Often in product photo galleries you will see photos that are atypical compared to the rest of the images. For example, if the product being sold is running shoes, then it will be a photo of a relaxed person sitting on a chair. In this case, the emphasis on the photo will be on the sneakers. This genre of photography is called lifestyle.
This is a very popular style of photography at the moment, and will be able to revive your online store’s catalogue. Such kind of commercial photos are often used for online store catalogues on Amazon, as well as on Instagram. The goal of lifestyle photography is to depict the lifestyle of people in their natural habitat with their sincere emotions, without staging or posing, which significantly increases sales.
According to marketing studies conducted, lifestyle photos increase sales of almost all products by an average of 10%, and for some categories - by 20-25%.
With a positive image of the product in the mind of the consumer, the seller is more likely to make a sale. Marketers identify 3 steps that a potential buyer goes through when looking at a lifestyle photo:
- lifestyle photos attract attention;
- a person intuitively begins to associate himself with the people in the photo and with the products of a particular brand;
- the consumer wants to receive the same product as in the photo.
Lifestyle photos have one interesting feature - they work better in product categories for women and personal use items.
Here are the categories of products for which lifestyle photography is best suited:
- Children’s goods;
- Household goods - textiles, pillows, bed linen;
- Goods for pets;
- Food, drinks;
- Ornaments and jewelry;
- Clothing, footwear and accessories;
- Goods for trendy hobbies and creative activities.
Lifestyle photos may be needed for goods of other categories and various services if they are positioned as something of value that can change a person’s life, their self-perception – raising their status, or realizing a dream.
Specifics of lifestyle commercial photography
In simple terms, lifestyle commercial photography is photography of simple life moments and everyday events, sincere emotions and habitual states, but always when interacting with the selling product. This is an attempt to capture in the frame what fills our life, and thus attract the attention of a potential buyer.
The goal of a lifestyle photo is to create a story. It is like a promise of happiness that a person will experience by buying your product. A commercial photoshoot in the lifestyle genre in a photo studio consists of a mix of different genres: portrait, object, interior. It all depends on the imagination of the photographer and his or her ability to interact with the models. Simply put, lifestyle photography is a reportage with staging elements.
Important tips for creating professional product photography in the lifestyle genre.
As mentioned above, professional product photography in the lifestyle genre is the photographer's creativity plus his interaction with models. There are a few more nuances that must be remembered and applied during the photoshoot.
First of all, you need to find charming, sincere models. It will be great if your characters are not afraid to express their real emotions, because this is the basis of lifestyle photography.
Choose images of models. Well-chosen images of heroes, appropriate makeup, clothes that match the location and match with each other are ways to success. No special outfits and decor are needed, everything should be as natural and harmonious as possible.
Shoot with wide open aperture. When the foreground and background are out of focus, a cozy atmosphere is created, where the emphasis is on one main item. When the aperture is wide open, out-of-focus lights produce beautiful bokeh affect appropriate for this style of shooting.
Apply unusual framing. This is almost the only genre of photography where it is appropriate and even necessary to cut off the head, getting only hands or feet into the frame. Not only does it look completely normal in this genre, but it also gives movement to the frame.
If you have a brand book to create a composition in the frame, select the main colour and a few additional ones - use them when creating photos. A brand book usually describes the graphic forms and compositional principles of a photo, for example, the percentage of solid colour or the presence of dynamics. Follow all these instructions, otherwise the product photos may not match with your other image materials. If there is no brand book or style guide, determine the consumer’s style: for whom the content is being created; what format do the consumers of these products enjoy more- friendly or business, serious or cheerful, respectful or impudent, emotional or ordinary.
Here are the product photos that are usually taken for a catalogue in a photo studio:
- General view of the product in the lifestyle space.
- General plan of the interior, if relevant - a top view.
- Several items placed together.
- Product photo of a model portraying relatable emotions.
- A photo in vertical and horizontal format, some taken a little closer and a little further away - for the possibility of cropping.
- Photos with a simple light background.
The secret to good product photography is the right props. Additional items in the frame need to be thought out in advance. Do not use random items that are not related to your product.
The hero in the frame should always be the product. If there are too many things around, people may not even understand what you are selling. Also make sure you do not use other brands as props.
Depending on the lighting, product photos can convey a completely different mood. Cold white light speaks of rigour, coolness and purposefulness. Warm light tells us more about home comfort and warmth. It is important not to overdo it with shades so that the colour of the product in the photo does not change dramatically.
What is a photoshoot in lifestyle genre
You can make lifestyle photoshoots in the style of hippies, old school, boho, 90s, etc.! If your characters feel natural, and this style reflects their lifestyle and it looks good for the product you sell, then you are guaranteed to get beautiful and lively photos! For example, hygge is the latest fashion trend not only in lifestyle, but also in design and photography.
In fact, hygge is the secret of happiness and the way of life of the Danes, which has swept the whole world in the last few years.
Danish happiness consists of little things: delicious coffee with buns, crackling firewood in the fireplace, cheerful gatherings with family and friends, reading a book under a knitted blanket, a morning bike ride, comfortable clothes for any weather. All this is very simply visualized in their photographs. And November is the best time to create warm, atmospheric hygge shots.
Tips for shooting lifestyle portraits for Instagram
If you are selling your products online using Instagram, then you definitely need to be able to shoot yourself or your models in a lifestyle portrait style. This unique genre allows you to reveal your model's story and convey some very personal moments in a visual form, which attracts buyers and makes your account more interesting for them, so they do not unfollow you. In a lifestyle portrait, your model is placed in an environment that best suits their lifestyle. So, if you are selling classic office wear or men's shirts, lifestyle portraits can showcase a businessman in his office. If you sell cool men's T-shirts, then this will be a photo of a man partially shown out of the frame. The purpose of a lifestyle portrait is to show the real life of the person we photograph, and not just how he or she looks on the outside.
Important nuances for a lifestyle portrait:
- A sense of balance in a photograph is achieved by placing model in "natural environment". By the way, the rule of thirds and the golden ratio are excellent for the correct composition of this natural environment.
- Posing in a lifestyle photo is just as important as composition - it allows you to not only make the photo interesting, but also convey the photographer's idea. The main choice regarding posing is whether the model will look at the camera, as if in a wordless dialogue with the viewer, or, in the absence of visual contact, present the scene as a kind of snapshot of their life. But, at the same time, the model should be relaxed! Remember that the photo always shows the mood of the model in the smallest details.
- It is better to do a lot of lifestyle portraits in one day with different themes and clothes (if you are selling clothes) and then slowly post these photos over several months, coming up with interesting captions and selling various products. In addition, lifestyle portraits are great for banners on websites and landing pages.
Best product photography in a commercial studio in Toronto
In our commercial studio in Toronto you can order the best lifestyle genre product photography. You can also make them yourself in a unique live-machine, which is a fully automated tool with pre-set settings, lights and a camera.
By default, this machine always has a white background, but it can be changed to any other to make your online catalogue more attractive. We take product photos which can be styled with or without a model, as well as entire compositions that our professional and creative photographers simply love to come up with!
After the photos are taken, you can immediately send them to your online store’s Instagram account or place them on the product catalogue on Amazon.