7 Things Every Lifestyle Photographer Should Know

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  By Taya Ivanova
7 Things Every Lifestyle Photographer Should Know www.sleeklens.com

Lifestyle photography means something different to every photographer.

To some people, this genre is an opportunity to focus on someone’s highlight reel. To others, it’s a chance to focus on what they love most about their friends or family. Some people take lifestyle photos for the sake of earning money through stock photo agencies.

Regardless of these reasons, every lifestyle photographer shares a common goal: taking authentic and emotive photos.

If you have a similar goal, you can quickly learn more about this world by doing these things.

Discover and Understand Your Intentions

girl holding cup

Write down all of your goals before you start practicing. This will ensure that you:

a. have a list of tasks to remind you why this genre is worth it, which is important for overcoming creative blocks

b. know exactly what you need to master lifestyle photography

Common goals include developing a specific style, getting to know new people in the same genre, changing a career, and getting opportunities to travel the world.

Make sure you have a variety of achievable and long-term goals so that you’re always motivated.

Use Natural Light

Your goal is to capture your model’s lifestyle, which might include their friends, their home, and their possessions. To capture these things effectively, you should take photos during the day.

Soft, dreamy light is perfect for capturing your model and their items in the best way possible. Golden hour and blue hour are perfect for atmospheric lifestyle photos.

If you shoot indoors, make sure you stay as close to a large light source as possible, such as big windows and open doors.

Use a Large Aperture

girl pointing at hot air balloons

That soft and blurry background you often find in photos is very easy to re-create. All you need is a lens that has a small f-number like f/3.0 or smaller. The smaller the number, the softer your background will be and the easier it will be to separate your model from their surroundings.

Soft backgrounds are visually appealing and can help prevent busy compositions.

Make sure you experiment with different apertures. Some photographers prefer to stick to one number, while others have a few favorites for different occasions.

For example, f/1.2 is perfect for simple portraits, while f/3.0 is great for capturing more of your subject and their environment.

Don’t Be Afraid of Orchestrated Moments, but Focus on Spontaneity as Much as Possible

Even though lifestyle photography is supposed to be authentic, don’t be afraid of experimenting with posing sometimes.

However, try to keep your photoshoot as candid as possible. Talk to your model, give them fun things to work on, and ask their friends to join in.

Focus on the Environment as Much as You Focus on Your Model

girl walking outdoors

Lifestyle photography often focuses on the subject’s surroundings. You can use this to take atmospheric and moody photos of your models.

Once you have a few portraits that you’re proud of, take photos of the location. This will challenge you to juggle several photography styles – landscape, architecture, nature, etc – at the same time.

Make Details a Priority

closeup of items in a suitcase

If you look up lifestyle photography, you’ll find a lot of pictures of details. These are great for telling a story and making your subject’s personality stand out more.

Try to focus on them as regularly as possible.

Create Diptychs and Triptychs Using Similar Photos

At the end of your photoshoot, you’ll have photos of people, places, and details. You can turn some of these photos into diptychs or triptychs, which are collages consisting of 2-3 photos.

Diptychs and triptychs are great for:

  • Improving your creativity
  • Enhancing a story
  • Highlighting the similarities and differences between a few subjects


Lifestyle photography can help you become an efficient, imaginative, and fearless photographer. It can also introduce you to many exciting photography genres like landscape, nature, and macro photography.

Today, take some time to figure out who you want to photograph and why you want to photograph them. This will help you take photos that are both meaningful and visually appealing.

Let us know what you come up with!

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I'm an admirer of nature, a photographer, and a curious reader. Writing about photography and helping others improve is a growing passion of mine. My constant wish is to inspire others to be creatively fearless and endlessly curious. "Always dream bigger is my advice to you, because you can have whatever your heart desires" - Ashley Graham

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