Lifestyle photography isn’t new, but digital photography has transformed the genre. Almost since the invention of the camera, photographers have been using cameras to document everyday, slice-of-life imagery. When photographers were dependent on film, however, their lifestyle images were often carefully posed. With the advent of digital cameras, however, photographers had greater freedom over their subject matter. They no longer had to worry about running out of film, or whether an image was worthy of being photographed. This has resulted in a rise of candid photography—and the very best examples manage to capture a specific mood, story, or feeling. Here are tips for creating the best lifestyle photographs.
While digital photography has freed photographers from the limits of film, that doesn’t mean they should throw out all the wisdom gained via traditional photography. Every photographer, whether they’re shooting on film or their iPhone, should understand light. Lifestyle photography is often shot outside—from city streets to rural parks. This kind of photography works best without artifice, so don’t try to control the existing light conditions. Instead, work with the natural light. Change your camera angle, move to a different perspective, or use a reflector. Remember: necessity is the mother of invention. Don’t be afraid to find creative solutions to your photography problems.
Tell a Story Through Details
When telling a story through lifestyle photography, it can be tempting to step back and go for the wide shot. When taking photos of a large-scale lifestyle event, like a street fair or a parade, zooming out can communicate the scale of the event. Don’t forget to focus on the individual details however. If you’re visiting a street fair, for example, you may want to get a close-up of a pair of hands kneading dough, or a shot of a child’s smile as they take their first bite of cotton candy.
If you want to document an upcoming event, consider hiring a commercial lifestyle photographer. They can find the special, impromptu moments and capture the story of your event.