6 reasons to do lifestyle engagement photos (psst: one of them is because it'll be free!)

July 5 | Guest post by Madelinne Grey
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The last time we heard from our sponsor, Texas wedding photographer Madelinne Grey, she taught us how to get the most from your wedding photography. This time, she's going to tell us all about lifestyle photography — how it can work for your engagement photos and your wedding, as well as her special discount….

Real laughter and cat cuddles with  Mai and Ashley
Real laughter and cat cuddles with Mai and Ashley
Madelinne Gray is also featured in our Offbeat Vendors guide!
On the spectrum of "traditional posed shots" to "photojournalistic" wedding day coverage, my style falls somewhere in the middle — I call it "semi-posed creative moments." I basically work with my clients to make moments happen, and then capture them as naturally as possible.

Of course, lifestyle shoots are not usually the first thought when it comes to engagement photos — or really any portraits sessions. But here are six reasons why I encourage my clients to consider lifestyle engagement photos…

Lifestyle photography is about the little details

Each couple is different, their story is unique, and so my lifestyle photo shoot approach helps reflects that. My goal is to capture real moments: The moments in between all of the hustle and bustle of the wedding. Or the laughter over a shared joke. And the quiet moments of contemplation before becoming united with your partner.

For a little light lifestyle photo shoot action... Kera plays ukulele, so these two incorporated her hobby into engagement photo session.
For a little light lifestyle photo shoot action… Kera plays ukulele, so these two incorporated her hobby into engagement photo session.

They are good practice for the wedding day

If either person has any nervousness about being in front of the camera, a portrait shoot — especially a lifestyle session — is a great way to get some practice in a low stress setting. You'll get experience taking cues from the photographer, learning what exactly happens in a portrait session, and generally getting the fear of the unknown out of the way.

Sarah and Lalo and their furry family.
Sarah and Lalo and their furry family.

It can be super-nice to have some professional photos that aren't in wedding clothes

You'll have some great images to put up around your house, without making it feel like a wedding shrine. You can use the photos for Thank Yous, Save the Dates, your wedding website, or whatever you please.

Or you can even do lifestyle photos in your wedding clothes…

Day after lifestyle portraits and genuine smiles with Ismael and Kate.
Day after lifestyle portraits and genuine smiles with Ismael and Kate.
Sometimes you just gotta eat pizza in your wedding gear.
Sometimes you just gotta eat pizza in your wedding gear.

A lifestyle session is an opportunity to get photos of you doing something you love together

Whether it's cooking, having a musical jam session, playing board games, chilling with your pets, or having coffee in bed. Lifestyle sessions let you capture really authentic, intimate moments. And for those of you that are uncomfortable in front of the camera, taking photos on your own turf, while doing something you like (instead of awkwardly posing in a field) can be much easier.

Take these lifestyle engagement sessions for example…

Baking bread and music making brought Leah and Johnmark together.
Baking bread and music making brought Leah and Johnmark together.
Jess and Erica enjoy coffee outside of a local Austin shop
Jess and Erica enjoy coffee outside of a local Austin shop
Typical weeknight in -- playing games with your boo.
Capture your typical weeknight in — playing games with your boo.

If you want a lifestyle photographer for your wedding

It's important to make sure you like them — it's much easier to be natural on camera and not feel awkward if you can vibe with the person behind the camera.

During my consultations, I tell all potential clients that they should choose a photographer not just on their style or budget, but also on whether or not they like them on a personal level. Since I'm spending all day with them — and will arguably be around them more than their own family on their wedding day — I want my clients to feel comfortable.

Kevin and Casandra opted for a wedding without ANY posed photos.
Kevin and Casandra opted for a wedding without ANY posed photos.

"OH MY GOD THE PICTURES ARE AMAZING! Thank you so much for doing such a bad-ass job! I'm super in love with them and just scrolling through them brought back all of the emotion and joy of that day. Exactly as I hoped! Aside from marrying Kevin, you were one of the best decisions I've ever made." – Kevin and Casandra

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Offbeat Bride special offer:

Book your 2016 wedding with me, and receive a free upgrade to a lifestyle engagement session (worth $295). Just mention you read this article on Offbeat Bride when you get in touch to snag the deal!

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