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What is Lifestyle Photography and Why I am a Lifestyle Family Photographer | KY family photographer

October 2, 2019

Hi, I'm cilla!
I am a loved, incredibly imperfect, storyteller of life, love, and joy. Photographer to some of the most genuine and beauty-filled people in KY.
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session day
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Let’s make family photo sessions a little bit easier. Just a small portion of the Lifestyle Session Guide all of my family’s receive.


What is lifestyle photography?

I remember it so clearly. I was scrolling MySpace (yes…back in the day), in my little windowless office, on my lunch break at a job I was grateful for. I stopped scrolling when I saw an image I loved on a profile I didn’t recognize. She and I were friends with a lot of the same people, but I didn’t know her. Something drew me in. These were the days when I would drive up side roads on my drive home to practice my photography skills and learn as much as I could on my own. I knew I wanted to become a photographer. This is the place where the passion began. I looked at a few more of her images and loved how casual and happy they were. How they really captured her kiddos personalities. I worked up the courage to send her a message. I told her I loved photography and wanted to become a photographer and was hoping to purchase some studio equipment soon. She said something that changed the trajectory of my photography. “You don’t need studio equipment to be a photographer.” Now, that seems like a no brainer, but this was all the way back in the days of myspace people and I was knew to the world of photography. She told me about lifestyle photography, about her sister who is a photographer, and about flickr where so much beautiful lifestyle photographer and photographers lived. Y’all…I became obsessed…as I do with anything I’m newly interested in. I take in ALL the information. All of it. I want to master it…NOW. Now, that myspace stranger became one of my close friends, as did her sister. Amy photographed Steff’s birth and her sister, Stacey, photographs my family nearly every summer and I got to photographer hers this summer. Thank goodness for myspace. 🙂

Wikipedia does a good job of defining lifestyle photography…

“Lifestyle photography is a kind of photography that mainly aims to capture portrait/people in situations, real-life events or milestones in an artistic manner and the art of the everyday. The primary goal is to tell stories about people’s lives or to inspire people in different times.”

Lifestyle photography blends portraits and documentary photography. It’s about connection and life. It’s about capturing how something feels and someones true personality and what they love. Not just what they look like. When someone said to me “you are a true lifestyle photographer” it was the greatest compliment. But, honestly, it’s just the way I shoot. Sometimes I wish I were even more documentary, but the way I shoot just happens to be lifestyle photography. I just connect with people and photograph them. That’s it. I pour over work I love and have learned from many of my favorite photographers. The work I love always ends up being lifestyle and/or documentary photography. Not only do I fall in love with this style of photography more and more every day, but I deeply and whole heartedly WANT it for my family and for yours. I want for you to see your life in your images. I want you to see your connections and the love you share with your family. I want you to see what life looks like today. Because, as I always say, it won’t look the same in ten years. Shoot, it won’t even look the same in one year. Life changes so quickly and I want, desperately, for us all to hold onto it, even as we let it pass us by.

I told myself I was going to share “just a few” of my favorite images that really show what lifestyle photography is. But, of course, I couldn’t do that. I love so many. So many more than this. Here are “a few” of my favorite images that I feel truly show what lifestyle photography is. The perfectly imperfect.

So much love,


PS…do you feel a connection to these images? Would you love to have lifestyle photography for your family? It’s kinda like a little playdate and I promise to make it fun. There are still a few spots open in November. Click HERE to get started reserving your family session just in time for holiday gifts!

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I'm Cilla and I'm so happy you're here! You'll find bits of writing about this beautiful, messy, joyful, love-filled life...both mine and the families I get to photograph year after year. 

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session day
prep list

Let’s make family photo sessions a little bit easier. Just a small portion of the Lifestyle Session Guide all of my family’s receive.


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Let’s make family photo sessions a little bit easier. Just a small portion of the Lifestyle Session Guide all of my family’s receive.

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