Lifestyle photography is a huge industry on its own, defined by the quest to capture real-life scenarios in a controlled manner. Statistics show at least 50% of consumers use images to guide their decisions in buying a product online, which means a good picture counts a million times. Whether you are a hobbyist or shoot photos for a living, upgrading your camera skills makes you a pro. Admittedly, Digital photography has greatly improved photo quality in many aspects. However, with more advanced technologies coming out every year, enhancing your skills without learning cannot be easy. Real lifestyle photographers understand that the business entails more than just capturing shots; instead, those pictures should tell a story.
The following essential tips will help improve your game as a lifestyle photographer.
1. Study your camera inside out
Without knowing your camera well, you will hardly get the best photos out of your device. The truth is that pointing and shooting is easier said than done. The first step in enhancing your photo skill is understanding what your camera can and cannot do. It's a good idea to carefully read your manual after purchasing your digital camera. This will help you familiarize yourself with its components and their functionalities.
Once you figure out your device's capability, you will have the basic knowledge of how to take quality pictures. You can take a lifestyle photography course to gain deeper knowledge on leveraging your camera, so keep this in mind.
2. Anticipate events before they happen
When you lock your eyes on an unfolding event, anticipate what will happen next. Some activities only last a while, like one second, which means it might prove too late if you are not always prepared. Experts advise you should strive to record the one second before and one second after an anticipated moment occurs.
3. Plan and picture things naturally
Professional lifestyle photographers aim to capture natural moments as much as possible. When taking photos for your clients, make sure you find out their likes and dislikes. Plan your photoshoots and consider asking for ideas on the best locations that promise amazing sessions. An office location may be ideal if you create a lifestyle portrait for a corporate and ambitious client. Fun-loving clients may also prefer beach locations, pubs, bars, and restaurants.
4. Don't ignore changing your perspective
You may often find yourself stuck in one position taking pictures. A smart way to unlock good results is to change your perspective; in other words, mix things up a bit. For instance, you can change your angle to a top view after shooting a side view. Variety is the spice of life, so the saying goes. Don't forget to add style to your shots by varying your perspective.
5. Learn to give instructions that help set the stage
Don't hesitate to give directions when shooting for your clients. The issue is that some people feel quite uncomfortable in front of the camera, and it's your duty to give them instructions that set the stage ready for action. Rather than fast-tracking things, you should ensure your client feels relaxed. Be specific with what you want to achieve while not appearing too restrictive. Overall, the end goal is to make everyone happy with the results and show their infectious smiles. Giving the right instructions will help you get good results without unnecessary stress.
6. Shoot candid lifestyle photos
If your style combines a blend of portrait photography and documentary, candid photos will be an effective way to showcase the real personality of your clients. It helps to stay alert and shoot the in-between moments. For example, while your client is busy maneuvering to get their perfect pose, you can cheat and pretend you are testing your camera. These casual interactions eliminate tension, creating a welcoming atmosphere to capture beautiful scenes.
It's easy to surprise your client with a crisp image if you make them forget your presence. Every client wants to work with a lifestyle photographer who they can trust to deliver them the coolest shots ever. Moreover, a picture is a digital copy of their identity so that precious memories will be well cherished.
7. Perfect your settings
With lifestyle photography being a quick-paced business, you are firing a shot at something playing out before your nose in one moment. And probably, you won't have enough time to recompose your shot before you press your shutter again. This shouldn't mean you can downplay the essence of perfecting your settings. Don't fire at the maximum frames per second; hoping you will get good results from the lot after processing. Instead, apply good artistic techniques to read the scene. Check the light and ensure your camera settings are on point. Your clients may stop trusting you if you constantly make mistakes and compromise their expected results. For instance, a family lifestyle photographer will not want to incur the wrath of a beautiful couple with amazing kids.
8. Work with photogenic models
It's much easier to upskill your lifestyle photography when you find attractive models to partner with your team. A photogenic model will naturally simplify your effort to brand yourself as an experienced photographer. Look around, and you may get models that accurately reflect your target market. If you are into kids, stuff, for instance, you will want to work with young models to promote your products/services. If you are running on a limited budget, you can recruit your friends and family to assist you with modeling. Consider offering a giveaway as part of your marketing campaign.
9. Consider editing your lifestyle photos
Admittedly, the photos you snap won't be published immediately. Therefore, you can edit their lifestyle photos if clients require special effects in their end product. To reduce your costs, you can use free photo editing software to refine the appearance of your images. Online editing tools allow you to play around with features such as sharpness, contrast, and lighting. Thanks to editing, you can crop your pictures to eliminate unwanted elements that appear in the background. You can create vertical and horizontal versions of your images, so feel free to consider this. This trick makes you offer flexible lifestyle photography, helping you sell your products across different platforms. As you edit your results, ensure you don't make it difficult for customers to recognize your style.
10. Invest in quality photo-shooting equipment
Not having a high-quality camera is one common mistake beginner lifestyle photographers make. The right tools make photography super easy and fulfilling. Therefore, if you want to capture crystal-clear images, invest in an ultramodern digital camera. Today, the best photographers adopt advanced equipment to boost their picture quality. Advanced picture-taking drones like the DJI Mini 3 are known to offer value for money, so feel free to leverage them. If you do not have the resources to buy expensive drones, you can shop around to find affordable ones without compromising quality. The results you stand to gain from lifestyle photography drones could be rewarding if you make the right pick. Investing in flashlights, filters, lenses, and other crucial accessories is important.
11. Establish your presence on social media
Digital marketing is the order of the day; growing your online footprint starts with social media platforms. Your mesmerizing pictures won’t get the deserved accolades if nobody gets to see them after all. Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest are a few examples of social networks for photo geeks. Build a loyal community on digital platforms and establish wider visibility to grow your business. These essential lifestyle photography tips will improve your skill in the business.