I find myself frequently explaining the difference between lifestyle and documentary photography often as well as explaining what a Day in the Life session is so I thought I'd write a short blog entry so I can link it in to conversations.
Lifestyle Photography is one or two "smile at the camera" type shots then we move in to prompts. During prompts, clients follow the prompt and interact with each other while ignoring the camera. Sometimes I might focus on faces but other times I might focus on whatever is connecting the subject or what I imagine might be a nice thing to remember years down the road. There are some instruction to these sessions but once the instruction is given, most of my time is spent photographing and there's no wrong way to go about these prompts. These aren't snapshots and not luck, they're set up to bring out connection.
Documentary photography is no prompts and no poses. You're lounging at home, playing with the kids, grocery shopping, doing homework, feeding baby, on a family outing, etc. This is what is focused on for a Day in the Life session. Documenting what life looks like for you. It's a great way to look back and remember when kids were younger and honestly, it's a type of session that is precious in the sense that it's real life and the moments captured will only become more loved as the years go by.
These are simple answers but hopefully it clears things up. If you have any more questions, don't hesitate to ask!