In an age dominated by social media (among other things), the image has incredible power over us. Given this, some branches of photography evolve and take more prominence. For example, thanks to the internet, stock photography is a convenient way for many professionals or amateurs interested in making money “easily.” Now back to image value, many photographers have made their way into what is considered lifestyle photography. Know what it is? If not, in this article, we will explore what this concept is all about and what things to consider.
Whatever name you prefer to use, lifestyle photography is a branch of photography focused on documenting situations or moments in everyday life with an artistic touch. It is about making very expressive portraits that illustrate people’s daily lives.
This area of photography has been around since before digital cameras. Still, it has certainly evolved a lot and has become very popular after the advent of social media. It is a subdivision of portrait photography that goes far beyond capturing a pretty scene. The key here is to tell stories and evoke feelings through the image.
In this type of photography, the main clients are couples and families interested in having a personal photo album. The idea is that the photos show who they are, what they do, and how they live. So, a professional within the field of lifestyle photography must transmit the identity of their clients as naturally as possible.
It should note that a lifestyle photographer must master many areas of photography and have experience portraying people. It is not easy to manage a session in which you cannot direct the subjects’ poses. Remember that this is not based on asking people to smile for the photo but on revealing emotions and telling stories.
Characteristics of lifestyle photography
Lifestyle photography is a popular term on the internet because it is a photograph that inspires and conveys many sensations. The truth is that it can be interpreted in many ways depending on each person. For some, a photograph of a tender moment of two teenagers sharing cotton candy at an amusement park falls into the category of lifestyle photography. However, as we mentioned above, the essence of this area lies in knowing how to tell a story. It is talking about every day, not illustrating a beautiful moment.
In adolescents, this scene is likely not repeated very often; It is not something they are used to doing. Therefore, although it shows a feeling, it is not truly lifestyle photography. So, in this article, we are going to focus on what lifestyle photography is:
It is necessary to take specific considerations, as in any session. However, we must never forget that the basis of everything is naturalness.
Another thing that characterizes these images is the quality. If you want to dedicate yourself to this, you must ensure excellent technical quality. There can be no light metering errors or focus errors or anything like that here. You also have to take great care of aesthetics but without altering the space in which customers live. For this reason, a lifestyle photographer needs to have experience in other areas of photography and portraiture.
Recommendations for lifestyle photography
Plan the session
Even if you are not going to direct the subjects’ poses, you must be very clear about the purpose of the session; that is, what are you going to communicate. Ideally, it would help if you talked a lot with your customers, ask them what they usually do, what places they like to go to, and what they would like to show in the photos.
The important thing is to define what will be the line that they will follow during the session. In this way, you will avoid uncomfortable moments, and both you and your clients will know what the next step is.
Create a good atmosphere
Since the key to lifestyle photography is naturalness, it is not easy to get laughs or honest moments just like that. To achieve sincere emotions, you must do your part so that there is comfort and people can express themselves freely. Talk to your clients; make them feel like you are friends, put on music, etc.
If there are children, do your best to keep them entertained. It is usual for the little ones to get bored quickly during a session, so you should make an effort to make them feel good and collaborate with you. Make jokes to please them or bring a toy to keep them calm.
Remember that getting an honest image that genuinely represents who your customers are taking a lot of patience. No matter how much love they feel, no couple or family will naturally begin to show their affection on the first take.
Give your subjects something to do
It is related to the first point. Once everyone knows what the basis of the session is, it will be easy to give the people in the scene a purpose to have a starting point on which to develop. It will make it easier to get natural expressions because little by little, they will begin to show their personalities. Remember that this is not about looking at the camera and smiling but about being spontaneous.
An essential part of telling your subjects what to do is striking a balance between being inconspicuous and directing everything in the scene. Indeed you think that the key to achieving a successful session is that they never realize you are there. It is pretty accurate. However, in some cases, you will have to direct a little more so that the session follows an order and does not become a disaster without a clear sense.
While it is essential to maintain spontaneity and not lose sight of the story, do not sacrifice order. After all, it is a service that you would be charging for, so you have to get it right.
Wait for the unexpected.
In lifestyle photography, it is precious to capture unique and unexpected moments. These details will only make the result feel even more real. Therefore, you should always be prepared for anything. You must be excessively observant and have your camera ready to click.
Pay attention to the surroundings.
For these types of sessions, seriously consider using a wide-angle to capture as much information as possible. The environment in which your clients operate is vital for the final result. The living room of the house, for example, is a space full of small details that provide unlimited data about a family. See where your customers are and why that place is special.
Likewise, arrange the site to create a better environment for your photographs, but without modifying it. How is that? If there are curtains, open them to ensure a more significant entry of light; use a few bouncers if you think necessary, among other things. What you should avoid when doing this is removing elements from the place or adding some extra objects that break the naturalness.
Choose the best perspective.
For some cases, it will be better to close the box a bit and focus on a particular detail. It will be more beneficial to include elements of the environment in the image to give a better context.
Also, always look for the most suitable angle to present your subject (s). For example, if you will portray a sleeping baby, it will be much better if you do it at the baby’s level and not from your perspective while standing.
Photography of everyday life is an art that takes a lot of practice to achieve. However, there is no question how excellent work can be that truly represents a group of people and tells a meaningful story.
The diversity within the lifestyle photography category has no limits. Go ahead and capture people’s day today! You could discover a lot of valuable things in the process.