Lifestyle photography can be described as a kind of photography that captures people in real-life situations, or life-events or milestones captured and portrayed in an artistic manner.
For wedding photography, the term 'lifestyle' is often used and not always properly understood. For me, lifestyle wedding photography is two-fold in how I work; first of all, capturing people at their wedding in a natural, and unobtrusive manner. Secondly, I always say it's important that a couple's wedding photos look like their wedding photos. It's very easy for photographers to use the same poses in the same location every weekend but with a different couple, so much so you could get by with sticking and pasting people from one image to the next. A similar approach can be argued for some wedding venues too, where, by ensuring that every wedding is largely the same, you can save time, effort and money in not trying to reinvent the wheel each weekend. You do however run the risk of entering into what I call 'conveyor belt wedding' territory. Where a couple get engaged, enter onto the conveyor belt at one end, do the same thing as every other couple for the same venue and photographer, and get spat out the other end as a married couple, never quite making their big day truly theirs.
For wedding photography, I think it's vitally important to allow a couple to look like the couple that they are. For this reason I don't use any awkward poses - if it's not something you'd do naturally if I wasn't there, it's sure not going to be something I ask you to do just for a photo, presumably for you to look back on in a few months time and say 'that was weird.'
Instead my approach to wedding photography is simple. I pick a nice place for a photo, depending on the venue, the light, the weather, the mood, and loosely direct the couple where to stand. How they actually stand or pose is up to them. How they look at each other is up to them. Whether they look at me or not - again, very much up to them. This is how I tend to be able to make a couple's wedding photos look like their wedding photos, and not everybody else's.
Now, with the description of how I work and what my take on 'lifestyle wedding photography is, lets go back to the photo above. Amy and Richard had their wedding ceremony at the Wood Norton, near Evesham in Worcestershire. The weather immediately before the wedding very much looked like it was going to rain, so the decision to get married outside wasn't set in stone until we only had minutes to spare. When the wedding got underway, the clouds parted and the couple had the best and brightest weather I'd seen up until that point this year!
One of my favourite images from their outdoor wedding ceremony at the Wood Norton was the one you see above - being allowed to be themselves in an unscripted moment results in a wedding image that's very 'them', which is exactly how I like it!
Location: The Wood Norton, Worcestershire.Keywords: Documentary wedding photography (372). 1/800; f/2.5; ISO 100; 85.0 mm.