Lifestyle photography focuses on capturing authentic and candid moments that reflect the true or idealized essence of a person’s everyday life. Unlike staged images, lifestyle photography aims to tell stories, evoke emotions, and provide viewers with a genuine glimpse into the subject’s world. Lifestyle photography goes beyond mere snapshots; it delves into the heart of human experiences and passions, showcasing the beauty found in everyday moments. The genre celebrates the small details, the genuine connections, and the raw emotions that make each person’s life unique. In this article, we will explore essential tips for capturing authentic lifestyle images that resonate with viewers.

Choose the right location and activities to create an authentic scene

When planning a lifestyle photoshoot, it’s crucial to select a location and activities that align with the subject’s interests, hobbies, or daily routines. This helps create a genuine and relatable scene that reflects their lifestyle. Whether it’s their home, a favorite park, or a local café, the environment should feel comfortable and familiar to the subject, allowing them to relax and be themselves.  The scene and activity should match the lighting, the wardrobe, and the makeup for a cohesive look.

For example, let’s say you’re a girly, peppy fashion blogger and your followers love your light, optimistic feed, filled with cute clothes and uplifting quotes about life; you wouldn’t post a photo of yourself swigging a handle of Smirnoff on the curb of the questionable liquor store down the street. You would most likely pose in front of a cute latte in an adorable coffee shop reading the daily newspaper.


Direct and pose as needed but allow the activities and movement to flow

While lifestyle photography emphasizes capturing candid moments, it’s still important to provide some guidance and direction to ensure the best possible results. Directing the subject and suggesting certain poses can help enhance the composition and visual appeal of the image. However, it’s crucial to balance this with allowing the activities and movement to flow naturally. Encourage the subject to engage in their usual activities, interact with their surroundings, and express genuine emotions.

For example, when I shoot for Athletic Apparel for fitness photography, I like to loosen up the models by having them actually partake in stretches and workouts to get more of a natural movement going. Once they get comfortable in their element, that’s when I start shooting (sometimes I tell them, sometimes I’m in silent mode and they have no idea). Candid photos are instant lifestyle photos.


Plan ahead but be prepared to go with the flow

A certain level of planning and preparation is necessary for a successful lifestyle photoshoot. Discuss the vision and goals of the shoot with your models or clients beforehand, and plan the location, activities, and timing accordingly. However, it’s essential to remain flexible and adaptable during the shoot. Unexpected moments and spontaneous interactions often result in the most authentic and captivating images, so be open to capturing those unplanned moments. Stay ready and shoot through the scene.


Connect with your models/clients and bring out their personalities

Building a strong connection and rapport with your models or clients is vital in lifestyle photography. Take the time to get to know them, understand their personalities, and make them feel comfortable in front of the camera. Engage in conversations, share experiences, and find common ground to create a relaxed and enjoyable atmosphere. This connection will allow you to capture their genuine expressions and emotions, resulting in authentic images.


Include wide, medium, and tight shots for full storytelling

To create a comprehensive storytelling experience, it’s important to include a variety of shots and angles. Wide shots capture the overall scene, providing context and setting, while medium shots focus on the subject and their interactions. Tight shots, on the other hand, zoom in on specific details or expressions, bringing intimacy and emphasizing emotions. By incorporating these different shot sizes, you can create a visually compelling narrative that engages viewers and tells a complete story.


Make Brand Placement Organic and Natural

If you’re working with brands for organic lifestyle brand photos, make sure the placement is organic. In other words, don’t over or undersell. Brands that are placed within these lifestyle photos should be seamless and belonging. It’s nice to be promoted by other brands, and followers normally are happy you are being sponsored by other brands because it is an indication that you are being noticed and are doing well. However, it is one thing to promote the brand and another thing to sell-out. Trying to put too many unrelated, sponsored items into one photo to the point it becomes so cluttered that the eye cannot rest on any particular object causes confusion and distrust.


Posting an item just to post it, risks disengaging the viewer and lowers credibility due to lack of interest in said item. Showing that you are actively using and/or wearing the item gives it that humanistic, personal connection that is easily relatable, such as holding headphones next to your phone as if you just took them off briefly to take a break from all that wonderful music pumping into your eardrums.



Lifestyle photography offers a unique opportunity to capture authentic moments and tell meaningful stories. By choosing the right location, allowing activities to flow naturally, and connecting with your models or clients, you can create genuine and compelling images. Remember to plan and prepare, but also be open to spontaneous moments that add depth and authenticity to your photographs. With these lifestyle photography tips in mind, you can capture images that resonate with viewers and evoke a true sense of emotion and storytelling.