The Amateur Photographers Guide to Lifestyle Photography

The Amateur Photographers Guide to Lifestyle Photography

Lifestyle photography belongs to portrait photography. In fact, it has now become one of the most popular categories of portrait photography. In case you are a beginner and are planning to get started in lifestyle photography, this article will help you a lot.

We are going to start right from the definition of lifestyle photography and then cover other fundamentals like gear required and some tips to help you get started. So, let us get started without further delay.

What is lifestyle photography?

Lifestyle photography is all about shooting the personality of the subject. Lifestyle photography gets better with your increased ability to capture different aspects of the personality of the subject.

Whenever you are trying to capture your subject engaged in a real-life situation, the obtained image will belong to lifestyle photography. Lifestyle photography has a very special spot in the world of photography because of several reasons. Other prominent photography genres like fashion photography, commercial photography, etc. use photos from lifestyle photography.

The biggest brands are now using social media channels to promote their products or services. Lifestyle photography is serving as a perfect technique to showcase the products or services among the target customers. Though the subject is not required to pose specifically in this photo, it differs from candid photography in some ways.

The photographer is not simply waiting in the corner of the room to capture the perfect moment or capture some shots just like it happens at that moment. There are always props up to some levels.

Your basic requirements for lifestyle photography

Lifestyle photography is quite diverse as you might need to shoot photos of different subjects and in a variety of locations. It is a type of task you can never accomplish without the use of proper gear and equipment. Let us talk a bit about the camera first.

Any DSLR that you can use the basic settings easily. By basic settings, we mean the elements of settings like exposure, aperture settings, etc. Your easy grasp of these settings will help you capture photos in different situations.

We can’t be much specific about the lenses you should choose. This is simply because the proper selection depends on the location of the photoshoot. Camera lenses come in different varieties and you have to choose only the relevant ones.

In order to get the best results, consider keeping at least three lenses with you all the time i.e. a telephoto lens of 85 mm, a 25-70 zoom lens, and a 50mm standard lens.

Sometimes when you are shooting outdoors, you might need a longer lens, and the 85mm lens is able to fulfil your requirements in that case. The 50mm standard lens is able to produce images that are highly similar to the ones captured by the human eyes.

The 25-70 zoom lens is very important because it gives you the ability to shoot better images using wide-angle and telephoto. Getting both of your requirements fulfilled with a single lens is just a win-win situation.

We are not saying that it is all you need to use, there might be several other options that would serve your purpose based on the specific needs. And you will find out about those options once you start exploring the world of lifestyle photography.

Things to avoid

You are well aware of the prerequisites of lifestyle photography but there are some things worth avoiding. Though there is a need for props up to some extent but it doesn’t mean you have to get carried away with the props.

Lifestyle photography focuses on capturing the normal moments of life in a creative way, there is no need for fancy items for getting the best photos. You can easily get the best photos when people are interacting with the usual objects that they use on a daily basis.

Additional pieces of equipment like a tripod, mechanical image stabilisation tools, etc. are not the basic needs of lifestyle photography. Getting the best photos is possible by following your lens through the usual activities of people’s lives.

Example of lifestyle photography in street

Required camera settings for perfect shots

There are some things you need to keep in your mind about the camera settings. Keeping the ISO as low as possible is a prerequisite in this case. The wide aperture is always a helpful thing in this case because it lets you create a shallow effect.

It is vital to separate your subject from the surroundings in a lifestyle photograph. On the other hand, you should avoid using too wide an aperture because it won't allow you to get everyone in focus.

There might be some situations when you will need to shoot people or objects in motion, don’t forget to increase your shutter speed before getting started in these cases.  

Some tips to help you get started with it

You are now complete with all the essentials that you should know before beginning your journey in lifestyle photography. It is now time to take a look at a few tips that would help you a lot in the long run.

Always try to tell a story

This is the most important part of photography. A photo has no meaning if it is unable to express something. This is the main reason why you have to focus on including details in your photo that would be enough to tell some stories to people.

You can do it very easily by shooting images while the subject is engaged in some activities.

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Directions are important for the subject before you start

You can’t simply wait for the subject to do something interesting like the photographers do in candid photography. If you want to get the best lifestyle photos, you need to direct the subject about what they should do. One thing worth keeping in mind here is to suggest to them the activities that would create some narrative in the photos.

Always plan things ahead of the photo shoot and don’t be afraid of breaking the rules

Though you don’t have to be highly precise with the plans in lifestyle photography as compared to other genres like fashion photography, etc. Having a general plan in your mind before the photo shoot begins is really important.

And the most important tip of photography is the fact that you can break all the rules if the situation demands you to do so. There is nothing bad about that in case breaking the rules is about to bring exceptional results.

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Final thoughts

We have discussed a large number of things about lifestyle photography in this article that would help beginners a lot. Several things are worth learning once you get started with it.

Things might turn out to be different from your plans sometimes but that should not stop you from making the best out of the photoshoot.

About the Author

Emma Taylor is an Australian blogger and photographer, who lives in Melbourne with her two cats, where she frequents live theatre and wine bars.