Meet the Lindstrom Family– they’ve traveled in an RV for 5 whole years & had me, a family lifestyle photographer, capture the play, love, laughter, and *energy* emanating from their adventurous family of five!
They tasked me with capturing that imaginative stage of childhood they are in right now, as they learn and explore together. They wanted me to capture their unusual lifestyle, the simplicity, and the creativity of it all.
I could seriously photograph this adventurous RV lifestyle full-time!
Christine & Staffan share, “We’ve known Lisa for years and have hiked and enjoyed wild places together, she and her husband were even guests at our wedding! We have been following her work since she started a photography business!”
They add, “We are hoping to see the creativity, skill, energy, and artistic eye that we love in her work present in our own family photographs. We want Lisa to capture our family and pause this moment in time with her vibrant, creative flair.”
Everything about this makes me so happy!!
Let the Wild Rumpus Begin!
One thing you will likely notice through the session is my approach to family photography… I am a family lifestyle photographer.
My goal is to authentically capture a family’s lifestyle in a vibrant, creative way— to show their unique personalities, interests and the way they live and interact together. There isn’t much ‘sit still and smile for the camera’ stuff.
It’s more along the lines of, “Aaaaah I think I see a wild bear!!” and the kid starts to chase me roaring, haha!
Christine says, “I love that our first location was in a campground that’s very similar to most of the ones where we live out our daily lives. It was a chance to capture our version of “normal”. Our second location was a nearby trail that let us capture one of our favorite family activities – hiking.
She adds, “There were plenty of rocks and trees for the kids to climb on. We want to live our lives outside as much as possible, and we really love being out in nature. “
Christine & Staffan say, “He is outgoing and imaginative. We often describe him as “aggressively friendly” because he can’t resist talking to everyone he sees everywhere we go. He is active and curious and that is some of what I wanted to capture in his photos.”
They share, “He is our budding engineer. He loves to build things, especially just from his own imagination, and has always been fascinated by how things work. He loves Lego and Minecraft and tinkering with electronic components.”
Christine continues, “I wanted to capture his unique spirit, that on the one hand is so active and wants to climb every single tree, but on the other hand, can sit and study the fine details of something for hours.”
Christine & Staffan share, “She is in that mystical in-between land of still hanging on to childhood but also transitioning into her teen years. She still loves her dolls, but she spends most of her time with them styling their hair and sewing clothes for them.”
They continue, “She is very creative and loves to make things, write stories and songs, and still plays imagination games sometimes with her friends. She is learning to play piano and she also takes Irish dance lessons.”
Meet Mom & Dad
Christine shares, “Staffan is a researcher at heart and wants to learn everything he can about anything that catches his interest. He has a ham radio hobby and can solve a Rubik’s cube in about 30 seconds.”
She continues, “I am a self-proclaimed “word nerd“. I spend most of my time either working – as a writer, editor, and writing coach – or planning our homeschool, or our travel itinerary, making campground reservations, and all the other things.”
Staffan adds, “I love her laugh.”
Christine shares, “Micah’s fascination with the bike wheel was somewhat of an anomaly – he had never done it before and he has only done that a couple of times since then. But I think it demonstrates an overall playfulness & creativity- he rarely uses things for their intended purposes and a stubborn attachment to whatever he most wants to do in the moment.”
To me, it almost looks like he *is* a bicycle or that he’s riding an invisible bike…
What Mom loves most…
Christine shares, “I love Staffan’s ‘why not?’ way of approaching the world. I come up with a lot of crazy ideas but I tend to talk myself out of them just as quickly. So much of what I love about our life is because of Staffan saying ‘why not?'”
Origin of their RV Lifestyle
Christine & Staffan share, “Back in 2012, when we only had 2 kids and they were pretty little, we took a 90-day road trip around the whole U.S. with a borrowed pop-up camper and a minivan. The idea was to get this crazy travel bug out of our systems so we could finally “settle down” and do all the things we thought we were supposed to do in life.”
They continue, “We drove from the Northeast to the Pacific Northwest, down the west coast, then back east all the way to the Atlantic coast in Florida. The last “left turn” to head north and return to the Northeast (ending our adventure) was the worst day of the trip. We had been breaking camp and moving every 2 days for months but suddenly we couldn’t get it together.”
