Hey, how’s it going? I’m Andy Jones, and this is episode 135 of the Photography Side Hustle podcast.
So, this week, I’m going to waffle on about Lifestyle photography. I can’t believe it has taken me 135 episodes to do it.
What is Lifestyle Photography?
I wouldn’t say it was a genre or type of photography. It’s more of a style that can be used in many different types of photography. Or I might be totally wrong, and it really doesn’t matter.
This is an example of a product lifestyle photo. Let’s say the product is a pair of women’s running shoes. Instead of taking a pair of running shoes into a studio and shooting them on a white background, you put them on a model and capture them in use.
I’m not talking about the model leaning against a wall looking into the lens. I mean, they are captured actually running or hanging out with other runners doing normal everyday things. Reacting to the people around them and ignoring the camera.
Just enjoying their lifestyle using the product.
So let’s have a look at the …
Types of Lifestyle Genres
Commercial – Product – Fashion – Street
I’m putting these into the same group because a business will hire you.
Commercial lifestyle shoots can be anything business-related, from capturing workers using machinery to office staff working. A regular commercial shoot could also include headshots, but you wouldn’t do a traditional headshot if it were shooting commercial lifestyle. You would take photos of someone sitting at a computer, taking a phone call, or talking to team members. There is nothing wrong with taking a regular headshot during a session, and they are needed by business people.
Your Lifestyle photos need to tell a story.
I already gave you a product lifestyle example of the women’s running shoes. You just need to show the product in use. Use a wide-angle lens so your photo includes the whole scene and not a zoomed-in tight photo that only shows the product.
Fashion Lifestyle, compared to regular fashion, is the same as for products. You don’t shoot the model posing. You capture them living life and having fun.
Now, I have included Street Photography Lifestyle in this group because I found out that large corporations like Adidas use street photographers for their ads. I always thought that street photography couldn’t be monetized. I was wrong again.
Lifestyle Branding is big. Do a Google search for “Lifestyle Branding,” and you will get a list of photographers that shoot it. If you click on the images tab, you will get an overview of what they shoot. That is, portraits taken in a white room, usually the kitchen or living room, with the subject looking straight at the camera.
One photographer, who I won’t name, seems to be doing all of the sessions at home. All of their portfolio is taken in the same kitchen, living room, or in front of the same window. Now, it is a beautiful home, and the photos are great, but sooner or later, the customers will want something different.
Portraits & Family Lifestyle
If you are just starting out, I think this is where you can develop your own style. Do a Google search for “Family Lifestyle Photography” images. The photographers that have nailed it are the ones that capture a young family laughing and reacting to each other. No one is looking at the camera, and the photo has frozen them having fun.
In my opinion, this type of photo is way better than a posed family portrait. Kids laughing and reacting to each other has to be better than a forced smile.
There are a lot of photographers shooting regular posed photos, calling themselves lifestyle photographers. Obviously, you are going to be asked to take regular posed portraits, and you need to do them to keep your customers happy. Just limit how many you show on your website.
This type of photography is all about making the viewer want to be there living that lifestyle.
There are so many ways to make money shooting travel lifestyle.
The first example is RV’s. RV lifestyle images are used by RV manufacturers, hire companies, and related businesses.
They need photos that sell the life you can have if you travel in an RV. photos of people sitting around a campfire, an RV parked at the edge of a beautiful lake, or driving through the mountains.
When you are looking to book a holiday abroad, think about the images you will look at. They are of beaches, sunsets, beautiful buildings, and people having a meal overlooking the ocean.
You are being sold the experience. So think about how you can help small businesses you come across on your travels.
How do you Shoot Lifestyle?
The number one suggestion I have is to shoot wide. A 24 or 35mm lens would be perfect. Remember, you are trying to tell a story that people can relate to.
Including the area around the subject lets the viewer see the lifestyle. A zoomed-in photo excludes everything around the subject and doesn’t tell a story.
Try different perspectives; don’t just stand and shoot. Get down low and shoot from different angles.
If you are shooting a commercial lifestyle, make sure the only product name in the scene is the one you are shooting for.
An example would be photographing people on an outdoor patio if someone is wearing a branded shirt like Nike, and the image is for the restaurant. Even if the restaurant owner didn’t mind, I think Nike would.
Another thing to look out for is clutter and anything that draws the viewer’s attention.
Don’t do too much directing. Allow the subjects to enjoy themselves and capture the connections.
Always think about the light. What direction is it coming from, and where are the shadows?
Keep your camera ready at all times. Don’t lower your camera to talk to the subject, and continue shooting during the conversation. You don’t want to miss a thing.
Create your own Style.
There are so many options open to you for shooting lifestyle photography. Developing your own style will be easy.
When I was doing my lifestyle searches, I saw a photo that made me smile. It was a family of four in a kitchen. They all had chef’s hats on, and Dad was mixing in a bowl with flour flying everywhere. The reactions of Mum and the kids were fantastic.
Being able to capture that kind of photo will put you head and shoulders above the rest of the photographers in your area.
Taking photos of people having fun has to be easier than posing and asking them to look into the lens and smile.
Right, that’s enough of me waffling. If you want to read the transcript for this episode, you can go to PhotographySideHustle.com/135.
While you are there, you can support the show by clicking on the Buy Me A Coffee link.
If you need help with anything, you can join the Facebook Group, or you can contact me through Messenger.
I’ll be back next week. Talk to you soon, bye.