Lifestyle photographers are professionals who can elevate your brand. They produce captivating photos that attract attention and convey the values behind your products or services.
But what exactly do they do?
And what other benefits can you get by hiring top-tier product photographers?
Let’s answer those questions in this article. I’ll also provide tips and insights into how you find the right lifestyle photographer for your needs.
What Do Lifestyle Photographers Do?
Lifestyle photographers specialize in capturing “slice of life” images of people in real-life situations. They often use documentary or candid styles to capture genuine and relatable shots for their clients.
Lifestyle photography aims to evoke emotions, show a product in context, and elevate the brand aesthetic of the hiring company. Lifestyle photographers try to capture the art in their subject’s daily life.
The shots are scripted but made to look unplanned. The photographer plans the shoot carefully and creates the illusion of spontaneity — because every moment can be crafted into a stunning lifestyle capture.
Types of Lifestyle Photography
Lifestyle photography can show the art behind a person, a brand, or a product.
As such, it can be a broad genre. Its type depends on the focus of the shoot and can be classified into various types. Some of them are:
Urban: in this genre, the lifestyle photographer captures lifestyle images in the city or urban setting.
Outdoor: this genre often captures people doing outdoor activities, which range from sports to outdoor activities such as hiking, skiing, and camping. It aims to capture people outdoors and spending time in nature.
Portrait: this genre can be solo or group shots of people that show movement and candid interactions in a natural environment.
How do these lifestyle photography types elevate your brand? We’ll dig into that below. But first, some examples.
Examples of Lifestyle Photography
As a commercial photographer, I’ve been involved in various lifestyle photography projects. Some of my best work includes the following:
Camping Lifestyle for Lifetime Products
Female Hunters Lifestyle
Lifetime Tables Lifestyle
Kayak Lifestyle - Lifetime
My clients have used these high-quality photographs to highlight how their products add value to people’s lives. The shots focus on people in real situations, aiming to showcase authenticity and relatability. These are just some of the benefits of hiring lifestyle photographers.
Why Your Brand Needs the Best Lifestyle Photographers
Before you search “lifestyle photographers near me” online, you should first understand why your brand needs them.
Bring Products to Life
According to a BigCommerce survey, 78% of online shoppers want products brought to life with images. Lifestyle photographers can do just that — they bring products to life to capture your audience’s attention.
This is a powerful form of visual storytelling. You can showcase the values you want to be associated with your brand such as authenticity, creativity, and expertise. This makes your customers want to see and know your brand more.
You can use lifestyle photographs across marketing channels. Upload them on your website, post them on your social media account, or add them to your portfolio to entice prospective customers. You can even put them on your ads and print materials.
Whatever your product is, lifestyle photographers can produce versatile images you can use across assets. This leads to a more cohesive and consistent branding — something that all customers love.
Gain Expert Insights
The best lifestyle photographers are knowledgeable. Their experience allows them to collaborate closely with you to tell you what works and what doesn’t.
By hiring professional lifestyle photographers, you gain access to a treasure trove of insights. Their creativity and expertise can be crucial in making your brand stand out from your competitors.
Have Access to Quality Equipment
Apart from skills, lifestyle photographers have access to sophisticated equipment that allows them to produce top-tier images. Examples of must-have equipment for professional photographers include lenses, editing software, tripods, and lighting.
With these assets, the lifestyle photographer can produce high-resolution and well-composed photos. These enhance your brand’s image and make a positive first impression on your audience. That said, it really comes down to how the photographer uses these tools that matter most.
Reinforce Your Brand Identity
Your brand identity represents your values and qualities as a business. High-quality lifestyle photographers can deliver images that reinforce such values. They know how to solidify your overall design language and aesthetic through images.
A well-conceptualized lifestyle photograph communicates your brand story. This effect is instantaneous, and it leads to another benefit of using lifestyle photographers: you boost your conversions.
Lifestyle photographers can add context to your product, letting your customers know not just its features but also its potential benefits. When customers see your product in action, it inspires them to take action, too.
Most retail sites, for example, have gallery images and videos per product. These shape the customer’s first impressions, ultimately influencing their buying decision. A well-crafted lifestyle photograph can be the deciding factor in this decision-making process.
