What is lifestyle photography? What are the various elements that help enhance the style of this photography? How can you come up with different ideas for this form of photography using these elements? In this article, we tell you all this and more.
Have you ever looked at a photograph and wondered how the photographer managed to capture the essence of the people in it? A photograph that conveys to a viewer the emotions and feelings of the subject falls under the category of lifestyle photographs. This style of photography, though in existence for several years, was given a proper name only in the recent past. Most photographers define it as a style that tries and captures the personalities of the subjects and the emotion they feel for each other.
Lifestyle photography has become a hot favorite with photographers as it has broken the traditional rules regarding setting and posing. The basic essence of this type of photography is to use a controlled setting to mimic real-life situations to enhance the effect of the photograph. In most lifestyle photographs you will see subjects doing everyday things in exaggerated settings. Sometimes the idea is to capture the subjects at their most relaxed self to obtain a truly natural and candid photograph. This style of photography has become extremely popular in recent times, especially when people are looking at getting family portraits or wedding photographs clicked.
As an amateur photographer trying their hand at this form of photography, it is important to keep some essential tips and elements in mind. We have used different photographs to explain these elements and tips to you. You can also use these photographs as ideas that you can use for lifestyle photography.
Construct a Concept
With lifestyle photographs, creating a concept for the picture can go a long way in making the photograph seem more personal. If there are multiple subjects in the photograph, then create a concept that emphasizes their relationship. If there is only one subject, then use a concept that allows the viewer to connect with the image. In the image on the left, the concept used allows the photographer to put forward the relationship between the subjects. The friendship and the companionship that they feel for each other is evident. In the second image, you can clearly see the love for dancing that the subject exudes.
Capture the Emotion
With lifestyle photography an important thing that needs to reflect in the image is the emotion that the subjects are feeling. This allows the viewers to relate to the image and vicariously enjoy the feelings of the subjects in the image. In the image on the left, you can literally see the affection that the couple has for each other and the happiness that they feel. In the image on the right, the comfort that the grandfather and the granddaughter share is more than visible. It is important that as a photographer you are able to capture the mood that your subjects are feeling.
Color and Clothing
Many photographers often ignore the importance of using clothing of the right color. When you want the subject to stand out, opt for a neutral or monochromatic background. In such a case also ensure that the subject is wearing bright colored clothing. A viewer’s attention is always automatically drawn to a splash of color. In the image on the left, you can see how in a background with earthy tones, the model in the pink dress becomes the cynosure of the image. Of course, the concept of the image also helps in achieving interest. In the image on the right, the red fabric draped around the model attracts your attention.
Many photographers focus on the subjects so much that they often tend to neglect the background for the image. The background needs to contribute to the subject of the photo. In both the images given here, you can see how the background accentuates the subjects. In the image on the left for instance, a plain, cobbled wall helps draw attention to the newlyweds. In the image on the right, the windmill and the fields actually add to the concept used in the photograph. While choosing the background ask your subject about the different locations that they would prefer. In the best scenario, the location should be an element that adds to the personality of the subject. Use interesting props if they add to the image.
Help the Subject Relax
It is important that as a photographer you help your subjects be comfortable in front of the camera. It is best to shoot subjects in places where they can relax completely; where they are completely themselves. Try and spend some time with your subject and understand their personality. In case of children, ask their parents to help you choose moments when they are at their happiest. In the photograph on the left, you can see that the photographer is a voyeur looking in. With the photograph on the right, it is the correct moment that has made the image unforgettable.
Lighting and Shadow
The importance of proper lighting in photography cannot be emphasized enough. Using proper lighting can add a completely new dimension to an image. In lifestyle photography, dramatic use of lighting can add new elements to the image. Most photographers prefer using back lighting, top lighting, and side lighting. Back lighting is especially useful when you want to capture silhouettes. It also helps in lighting up the subject in a manner that gives them an angelic glow. Side lighting works when you want to highlight the subject using contrasts, since one side of the subject will be lit up by the light and the other remains subtly hidden due to a shadow.
When you are looking for different ideas this style of photography, remember that the idea you use needs to, in every way, reflect the personality and essence of the person you are shooting. The best way to click a beautiful image is to allow the core concept to be simple and the location to be uncluttered. Focus on the subject and you will have an image that is breathtaking in every manner.