What Is Lifestyle Portrait Photography?

Photography is broad and made up of several types. It can therefore be challenging for new photographers to choose what aspects to master.

Usually, they must first understand the various types and through personal experience, decide on the type of photographer they would love to be. One of the most interesting types of photography is lifestyle portrait photos.

In this article, we shall be looking at what lifestyle portrait photography is. We will also discuss 8 tips for capturing wonderful lifestyle portrait photographs, how to become a lifestyle photographer; and the difference between lifestyle, portray, and documentary photography.

What is Lifestyle Portrait Photography?

Lifestyle Photography
Lifestyle Photography Idea

Lifestyle photography is the capturing of real-life moments with a focus on the interaction between people within their natural environment.

In portrait lifestyle photography, there is a degree of control of the environment, and the setup can be preplanned but there is much freedom of expression between the several elements.

Lifestyle photography borrows elements of landscape photography, fashion photography, portrait photograph, and street photography. It, therefore, demands a degree of flexibility and creativity from photographers.

8 Super Tips For Lifestyle Portrait Photographs

We have established what lifestyle photography is, and what it entails. So, you are ready to dive into your first lifestyle photography. In this section, we shall look at the top tips that will help you. Using these tips, over time, you will begin to develop your style, which would reflect in your work. 

01. Get The Right Equipment

With Lifestyle photography, the objects of focus would most likely be moving a lot. It could be a child running towards a sunset on the beach, or a couple locked in each other arms as they share a fleeting moment. The point is, you have to capture the subjects within the environment. Both are important to tell the story.

To achieve this, the most practical lens would be a wide-angle lens. Wide-angle lenses are perfect for capturing the subjects and what’s going on around them. We suggest a 28/35mm lens, a 50mm lens, or an 80mm lens.

Another factor to consider is the countless number of movements you would have to make just to capture the perfect moment. Therefore,  an understanding of lens distortion and how different focal lengths affect how an image looks. A camera with a wide range of focal lengths helps you achieve this as you try creating interesting compositions.

02. Have a plan

The requirements of lifestyle photography might not be much when it comes to staging the environment. However, because of how spontaneous it can be, you will need to have a plan before proceeding. The last thing you want is to look confused on st.

When it comes to preparation, you want to consider first the environment. The required elements needed on set should be considered, listed out, and made available. Are you using natural lighting or are you moving your lighting kit to the location? 

Always remember that the success of every photographic project is dependent on proper planning. Tis statement holds even truer for lifestyle photography.

03. Prepare The Environment

capturing Lifestyle portrait is unique because of its focus on the environment. Hence, you want to make sure your environment is as natural as possible. Will you be taking the pictures indoors or outdoors? 

If outdoors, then where exactly? Would you need props to create the required scene or are you using all that nature has provided? If indoors, would you be using furniture? if yes, what types? These are questions you need to provide answers to, to help you in preparing the environment

04. Connect With Your Models

When it comes to shoot lifestyle portrait, your models are sometimes clients who hire you to help capture beautiful moments in their life. This is unlike portrait photography where you might be working with professional models who are familiar with the ethics of staying in front of a camera.

Also, lifestyle photography rarely requires models to strike a pose as the intention is to capture them iterating with themselves within an environment. These are just a few reasons why you must connect with your models. You must direct them and they must trust you enough to follow your directions.

One of the ways to connect with your models would be to listen to them. If they are clients, try to understand what they hope to achieve with the project. Ask as many questions as you can to make them open up to you. If you will be dealing with kids, you might want to be friendly with them after the hoots so they know you well enough to listen to you.

05. Be flexible with snap style 

We already established that lifestyle portrait photography takes elements from portrait, fashion, documentary, and street photography. Hence, to capture awesome lifestyle pictures, you must be flexible enough to switch up styles per time during shooting.

Some styles you might have to use include the use of burst modes, the rules of third, framing, symmetry, depth of field, and negative space among others. Over time as you grow and become better, you would know what styles fit specific scenes and when to switch to something more suitable when needed. 

06. Be Activity Centered

To be activity-centered means to give your models activities to indulge in, to simulate real-life interactions. Activities can include playing a game, discussing a fun topic, dancing, preparing a fun snack, etc.

The activity you suggest would depend on what the client wants or what you intend to achieve. This is specifically useful as they will not be posing. We suggest you come up with a list of fun activities so you never run out of ideas while on set.

07. Post Processing is key

In the post-processing of your pictures, you might not be doing a lot of skin touches, however, you want to retain consistency in all your work or a particular project. This is heavily dependent on post-processing.

You can have a prepared go-to presets or a specific effect that is unique to you that you can apply to your pictures. The key is to make sure that pictures from the same project retain a unique characteristic. Remember photography is a form of art, and every artist has his signature.

08. Always be ready

Lifestyle photography tries to capture moments. And even though these moments can be created, the rarest moments are often unplanned. Hence, you must be ready at all times with your camera, so organic moments wouldn’t slip by.

An organic moment can be the bellowing laughter of a kid; a surprised expression of one of the models, or sunlight gently brushing through the hair of a model. These among others are moments that would give you the best captures.

How To Become A Lifestyle Photographer

Like every other type of photography, it might take time before you eventually decide if you want to stick to lifestyle photography. However, the peculiarities of this unique style of photography should first appeal to you.

First, you have to truly love and enjoy watching people interact. This is one of the most important aspects you must consider, as most of your gig would require you to create help create and document these moments with your camera.

Secondly, you should love the outdoors and all the inconsistency that comes with it. This eventually boils done to your nature. If you prefer to work indoors, within a studio where you can control all aspects of a photograph, then you might not be cut out for lifestyle photography

Finally, you must be adventurous as every project will come with its own very unique demands. Lifestyle photography demands a high level of spontaneity in creativity and artistry. Your ability to meet each challenge with passion and excitement is very important.

Difference Between Lifestyle, Documentary, And Portrait Photography

It is easy to mix up lifestyle, documentary, and portrait photography. However these three are distinct, each being a specific type of photography. Understanding each one would help inform your decision-making on the type of photographer you would like to be.

Portrait photography is capturing the image of a person who poses in front of a camera. All the elements of a portrait photograph s controlled including lighting, and they are taken indoors usually in a studio. Everything in portrait photography is staged.

Documentary photography just as the name implies involves the photography of historical events. It is the capturing of moments to tell a story. It is almost similar to lifestyle photography however, the event or activity has a degree of historical relevance in the future.

Lifestyle photography is the capturing of moments from the interaction of people. The degree of control over the environment is very limited. There are no poses, however, the models or clients are required to act freely and show real-life reactions.

To Conclude

Lifestyle portrait photography is an amazing type of photography, one that is as fun as it is demanding. Becoming a lifestyle photographer can be one of the best decisions you will make.

Depending on who you are, you might find yourself lost in the moments you are capturing, becoming a part of your creation.