How To Get Ready For A Lifestyle Photography Session
Lifestyle Photography is another genre in the field of artistic photography and it is getting more attention each and everyday. In previous articles I covered tips on how to get ready for Landscape Photography and Portrait Photography. Successful Lifestyle Photography needs a different approach. Let’s take a look at Lifestyle Photography and find out what are the requirements.
What is Lifestyle Photography
Wikipedia explains Lifestyle Photography as:
“Lifestyle photography is a kind of photography mainly aims to capture portrait/people in situations, real-life events or milestones in an artistic manner and the art of the everyday. The primary goal is to tell stories about people’s lives or to inspire people in different times. Thus, it covers multidisciplinary types of photography together. A lifestyle photographer is not only a portrait or people photographer and loves/enjoys photography as art in everyday life but is believed to be talented in photography that can also do well in other many disciplines of photography at a time such as landscape, street photography, fashion, wedding and even wildlife with one’s unique vision to inspire people’s life.
Lifestyle photography is “posed” in a way that the photographer gives some direction and then documents the natural responses after. The goal of photography is always to put the subject in the best light, photography means painting with light after all. So, a little direction toward the best possible light is always the goal.
Lifestyle photography is about telling a story through the lens. It’s about the legacy that is left behind because of it.”
The ambient light can change so rapidly and as a Lifestyle Photographer, you must always be prepared for the changes in light. That being said, there are several solution for this problem. Learn Flash Photography and equip yourself with Fill Flash Photography Techniques, or use a Light Reflector which is a great asset in any kind of photography.
Although Lifestyle photography may look similar to portrait photography, there is a big difference here. Adding the surrounding environment to the image is the main key. Therefore you need to use a relatively wide angle lens rather than a telephoto. For a full frame camera I suggest the focal length 35mm or less. Personally I like it around 30mm as an optimum focal length. For a non full frame camera it is best to use 20mm or less.
Using a wide angle lens allows you to add more elements to the photo for your story. After all Lifestyle photography is all about telling a story.
Using Wide Angle Lens
Now that we discussed the Light and the choice of the lens, let’s get into the camera settings.
The minimum shutter speed for a successful lifestyle portraiture is around 1/90sec. Any shutter speed slower than this can result a blurry photo. Especially having kids or pets in photos, you need to use faster shutter speed as they move faster and unpredictably.
What about Camera Shake?
Shooting with wide angle at 1/90 sec. reduces any chance of camera shake! Remember the rule of the focal length and shutter speed, so if you use a 30mm wide angle and shoot at 1/90 sec. you are well over the minimum requirement.
Unlike Landscape photography that you need an expanded focusing range, or portrait photography that requires a very shallow Depth Of Field, in Lifestyle photography you need a medium range of Depth Of Field. Generally speaking for a wide angle lens, the aperture setting at 5.6 or 8 provides enough depth of field to cover the subject or subjects and part of the environment.
As you can see in all the above images there are plenty of elements in focus which add characters to the story.
Now that you know how to setup the shutter speed and Aperture, you need to set the ISO to balance the exposure. Always try to use the lowest possible value to avoid grainy ( Noisy) photos. I suggest to use Auto ISO as the camera sets the ISO to its minimum requirement value.
Always the anticipated moments quickly appear and disappear before you know it. That is why I suggest to use Continuous Drive Mode to take several shot starting from before till few shots after the moments are gone. In this case you won’t miss the important shot.
Lifestyle photography is not just “Look at the camera and smile” moment. On the other hand you need to prepare your model or models for the shot. Therefore give your subjects something to do. This approach makes the photo more natural and attractive.
Natural Looking photo
In Digital Photography Bootcamp I discuss many different techniques for Portrait Photography and composition.
That is all for now. We love to hear from you. Let us know if you have any questions, feel free to send us your questions and we will be more than happy to answer them. Follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter for more Free Tutorials and Tips.
Ted and the Omnilargess Team