My oldest dressed herself this morning and looked like the cutest little librarian I ever did see. She went into the kitchen and I saw a beautiful portrait opportunity so I grabbed my camera.
Our industry has seen a steady increase (and overuse) of the words "lifestyle" and "documentary" to describe their work, and in taking these two images this morning I saw a fun way that I can differentiate the two.
Both of these images tell the story of my girl(s) at breakfast.
I don't believe the first is dishonest, or manipulative, but it strips down the story to JUST my daughter and the fact that even though she's tall enough to reach the sink, she still stands on her tip toes. It doesn't however tell the ENTIRE story.
The second is a more holistic depiction of the scene. No one has been directed for light and the story here conveys more chaos than the first.
This isn't to say that lifestyle images are clean and that documentary style photos are chaotic, or that one is more ideal in general. They are both powerful styles that can yield emotive and compelling results. Lifestyle photography captures a subject naturally in it's environment and documentary photography does the same without doing anything (or doing very little) to sensor the image or story. I use both approaches when shooting for my 365 projects as well as my client work, and the more documentary style photos I shoot, the more effective I have seen my lifestyle images become.
What about you? Are you utilizing these approaches in your work?