Top 7 Lifestyle Photography Tips

man, suit, sunglassesLifestyle photography is a type of photography not many people have heard of before and encompasses a range of other styles of photography such as documentary and portraiture. Lifestyle photography essentially tries to tell a story of people in every day life.

Lighting makes all the difference

Light is an important and essential part of any style of photography, and especially in lifestyle photography. If the lighting is wrong your image may appear flat and unattractive.

Backlighting is something you can use to your advantage and is basically light behind your subject pointing towards the camera. This can give some surreal effects but can also hide your main subject in shadows, but can also give very contrasty images.

Sidelight is another type of lighting where as you’ve probably already guessed, the light is shining on the side of your subject. This type of lighting can give a very moody, atmospheric feeling and also add more contrast.

Front lighting or flat light is when the light source is facing the front of your subject, and usually behind the photographer. This increases the colours and gives a more contrasty look, but you also lose some of the dark shadows which isn’t always a good think.

Control the scene

Giving your subjects free reign is always good for more candid shots, but taking a bit of control and asking them if they perhaps want to change locations, for example if you’re photographing a child you could ask them to go in the garden or perhaps take them to the park where you can then allow them to do what they want and you can get some natural photos while still having some control over the final photo.

Consider your environment

When photographing people there’s lots of variables you can change such as location, distance from the subject and objects you include in the foreground and background to name a few. Take a step back and think what type of shot you want and perhaps try a few different ideas, for example maybe a close up of the subjects face or have them sitting under a tree with fields in the background may work well.

Shoot everything

Getting as many shots as you possibly can increases your chances of getting that perfect shot. Shoot from different locations, include different subjects in the photo, move your subject around, zoom in or out and take a lots of shots of every little change.

Choose your subjects carefully

The most obvious subjects to photograph easily would be family and friends, but if you want to take it a bit further you can find loads of photo opportunities on the street, for example people working outside like builders, the police or even homeless people make good subjects.

Help your subjects out

Depending on the amount of control you have over your subjects you may or may not need to help them out and tell them what to do. If you hire a model for example then you’ll need to choose positions, emotions, locations and decide everything for yourself. Probably the hardest part of this is trying to make a made up scene look natural, for example getting your subject to laugh without it looking forced you’ll probably need to actually give them something to laugh about.


Think about what kind of shot you want to achieve. If you’re stuck on what to shoot, try to consider what kind of photo a client would buy from you. This is especially important if you get into stock photography because this profession is all about what type of photo will sell, and this will require a bit of research.

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