“When we finally started driving we realized that we weren’t ready to stop and we were responding to our feelings about the trip being over soon. It still took us over a year to decide to leave everything behind and pursue the full-time RVing lifestyle, but we often point to that moment as a turning point (literally and figuratively). We knew then that a 90-day trip was not going to get this out of our systems. It was the first step toward the life we’re living now.”
Custom Built for Music
They share, “Peter is musical and is learning to play the guitar. Emelie enjoys playing the piano which comes very naturally to her.”
Christine & Staffan really took the time to figure out the best arrangement for their belongings in the RV. Everything was really thought out to properly fit the keyboard in and make sure the family could enjoy music as part of their everyday life.
Simplify, Explore, Learn. Together.
They share, “Our guiding words are “Simplify, Explore, Learn. Together.” It’s really important to us that our kids are free to be kids, and that the magic of childhood can last as long as they want it to.”
Christine & Staffan share, “The kids are close because they live close together and go through periods where they are each other’s only playmates. We have friends that we travel with many times, but there are in-between periods and they may not have other friends all the time.”
I loved to see how close the kids were and how much fun they had playing outside together!
Creativity of Childhood
I love this photo of Micah smiling as he plays barefoot outside!
Family Lifestyle Photographer
As a family lifestyle photographer, my focus is on authenticity and capturing a family’s personality and lifestyle in a creative way.
While I always make sure to get a few traditional smiling-at-the-camera portraits, it is important to me for them to feel authentic and showcase their lifestyle, too. In this case they are framed by a context of woods and RVs.
I was capturing the beauty of the natural scenery throughout their exploration and hikes, and another important element to bring in was RV life in general.
Here Emelie reads a book barefoot on her belly surrounded by wildflowers, with her family’s RV not too far in the distance. There were times I didn’t include it in the frame, but I loved the context in this case.
I Play GAMES!!
I love to play games with kids and arrive with plenty of ideas. It’s actually one of my tricks I keep up my sleeve, as a family lifestyle photographer, to get families to have fun and bring out their authentic selves.
One of my games for this family was whisper down the alley!
This family is full of laughter for sure! 🙂
I love this photo of Peter masterfully making the family grilled cheese sandwiches for lunch. 🙂
They share, “I think who we are as a family flows out of who we are/were as a couple first. We met leading music and adventure camps together for a summer camp. Being from different countries meant that we were always going to have to forge a new path because the established norms that might be expected were different… that opened us up to new ideas and realizing that there is no “right way” to live or raise a family.”
P.S. You two haven’t changed– a beautiful couple inside and out!
Dad Researching Future Travels
Christine says, “Staffan loves learning everything about RVs and has gotten very good at fixing the things that go wrong on ours.”
She adds, “While we both dream of a season where our travel will be more international, he spends time actively researching the details of what that might look like.”
The Lindstrom’s were all smiles during their family session! I love the timeless feel of this black and white image:
I love this photo of Peter content in his element, surrounded by nature! His quiet confidence shining through. 🙂
Christine & Staffan share, “We’ve been living in an RV (without having another house or apartment) for over 5 years now. We chose this lifestyle because we wanted to have more time together and we want to raise our kids in an atmosphere of exploration and adventure.”
They continue, “We love that “roadschooling” allows us all plenty of opportunities for experiential learning. It’s not always easy to live in such a small space, and trying to balance working remotely and traveling has plenty of challenges. But every lifestyle has its challenges and for us, the benefits far outweigh the difficulties.”
For the Lindstrom family, the outdoors almost seemed to be a 6th family member, and one that surrounds them. I tried to capture that vibe here:
Wild & Still
They share, “Peter is this crazy combination of wild activity but also stillness.”
I love this photo of Peter relaxing by himself and think it totally shows one side of his personality!
The Best of Friends
Christine & Staffan share, “They have developed friendships with each other. Don’t get me wrong, they still fight like crazy sometimes. But they also really love each other and are often really good at showing that.”
As a lifestyle family photographer, I had the absolute best time photographing the whole Lindstrom family in their element outdoors.
It was so fun to explore with them and capture all the natural interactions they have with each other in a creative way.
Here is one final shot of the couple who started all this, silhouetted at twilight, framed in tree branches…
Lindstrom Family Slideshow!
See more adventurous family photos from the Lindstroms’ lifestyle photography session in the slideshow below