Who remembers Olan Mills?
I may be dating myself here, but I grew up going to Olan Mills for family photos. In fact, my dad was a photographer for Olan Mills when I was born! In case you don’t know, Olan Mills was once one of the largest portrait photography operations in the United States.
The big day arrives
My memories of family picture day weren’t happy. First, we had to get dressed up in our best outfits and then had to drive 30 minutes to the studio and we were expected to still look fresh and crisp when we arrived! And once we were there, oh boy! Everyone had to be perfectly posed, looking at the camera and saying “cheese”. My parents wanted that “perfect” family photo and were always stressed, making sure that we were paying attention and not goofing off. I don’t ever remember leaving an appointment thinking, “Wow, that was fun.”
As an adult looking back at those photos from when I was a kid, I’m struck by one thing. Well, maybe two. First, they don’t show what our family was like at all. Our family was far from “perfect”, and the only time we were all looking in the same direction and smiling was during family photos! And second, OMG what was my mom thinking when she picked out our outfits?
A better way of capturing memories
But seriously, I want to give my clients images that represent their family. That’s the beauty of lifestyle photography. It allows me to capture true, authentic family moments. Moments that matter! Like the funny face their toddler made, the chaos that comes with having a one-year-old, or how moody their teenagers were. Images that show emotion, connection, and the very essence of the subjects being photographed. I want sessions to be fun, relaxed, and stress-free. That’s what lifestyle photography is to me and it’s why I love doing lifestyle sessions.