Lifestyle Practice with the 50mm

It was a cold day yesterday. Nothing like the beautiful, spring-like weather we’ve been experiencing lately. Not wanting this flu thing to relapse (again), I spent most of the afternoon indoors. I’d thrown some chicken into the slow cooker earlier because I knew I wouldn’t feel like doing anything elaborate for dinner, and while I boiled some noodles to go with it, I figured I’d get some indoor practice with the new 50mm.

I never actually planned on sharing any of these, so I didn’t mind the “character” of our seriously lived-in house. The dead rose on the kitchen sink, the wilting flowers my husband gave me for our anniversary on the dining room table.

Not long after, I began to focus more on my family and the normalcy of a Saturday evening. And suddenly things that are usually overlooked and forgotten became part of the project. Life on autopilot became an artistic nudge.

For a long time I’ve been trying to hook my boot into “lifestyle” photography. I mean, every lifestyle shoot I see online is taken with awesome lighting and in spotless homes. Children hopping on beds in cheer and laughter and wow I don’t have time to prepare for all of that. It usually leaves me in a sulk, waiting by the window for a warm afternoon so I can take the Nikon out on a hike.

But I learned this evening that in order to shoot documentary and/or lifestyle pieces, you have to work with whatever lighting/chaotic situation you’ve been given.

Our living rooms aren’t always clean. Our flowers aren’t always in bloom. Sometimes our windows need scrubbing, and our kids have messy faces and won’t leave the cat alone even after you’ve threatened them with the time-out chair.

After this week I’m lucky the house is still standing.

But that’s life. Today I captured life. And the next time I try my hand at documenting our family life, I plan on paying less attention to what’s holding me back, and paying more attention to what’s realistic.

All images © Lina Forrester

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