Looking for new ways to improve your work and meet client demand? Try these eight tips to bring new vibrancy and authenticity to your lifestyle photography.

As a category, lifestyle photography can encompass many different takes depending on your definition of lifestyle. This style of photography tries to capture and document real-life events, situations, or milestones in an artistic manner. The art of everyday, if you will. However, when you’re creating lifestyle photographs for client work, you’re looking to create an authentic-looking everyday setting in a series of photographs documenting a certain lifestyle. Consider wedding photography. Wedding photography absolutely encompasses a lifestyle element by showcasing special moments from the event. However, this is not necessarily the type of lifestyle photographs that a client is looking for.

Client lifestyle photography can be anything from images of a family setting up a new TV in their living room, to packing up for a big move. They can be a group of friends playing frisbee in the park, or purchasing an item at a retail store. You’re responsible for capturing these staged moments and delivering an authentic look and feel to make the moment look genuine.

8 Tips on Creating Authentic Lifestyle Photography — Delivering Authenticity

Image by Jacob Lund.

We’re sharing our top 8 tips on how you can create authentic lifestyle photographs.


Tell a Story from Start to Finish

When you are shooting for clients, you are responsible for telling a brand’s story through your lens. Each image should tie together. For example, if you are shooting for a Kleenex brand at a graduation, you should showcase every “cry-able” moment that occurs that day. When the images are put next together, they should be cohesive and show a moment captured and documented. For more tips on creating a client story, click here.

8 Tips on Creating Authentic Lifestyle Photography — Tell a Story

Image by Andre Gie.


Think Like the Client

Picture how the advertisement might work for the client. Did you capture the client’s needs within your images? What would the tagline be if this was going to be on Instagram? Imagine seeing this photograph as an ad on your Facebook page. Does it tell the story your client needed to tell? If you’re given a brief, refer back to the brief constantly to ensure you’ve captured the elements required in that theme. If you have questions or concerns, don’t be afraid to go back to the client!

At Shutterstock Custom, we love bouncing back ideas off our contributors. Photographers are the experts, we absolutely want your opinions when it comes to creating effective custom visuals for clients.

8 Tips on Creating Authentic Lifestyle Photography — Think Like the Client

Image by Rawpixel.com.


Change your Perspective Often

When you’re shooting lifestyle photography, you want to capture all the angles and viewpoints of your models in that element. That means changing your point of view often. Move both around and with your models. Ensure you’re up close and personal, then take some shots further away as well. The more you can integrate yourself into the moment, the more natural it’s going to be when you photograph it. Changing your perspective to become part of the scene is a great way to do that.

8 Tips on Creating Authentic Lifestyle Photography — Change Your Perspective Often

Image by Halfpoint.


Incorporate the Environment

The environment that you select should always highlight the lifestyle you are trying to shoot. You wouldn’t shoot a baseball game in a football field, would you? When you’re choosing a shoot location, always ensure that you have enough variety in the surrounding elements to play with in order to create the lifestyle photographs you want for your client. For more tips on creating variety at your location, click here.

8 Tips on Creating Authentic Lifestyle Photography — Incorporate the Environment

Image by Rawpixel.com.


Capture the Moments In-Between

The in-between moments are the moments that make lifestyle photography what it is. Although you have a shot list, with lifestyle photography you should always over-shoot. Keep clicking that camera! The beauty is in the details, the near-missed moments. These expressions, moments, and interactions are pivotal to creating an authentic, genuine story that resonates with the audience.

8 Tips on Creating Authentic Lifestyle Photography — Capture the Moments In-Between

Image by Bobex-73.


Use Real People, Not Just Professional Models

Using real people such as friends or family is a great way to create authentic lifestyle images. Not only will you be able to capture genuine moments easier, you’ll also be able to photograph realistic expressions and stories. These stories help the people who stumble across the image to imagine “I could be that person.” Using real people is another great way to lower costs if you’re shooting with a tight budget. For more tips on capturing real people as models, check out these tips from some photographers on the Shutterstock Custom network.

8 Tips on Creating Authentic Lifestyle Photography — Use Real People, Not Just Models

Image by And-One.


Catch Your Models in Action

Lifestyle photography is not posed photography. You aren’t asking your models to stand at a white backdrop, stare at the lens, and smile. That’s not the type of content brands are looking for. Brands want you to capture a story as it unfolds. So, when you’re creating a scene, have the models actually do the action you want to photograph. If you need to capture a run in the park, actually run in the park! A bit of real sweat is a lot more effective than a spray bottle and static short runs on the spot. Your camera is smart, and audiences are even smarter. The more realistic the situation is, the more authentic your capture will be.

8 Tips on Creating Authentic Lifestyle Photography — Catch Your Models in Action

Image by Jacob Lund.


Have Fun on Set!

You want to create a comfortable, relaxing experience for the models on your shoot. You aren’t shooting in a studio, and you’re probably going to need the models to have positive expressions in the scenarios you shoot. So have fun with it! For more tips on creating a comfortable shoot environment for your models, click here.

8 Tips on Creating Authentic Lifestyle Photography — Have Fun on Set

Image by Khomenko Maryna.

We can’t wait to see the lifestyle content you create for your next client.

Top image via RawPixel.com.