Lifestyle photography is that sweet spot between posed portraits and candid moments, resulting in compelling images that are infused with authenticity. Rather than waiting for a perfect moment to happen, it’s usually a planned shoot that creates space for things to take place, whether it’s an engagement session or family portraiture.

In recent years, lifestyle photography has seen a rise in popularity as clients seek to capture natural-looking shots with a touch of that “something special.” At the same time, many photographers prefer the relaxed aesthetic of lifestyle sessions, whether it’s with private clients or for commercial purposes.

Madison is no stranger to lifestyle photography, with many of its top photographers working in the genre. In this article, we’ll introduce 7 of the city’s best and the areas they specialize in.

Jen Lucas Photography

A family cooking together in the kitchen [Jen Lucas Photography]

Jen Lucas is a documentary family photographer who calls Madison “home” and believes that births, graduations, weddings, and promotions are all moments to be celebrated. But she also believes that it’s not the photos of everyone smiling and looking at the camera that are the most emotive but those moments of reality with all of the imperfections of everyday life. During her relaxed family documentary sessions, she focuses on this “everydayness,” resulting in images that are authentic and real.

SV Heart Photography

A father and his child at the supermarket [SV Heart Photography]

Sharon is the woman behind the camera of SV Heart Photography, which specializes in lifestyle, editorial, and wedding photography. Much of her lifestyle work focuses on couples and families, with genuine love and emotions radiating from her images. We love how Sharon can transform everyday moments into works of art that families will treasure for many years to come. In her business portfolio, Sharon documents everything from food to education and corporate events.

Natural Intuition Photo

One of Natural Intuitions’ lifestyle wedding portraits [Natural Intuitions]

Natural Intuitions is the team of Justin and Christine, who take a lifestyle approach to wedding photography. They have been in the industry for nearly a decade and have garnered a reputation for their natural, photojournalistic style and great sense of humor. As to their approach, they say “authentic connections are what drives us, both in our everyday life and when it comes to capturing weddings.” Aside from shooting weddings in Madison, they also love documenting elopements farther away.

Caynay Photo

A couple relax on a breezy waterfront walkway [Caynay Photo]

Caitlin is the owner and lead photographer of Caynay Photo and started her photography journey back in 2011. A year later, she made the move to Madison where she established her business, initially focusing on photographing children. But after shooting her first wedding, she realized that she wanted to capture couples and their happiness forever. When she’s not capturing lifestyle images, Caitlin is busy working as a business processor and crisis counselor.

Laura Zastrow Photography

A beautiful black and white wedding portrait by Laura Zastrow [Laura Zastrow Photography]

Laura Zastrow has been photographing weddings since 2010, with her partner, Ben, joining her in 2015. Rather than lots of posed portraits, she focuses on natural, candid moments that really tell the story of a couple’s special day. Throughout her career, Laura Zastrow has been recognized with several Best of Madison awards, as well as having her work featured in the “Huffington Post,” “Madison Magazine,” “Wisconsin Bride,” and “Rock N Roll Bride.”

Ruthie Hauge Photography

One of Ruthie Hauge’s engaging lifestyle portraits [Ruthie Hauge Photography]

Ruthie Hauge is an award-winning photographer who is based in Madison and works as a visual journalist for “The Cap Times.” She specializes in photojournalistic-style wedding imagery, as well as capturing family and newborn portraits and event photography for a diverse range of clients. Not only that, but she’s a talented post-processor and is highly skilled in Lightroom, Photoshop, and Final Cut Pro. Ruthie’s CV includes more than 50 state, national and international awards recognizing her talents in the lifestyle photography genre.

Light and Life Photo

A relaxed family portrait session with Jill Koskelin [Light and Life Photo]

Jill Koskelin is the artist behind Light and Life Photo, a Madison-based business that focuses on newborn, maternity, family, and wedding lifestyle photography. Her inspiration? “The everyday little things. The feeling of releasing a deep breath when walking in nature. Light of every kind.” By ensuring a relaxed environment for her subjects, Jill creates a space where they can reveal their raw emotions. In turn, she can capture images that reveal your authenticity and reflect who you truly are.

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