Choosing the Right Lifestyle Photographers
While going for the nearest lifestyle photographer might be tempting, you must have clear requirements when choosing one. Finding the right photographer for your brand can be challenging, so I’m offering the following tips to help you.
Define Your Goals
When searching for the best lifestyle photographers, your goals should be clear. Ask yourself the following questions:
What message do you want to convey through the images?
What type of lifestyle photography fits your goals?
What’s your budget?
What are your success metrics?
Defining your goals, budget, and KPIs early on keeps the project on track. It also helps you find the right lifestyle photographer for your project.
Look for Specialists
Even if your current photographer is a top-tier talent, he or she might not have the right skills for lifestyle photography. Remember: photographers have different specializations. So, look for someone who specializes in the type of photographs that you need.
A good photographer can capture great photos with awesome composition. A specialized lifestyle photographer can also do that — and more: they know how to find that fleeting moment where emotions are genuine, which is the ultimate goal of lifestyle photography for brands.
Check Their Portfolio
Check the photographer’s portfolio and see if they have projects similar to yours. If so, evaluate the project. What’s the goal of their previous client? Were they able to achieve such goals?
The photographer’s portfolio gives you a glimpse into your future collaboration with the photographer. Pay attention to what clients say about their work, communication style, ethics, etc. Take note of any areas for improvement or advice the previous clients provide.
When comparing prices and packages, consider the value you’ll get. It’s not always wise to choose the cheapest option. Remember: you get what you pay for — a lot of businesses have suffered for trying to cut corners.
Hiring the best lifestyle photographers also doesn’t mean you go with the most expensive option. Rather, it’s best to evaluate packages based on what you’ll get, if you truly need what they provide, and whether or not you can negotiate better rates.
Meet with the photographer or set up a discovery call with them. Discuss your goals, budget, and expectations. The more information you provide, the more likely you’ll be able to get images that align with your goals. Evaluate the photographer’s knowledge and attitude toward your project.
You’ll want someone who communicates openly and transparently. They should be upfront about what they can do for your project and honest about any limitations they might have.
Offer your feedback on their previous project (the one you checked in their portfolio), and pay attention to how they respond to positive or negative feedback.
Check Their Creative Process
While you’re interviewing the lifestyle photographer, ask about their creative process. How do they handle short- and long-term projects? Understand how they plan to execute your project.
Other things you should talk about include:
And any other specific requirements you have. The goal is to match their creative process to your expectations.
Before finalizing the contract with the lifestyle photographer, negotiate as much as you can. Review the photographer’s terms, and ensure everything is clearly outlined in a contract. Remember, getting the right person for the job is worth every penny.
Ask for a detailed breakdown of everything from their deliverables to their pricing. This helps prevent any misunderstanding between you and the photographer.
Finalize the Contract
Lastly, review the entire contract and ensure you’ve specified all your requirements. Check any pertinent information such as expected delivery dates, clauses about the rights to the images, and payment terms. Set a schedule for the project.
Hiring lifestyle photographers is a great investment if you want to step up your branding and differentiate yourself from others. These professionals have the skills, equipment, and experience to help you execute your project with ease. They compose well-crafted photographs that you can use across a variety of channels. This reinforces your brand and increases your chances of generating more leads and conversions.
What’s the difference between lifestyle and product photography?
Lifestyle photography focuses on people in real-life situations, conveying a story, a lifestyle, or a message behind a brand or product. Meanwhile, product photography centers around showcasing products, their features, benefits, and aesthetics.
What success metrics should I use when working with lifestyle photographers?
Your success metrics depend on the project’s goals. For advertisers and marketers, tracking engagement metrics — such as image CTRs, likes, etc — are helpful. They may also track conversion rates and lead generation. Brand-related metrics include brand awareness, sentiment analysis, and content performance.
How much do lifestyle photographers charge?
Lifestyle photographers usually charge depending on their experience, expenses, and other relevant factors. However, local lifestyle photographers doing a small job charge $2,000 on average. While full lifestyle shoots can cost as much as $10,000 or more for a day and two to five photos.
What makes a good lifestyle photographer?
The best lifestyle photographers produce images that mix spontaneity and planning. They take candid shots but keep the goal in mind. Their staged photos don’t look pre-planned and evoke a sense of relatability and idealism while elevating the image’s aesthetics for the target audience.