

  1. Email me and tell me a little bit about your family, why you are excited about this offer, and what you hope to get out of this experience. Send this to

  2. Share this post on FB.

Thank you for reading and for considering being a part of my experiment. Looking forward to hearing from you!