What is Lifestyle Photography and why choose it for your family photo shoot?


by Zürich Lifestyle Family Photographer Kati

Mum hugging her two daughters for family photos at Katzensee, Zurich

If you are thinking of booking a professional family photo shoot, you might have read about lifestyle photography and studio photography, and wondered: “What is the difference – and which is best for my family?”

Lifestyle photography is a unique and creative genre that captures the essence of real life. It aims to tell a story about the subject and their daily life, rather than just taking a posed portrait. Whether it’s a family, a couple, an individual, or even a pet, the goal is to showcase their personality and ‘lifestyle’.

So, as a family lifestyle Photographer here in Zurich, Switzerland, I simply take photos (and videos too if you like) that document special moments in your daily life. In contrast to a studio shoot, it is not about the perfectly posed picture of you and your kids smiling into the camera.

It’s about your togetherness, in your environment, living your brand of family life. Authentic, Touching, Emotive.

This could be anything from playing with their children, cooking dinner, or simply lounging at home. The idea is to create images that feel authentic and real, rather than staged and artificial.

The result is a genuine snapshot of a point in time: a record of how you loved, played, cooked and baked, went to the park or did gymnastics in the playground.

expat family at LIndenhof, Zurich, being photographed by lifestyle photographer Kati, with Grossmünster in the background
little boy sitting in the snow, posing for a photo all cuddled up and looking so sweet, Switzerland winter photo session

For my international clients who often move on to live in different countries, a family lifestyle shoot also provides treasured memories of their life in the beautiful surroundings in Switzerland. Better than any staged studio photo can.

One of the biggest advantages of lifestyle photography is that it can be used for a wide range of different purposes. For example, it is often used in advertising to create relatable and authentic images that connect with the target audience.

It is also commonly used in editorial content, such as magazines and blogs, to provide a behind-the-scenes look at the subject’s life. Additionally, lifestyle photography is becoming increasingly popular in social media content, as it allows individuals and brands to showcase their daily lives in a unique and interesting way. I also apply this style to my branding sessions.

two kids running at Lindenhof Zurich during a lifestyle family photo session
a family sitting on chairs at Münsterplatz, in front  of the Fraumünster in Zurich, Switzerland, talking to each other, in order not to pose during their photo shoot.

Your location – indoors, outdoors or both?

When you opt for lifestyle photography and choose to work with me, we start by talking about how to choose great locations for your shoot. These can be in or outdoors – whatever works for your family.

So, if you only just moved house and you’re decorating right now, you might prefer to go to your favourite park in Zurich. Maybe you have a game that your kids like to play or a walk you love to do together. With the great Swiss outdoors as our backdrop, I can help you celebrate those alfresco experiences that are so important to you.

Equally, if you can take photos at home, shooting some images of the family ‘nest’ creates a beautiful visual reminder for the future of the way you once lived. This is especially nice for your kids to have in later years, because they will often only have fleeting memories of early childhood.

On a practical note, I will actively encourage your kids to kick off their shoes AND socks when we’re inside, as being indoors means I can photograph your little ones’ adorable feet, which I couldn’t do so easily outside. And who doesn’t love little kids’ feet!

For families who are able to do a combination of home and outdoors, this is a fantastic photographic opportunity, one which I always encourage! You spend family time together just as you would on a normal Saturday or Sunday, and I capture the most magical moments for you.

Sounds good, right?

two girls playing in their room with their toys and dolls during a family photo session before they go out to continue the lifestyle photos there at a park in Zurich
family playing outside with their two kids, throwing leaves during a family lifestyle photo session in Zurich

Indoor newborn lifestyle photography – great for you and your baby

If you’d love to capture the very early days (because you won’t remember much due to sleep deprivation and general exhaustion), but are not so fond of photos with props, this is perfect for you.

My lifestyle photo shoot with you and your newborn will take place at your home – and there is lots to love about doing it this way:

  • Firstly, you don’t have to pack a bag with all the equipment you would usually need for an outing.
  • Secondly, from feeding to diaper changing, you are more likely to feel relaxed and confident looking after your baby at home. No doubt they will be more comfortable too.

I will take some beautiful photos of you with your baby as well as your baby by her/himself. We can also capture wonderful close-ups of those little details that are perfect in every newborn: the lashes, lips, hands and feet.

My mission is to make it as natural and effortless as possible, focusing on the connection between you and your little one, so you can enjoy the occasion and cherish the photos of your greatest achievement for years to come.

dad hugging his two kids, wearing the same outfit for photoshoot, Belvoir Park Zurich
newborn baby feet of a girl, in Birmensdorf Zurich

The best lifestyle photographers will make you forget they are there

What is the secret to a relaxed family photo shoot? Well, by the time our photo session takes place, I will have made sure that you already know and trust me.

We will have discussed what you are hoping to achieve in detail, and so on the day itself, I will be able to stay in the background and give minimal direction. Which in turn means that you are relaxed and completely yourselves.

You can find more helpful tips on how to prepare for a family shoot here.

dad hugging his two kids, wearing the same outfit for photoshoot, Belvoir Park Zurich

How do family films fit with lifestyle photography?

Sometimes there is nothing better than gathering with your parents and siblings to reminisce about all the little details that made your childhood special. If only there was a film of those days with all of you in it. Oh, wait…

My lifestyle photography and the touching, informal family films that I shoot are a natural fit. My films complement my still-life images by capturing the joy of loved ones’ voices, expressions and gestures in motion.

Some things and moments can just be better remembered in video.

A family film is a wonderful gift to your family and to yourself – a chance to come out from behind your phone camera and be a part of the action. And your kids will love seeing you and themselves cuddling and playing together.

If you’d like to know more about family films, check out this page.

So what are the three most compelling reasons then to love lifestyle photography?

1 Lifestyle sessions give you a more relaxed experience and everyone is allowed to be themselves

2 Lifestyle photo sessions are fun and result in authentic photos that tell a story

3 Lifestyle photography captures your family’s true spirit, your connections and your love for one another

There is obviously no right or wrong style of photography. It’s all about what is right for you and your family. And if you are looking for photos that capture the laughter, the cuddles and even the tears, without feeling constrained and stressed about posing, then lifestyle photography might be for you!

Feel free to get in touch for some inspiration and just a general chat.

Much love, Kati

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