Life in lifestyle photography can be seen differently through the frames. A definition known throughout is that lifestyle photography is about photographing attractive people in stunning locations and doing glamorous things. However, on a personal note, I see the essence of lifestyle photography as a frame of real life.
The style of the lifestyle photos is seen as artistic, poetic, and unstaged. Lifestyle photographers try to tell a story and focus on capturing candid scenes in a natural environment rather than in a studio.
Unstaged photographs do not simply mean no planning, organization, or direction. The shoot will be pre-planned, well-equipped, and directed beforehand in order to avoid unnecessary interruptions by the photographs.
Lifestyle photography combines the style of well-posed and directed portraits and a candid documentary. You create an atmosphere to capture the best of an event and artistically deliver their story. It is a style of photography that features families and individuals.
To execute a lifestyle shoot successfully, here are some tips to help you create and deliver the story you visualize.
Tips to improve your lifestyle photography
Portraying the art of everyday-life needs preparation and planning. You must work in a sweet spot of being unscripted yet planned with minimal intrusions with the canvas.
These lifestyle photography tips will help you capture your models in the essence of heartwarming stories:
- Plan with naturality
- Focus on the details
- Connect and make your models comfortable
- Suggest activities rather than posing
- Learn to anticipate actions
- Look for authenticity
- Bring the right equipment
Plan with naturality
Planning is crucial for any photoshoot. For lifestyle, getting to know your client and trying to incorporate their daily life elements into the shoot is vital. Your aim must be to capture frames in the most natural way possible.
Gather the necessary props and equipment according to location, time, and activity. Your lenses and light may vary depending on whether you shoot outdoors or indoors, day or night. Regardless of the thorough planning, be prepared for any technical hindrances and curve balls.
Focus on the details
Try to avoid being preoccupied with direction and environment setting. Emotions, depth, and character reside in the details. However, lifestyle is not like your everyday portrait shoot.
Look outside the fixed frame and seize the details of their expressions, actions, their pet, perhaps, or even memorable objects. Work a zoom lens rather than sticking to the wide parameter.
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Connect and make your models comfortable
Connect with your client to learn about their favorite activities, places, moods, personalities, and dislikes. This interaction should help you create a mood board, develop activities for them, gather the necessary props, and find locations your client is comfortable with.
A portfolio or mood board can help you convey your abilities and apprehend their expectations. If you are working with a family, ensure the kids are comfortable with you and the shoot.
Suggest activities rather than posing
The main agenda of any lifestyle shoot is to keep it natural. Rather than directing poses like a fashion shoot, let your client be involved in some activities. You can suggest to them where to be for a better frame but do not be over-involved.
Activities can be as simple as reading a book, cooking with the family, or even taking a stroll on the beach. However or wherever it may be, the crucial point is for the model to be comfortable and relaxed.
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Learn to anticipate actions
You cannot control others’ actions like in a portrait shoot. You must practice and learn to anticipate movements in order to capture the most unexpected image.
The trait of foreseeing an action or reaction does not occur overnight. You can start by putting your camera in burst mode, so a continuous shot will give an abundance of photographs to choose that glimpse of awe.
Look for authenticity
Go the extra mile to make it like an ordinary day rather than a set-up photoshoot. Authenticity sprouts from originality, and that’s what speaks in lifestyle photography.
Each emotion and action is the life of lifestyle photography. Hence, avoid clouding it with unnatural props, clothes, and settings. A change of perspective can build the scene’s dynamic. Try different angles and frames without being a hindrance to your client.
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Bring the right equipment
You will know the importance of planning when deciding what equipment is required for the shoot. The type of lens, lights, filters, and accessories all depend on the locations, time, and agenda for the day.
Lifestyle photography is not fixed to a box of equipment and accessories. It flows through your creativity and ability to tell a story through the details, colors, and frames.