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What Are the Different Styles of Family Photography?

There is a difference between photography and editing styles. Here I explain the difference, and why you must understand it to select the photography style you want for your family photos.

Photography and Editing, Different Things that Complement Each Other

The photography STYLE defines mostly the moment the photo is captured. Posing in a studio session, running outdoors on a lifestyle session, baking in your kitchen during a documentary session, or holding an apple next to a charming tree on a Fine Art session.

Then, how the artist takes that ‘raw’ image and transforms it into art is the EDITING STYLE. Every artist has a vision and a signature editing style, in which consistency is key.

Family Photography Styles

Documentary Photography

For this, the photographer spends an entire day with your family (or half-day!). The goal is to capture all the in-between moments, think about ‘a day in the life of’ type of photos.

It’s raw and candid, focusing on your daily routine activities. From eating breakfast, to changing diapers, to doing art in the living room, and maybe dancing in the rain. Whatever unfolds in your day, the photographer will document it! One of my favorite Documentary photographers is Colie James, based in Colorado.

Studio Photography

Probably one of the easiest sessions to understand 🙂 They take place in a studio; the photographer uses lights and equipment to create the desired mood. The photographer makes the family pose to create the magic. The space is confined, the artist’s guidance is key! When I think of studio photography, Anna Brandt is top of mind! She is a studio guru like no other.

Fine Art Photography

These portraits are pieces of art. They look like a painting for 2 main reasons: first, the locations are handpicked by the artist to make you travel back in time or to touch the deepest side of your soul; second, the post-processing and retouching gives it a classic look and feel that is unique, the photos are ‘modern paintings’. One of my favorite Fine Art photographers is Noelle Mirabella, based in Canada.

Lifestyle Photography

My favorite style! The photographer is chasing moments as they unfold. The location is dreamy, scouted for, and not random. What the artist captures are candid, raw moments. Kisses, snuggles, laughter, and everything in between. There is no posing and just little direction in general. Kids run free and moments just happen. These are the sessions that speak to my soul. These are the family moments my heart craves for as years go by. The lifestyle portraits are real and meaningful. Are you ready to drop your chin? This is my absolute favorite Lifestyle photographer: Meet Stormy Sollis, based in Colorado.

Real Art Photography

You won’t find this term in the encyclopedia, yet that’s what best describes Andre Toro Photography. For me, it means Fine Art inspired by candid moments. It’s portraits with a purpose, capturing candid and emotive memories, regardless of whether it’s a maternity photoshoot, family photo session, or newborn photo session. It’s Lifestyle photography combined with Fine Art. It’s taking candid moments and transforming them into pieces of art that your soul will crave for years from now as you walk through memory lane.

Learn More about ATP’s Family Sessions

Photo Editing Styles / Techniques

Which editing styles are best for a family photo? Honestly, that’s a personal choice 🙂

Once the moment is captured, the photographer starts the behind-the-scenes magic. The post-processing options are endless, with so many different photography editing styles. Every artist has a unique vision for how a portrait should stand out. Each photographer has a signature editing style.

Below, I help you navigate just a few popular photo editing styles in 2021. I used the same portrait and edited it using different techniques! I hope it is helpful to understand the difference 🙂

Everyone Has a Favorite!

Editing is not the solution to creating a perfect photo. It’s true that behind the scenes a photographer can create magic in post-processing using Photoshop/Lightroom, yet if the moment captured doesn’t speak by itself, the portrait won’t be breathtaking, no matter how many hours you spend editing.

A piece of art (Fine Art Photo) starts on session day, with your photographer capturing ‘the’ moment that will speak to your soul. That ‘moment’ edited with the finest tools and techniques will transform into a masterpiece of art! So, how much should you pay for a professional photo session in Boston in 2022?


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