What to expect during your lifestyle portrait session

A starting note on lifestyle photography; there is a little mystery in what ‘lifestyle photography’ actually is and it may may mean something a little different to every photographer. For me, this term means casual, natural, and loosely structured. You aren’t expected to know how to pose or what to do in front of the camera. I guide you every step of the way and take all the moments as they come.

I understand, not everyone has a professional photographer take their pictures every day. As a portrait photographer, I often forget that what seems so natural to me is a rare ritual for families, seniors, and other individuals who get in front on my camera. To clear up some nerves and confusion, here’s what you can expect before, during, and after your on-location lifestyle photography session with Kayla Beard Photography.

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Before your session

After we’ve settled on a date, you’ll then pay your deposit and sign your contract. Along with that comes a small pre-session questionnaire. This helps me structure your session based on your own individualities. I offer a list of my favorite locations and you also have the option to choose your own favorite location! I am always up for going to any location that is special to you, interests you, or somehow represents your personality! Often times, I will chat with my clients over the phone to answer any questions about locations and specifics if questions arise.

Then, the most common question I get is “What should I wear!?”

Families > Dressing for family photos is about coordinating, not necessarily matching. Choose 2-4 colors, some neutral, some brighter, and mix and match them among family members. If you need help on this, you can view this blog post. Also, google and Pinterest offer endless options and idea’s.

Seniors > It’s best to bring along both dressy and more casual outfits so you have a good variety. Stay true to your style but don’t be afraid to dress it up a little. Layers and accessories photograph beautifully and I recommend wearing neutral colors with pops of color here and there. I would avoid wearing too bright of colors and super busy patterns. Neutral colors will remain timeless and fashionable for years to come.

Couples > Think coordinating instead of matching. With engagement and couple’s sessions, you’ll probably want two or three outfits with a mixture of casual and more dressy. Choose something you would normally wear and you feel comfortable in. Dressing it up for pictures is excellent idea, but keep it within your comfort zone.

During your session

Gone are the days of cramped studio photography. I am exclusively an on-location photographer and I use minimal artificial light. My style is a mix of both candid and posed photos. When we meet for your session, I’ll explain the basics and we’re off! I talk plenty, probably too much but you aren’t left wondering what you’re suppose to be doing or what I’m doing. I will boss you around and tell you how to pose. I’ll ask exactly what with the basic instructions I begin with, you can’t mess it up. If you’re a couple, I’ll make you kiss and give each other eskimo kisses.

The first little bit of the session, I generally try to get more posed, poised shots. These are the ones grandma probably prefers on her wall. Doing it this way allows us to get a few clicks out of the way and gives us a little time to start slow. From there, we’ll start to interact and play more. If your session type allows for an outfit change, you’ll change outfits and we’ll begin again.

Always know that if our session runs longer than anticipated at the fault of yours truly, you will never be charged overages. I do ask that you are on time. Being late will cut into our valuable shooting time and cut down on your final selection of images. Often times I have 2 or 3 sessions in one location and I do my very best to make sure everything runs smoothly so nobody is waiting on me.

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After your session

When the session is over, your RAW images are uploaded onto my computer and also saved the images onto an external hard drive. My computer is on a constant cloud based backup as well. I take the utmost care with your images. I cull your images quickly, keeping the best ones. As I begin post processing, I cull down a little further.

A few days after your session, you may see one or two sneak peak images on my various social media platforms. During the editing process, I will keep with my normal style of editing, the style that, hopefully, you booked me for. I color correct and add exclusive enhancements along with some basic blemish removal. Some things I will never do to your images - selective coloring, heavy vignettes, extreme photoshopping of bodies to make people look younger, thinner, etc., sepia tone, or high saturation levels. I do not remove permanent body markings such as moles or birth marks unless specifically asked to do so. I do not offer raw images to my clients; you get the best ones and the rest are deleted.

After I am finished editing and culling, I will upload your final images into an online gallery. I will send you the link, the password, and the download pin number via email. Your gallery is active for 4 months. During this time, you’ll need to download your images and either back them up or purchase a backup USB. From your gallery, you have the option to order the highest quality prints, canvas, albums, and more.


I hope this post has fully prepared you for your photography session! I can’t wait to take your photos.