What is Lifestyle Photography?

When you’re trying to decide what kind of photography you should focus on, lifestyle photography is definitely one to consider. What is the unique selling point of being a lifestyle photographer, and is it right for you?

Lifestyle photography ideas focus on portraying a “slice of life.” A lifestyle photography session will usually involve a family — especially the children — performing typical family activities in an interesting way. Your job is to capture that family in action in such a way that you give the viewer a sense of who the family members are and how they interact with each other.

A great lifestyle photography session will have some perfect shots that really give you an idea what life with that family is like.

Tips to Shoot Lifestyle Photography

As you explore the world of lifestyle photography, you’ll learn tips and tricks to help you get the best lifestyle shots. Here are some useful lifestyle photography tips that might help you on your journey:

  1. Get the environment: You'll want to take some close-up shots, especially of children. But don't forget the larger environment. Where a family lives and plays is a large part of their lifestyle, so you want to capture it all to get a full picture for your viewers.

  2. Clean up a little (but not too much): A spilled glass of juice or a toy someone failed to put away — either of which might seem incongruous with the shot — can actually be a great way to add flavor and character. Lifestyle photography is about finding that mix of the candid and the staged.

  3. Get multiple angles: You can get a lot by shooting your subjects straight on, but you never know what gems can come from shooting different angles. Get overhead shots, underneath shots and over-the-shoulder. Get creative and see what treasures you can yield!

  4. Keep shooting: Don’t wait until your perfect shot lines up. Start shooting before you get what you think is the perfect shot and keep shooting after. The best lifestyle shots are unplanned, so be ready to capture them.

  5. Give your subjects something fun to do: Lifestyle shots work better when your subjects are engaged. Give them an activity they enjoy and let them create the shots for you.

Being a Lifestyle Photographer

Famous lifestyle photographer Lisa Techane defines lifestyle photography as a combination of documentary photography and portraiture. She feels it’s a mix of authentic and staged. In other words, you set up a shot and then become a fly on the wall to let the family’s true nature take its course.

Whether or not you agree, it’s important that you understand for yourself what your own definition of lifestyle photography is before you begin.