DIY Photography: 3 Lifestyle Photography Tips for Connecting With Your Audience

by J.B. Maverick

2 min read

Lifestyle photography – which traditionally was found only in newspapers and known as ‘photojournalism’ – has advanced into the market, specifically with the influx of digital single-lens reflex cameras (DSLRs), and more recently iPhones and other digital devices, everyone has the ability to get into DIY photography, to capture real-life events and moments that connect with an audience. Consider these lifestyle photo tips to help your business connect with its target audience.

What is Lifestyle Photography

Traditional photography sessions involve generous amounts of staging and direction from the photographer. Pictures are choreographed, tweaked, and perfected. Lifestyle photography is meant to be entirely – or nearly entirely – freestyle. While the photographer may give some direction, it is minimal, at best. Lifestyle photographs are candid shots that capture subjects in the moment, doing things that tell a story or reflect an action, a moment, a location – that reveal something the subject does naturally or does on a regular basis. A lifestyle session incorporates the subject’s real life into the photographs. There are three basic tips you can follow to get a picture that truly reflects your subject and speaks to your audience.

Expect Unexpected Moments

One option for genuine photos is to set subjects up in an environment they’re in everyday – their house, the park next door – and encourage them to do whatever they normally do. As a business owner, it’s imperative you tell the photographer what message you’re trying to convey so the chosen environment, and subjects natural reaction to it, fit with your company’s theme. Make sure the photographer is prepared to snap a photo at any second; just because the subjects aren’t doing much in this moment, the next moment may make an engaging photo. This kind of moment passes rapidly so it must anticipated and captured it before it disappears.

Get the Lighting Right

Because lifestyle photography is supposed to be candid and unscripted, you typically rely on the natural lighting of the environment. This can get tricky, depending on your location, and because the goal is to avoid directing your subjects. Use the natural light to your benefit. The bottom line is it is up to you to make it work. When your subject is in poor lighting, consider changing your angle or position, or using a reflector for a little more control of where the available light hits.

Help Set the Session’s Tone

Subjects must feel comfortable in order to act naturally – this is the basis for any lifestyle photography session. If the subjects are not fully engaged with the environment around them, the photos will ultimately look forced or read as a staged shot. The photographer you hire must be experienced working lifestyle sessions because it is his responsibility to put the subjects at ease. Photographers used to lifestyle sessions often carry on conversations with subjects from behind the camera, as if in a face-to-face conversation; telling jokes can help break the ice, but asking the subjects what the environment means to them may illicit the most genuine photographable moment.

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