There are two types: pure white background and lifestyle photography. On Amazon, sellers are required to use at least one white background image in their product listing. But adding Amazon lifestyle photography enhances your product listing. The Perks of Lifestyle Photography. Lifestyle Product Photography is all about showing the Product in its real-life use. It shows how exactly the product can be used by the buyer. This site is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking. 👀 Want to see Jungle Scout in action?📲 Join us for a live demo HERE: the entire A-Z process of How to Sell.
Lifestyle Photography Tips
If you are searching for Product Photography then you might have heard the term, Lifestyle Product Photography. It is quite different from a regular studio Product Photography. Like the Photos, you take on a white background. So what it is exactly?
Lifestyle Product Photography is all about showing the Product in its real-life use. It shows how exactly the product can be used by the buyer. Sometimes plain background photos don’t actually show the actual purpose and use of the product, so therefore lifestyle photos are needed.
Creating Lifestyle images of a product is quite different from regular white or black background photos. Lot more thought process is required because Lifestyle product photos show the actual context of a product, which helps the product to sell. The trick is to create appealing photos, which sells the product.
Lifestyle Product Photography
So have you visited the Nike official website, where you see mostly the shoes are in a white background but there are a couple of different images also on the website? In those images, you will see athletes are working out while wearing Nike shoes and Nike apparel.
You’ll also see pictures of people who are running, wearing Nike shoes. Those are all lifestyle images that shows the Nike product in actual use. The brand actually focuses on the athleisure lifestyle which gives the motivation of fitness to buyers using their Products.
Just any brand you see, you’ll find lifestyle images created for them. Not just Nike but any brand or product that you use on your day to day has lifestyle images. You’ll find that the lifestyle photos show the product being used in the real world scenario, showing the actual use of it.
There are different kinds of Product Photos that a brand uses to showcase the product. Every brand has its own style of shooting their Product Photos. It’s important for you to understand the types of product photography and know exactly what type of product photos you need.
Types of Product Photos
Let’s learn a little bit about types of Product Photos you can shoot. So there are Four types of Product Product Photography and here they are:
Flat Lay Product Photography
These types of Product photos are quite common on Instagram. What I mean is, you’ll mostly see these types of product photos on Instagram. Flat lay product Photos are quite popular because they show the images from a top view angle. Which makes all the items in the photo, easily visible.
A flat lay is very simple to shoot, just put a background underneath and place the product and its substitute items over it, in a proper manner, so that it looks quite neat and tidy. Most often top angle is used to take the photograph but the 45-degree angle is also used as it gives the photo an interesting look.
If you are confused about the term like 45 degree or top angle, then read this post on Product Photography angles, where I described each and every camera angles in more detail.
For a Brand, a Flat lay Product photo becomes quite necessary because it gives a distinct and appealing look to the product. The buyers find it easier to see the product and all the surrounding items. They are easy to stage and easy to create a concept for the product.
Hero shot Product Photos
These the type of Product Photos that show the product in more detail as the name represents “HERO”. The emphasis is given more on the product as the Photo clearly shows the benefits and context of the Product.
The Hero shot is the one-shot you can count as the main image. It is the main shot that sits on the front page of the website. So that when a buyer visits the website, the first thing they notice is the HERO image.
Table Top Product Photos
These are the type of images that are actually photographed on a table. In simpler terms, you place your items on a table and then you take the shot.
Most of the shots you take in Indoors are Tabletop Product Photos. Unless the product you are Photographing is a big object and it doesn’t fit on a table.
In your Tabletop Photos, you can set up the product with or without the Props. But most importantly you need to take care of the base where the product rests.
Sometimes you can rest the Product on the table itself if it matches your Product, but if it doesn’t, then you need a separate base which you place above the table. Mostly you need a glossy base such as a Plexiglass or a granite tile.
Model Product Photography
When there is a Model involved in Image-making, where the model poses with the Product then it is called Model Product Photography. There are two types of Model Product Photography, and here they are:
Product Photography with Models
Just as Fashion Photography where Models appear in the frame and they pose for the camera, the Model Product Photography is quite the same, just the model poses with the product, showcasing how a product is used.
In Lifestyle Product Photography, you’ll need to explain the models, how to act, as if he/ she using the product.
Let’s take the example of Nike, you see models wearing the Nike outfits or wearing Nike shoes and working out or running in the streets.
This shows how Nike shoes promote fitness and how it will help someone who loves and want to be fit. By watching these type of images, viewers will get motivated in the fitness lifestyle.
Product Photography with Hand Models
Just like the model Photography, these types of product photos include models but the person who is the model does not totally appear in the frame. Only her hand is used in the picture with the Product.
Take an example of Luxury handbags and clutches. You’ll find the image, where only the model’s hand is being used to hold the bag. It gives an interesting look at the image and deeper focus on the Product.
Just not only handbags! there are many other products also, which requires and hand modeling.
Things to consider when shooting Lifestyle Product Photography
Now its time to dive into nuts and bolts of lifestyle product photography, as you’ve already got a brief overview of the types of product photo you can shoot, now it’s easier to understand what type of lifestyle product photos you gonna take.
Amazon Lifestyle Photography Services
So, Will, you need the hero shots with the product or will you include models in your lifestyle product photos? That’s up to you what kind of photos you gonna take.
Now, let’s understand how will we start our lifestyle product photography. We will take a deeper depth into it. We’ll start with what we need to know before we start taking lifestyle product photos.
Get to know who buys your Product
You might be thinking that you’re taking a picture of Product but in reality, you’re selling your client through the picture. A Picture says a thousand words without saying a word because visual is so powerful than anything and I repeat again, powerful than anything.
In our five senses, visual is the most powerful sense we have.
As we are selling a Product through a Picture it becomes very important to know, who is going to buy our product. I mean a Product is targeted to a certain group of age, like person aged towards 21-30 or something different? Is the person going to buy the product is a Female or Male or is it a Unisex Product?
Ask yourself these types of questions! so that you know exactly to which people you’re going to sell the product. So when you know the right targeted audience you can build rapport with them, through your images. Or else you won’t build a connection, like if its a product for the grandpa’s and grandma’s, you don’t want a rock and roll theme in your images.
Understand your audience
As you’ve already understood the targeted audience and you know who is your product customer, now ist time to go inside their mind, and find out what exactly is their thought process.
You may get intimated and say what? “Are you asking me about mind-reading”? Does it involve becoming a hypnotizer?
But no I’m not! it may seem difficult at a moment but it’s not, while it’s very easy. Let’s take an example, suppose the product is for the children, so what’s in their mind and what motivates them? What do they like?
It’s easily understandable that things which make us excited and make us motivated, it does not affect the same in a child. Like a child would see a stuffed toy of his/her favorite cartoon character and get really excited but it will not excite us as much, as we are adults. Assuming you’re an adult 😛
The things we like as an adult (not saying about the dirty stuff really) it will not motivate a child. You get my point right! Find out what’s the dislike and likes of your buyer and pick a concept that your buyer has an interest in.
Find out what they want to see
Now as you know who is your buyer? What are their likes and dislikes? And what motivates them? You have already crossed half of the percentage in creating a picture.
You’ve already got inside their minds, trust me! if you’ve completed the process then you’re a genius. You know the things that most photographers have no idea about. Now its time to know what your targeted customer likes to see?
Let’s take an example, suppose your product is targeted toward women aged 21-30 and the product is a luxury bag, then what kind of lifestyle pictures will they want to see? You need to pigeonhole and find the answers.
How can you make your Product Photo more appealing
Your Lifestyle Product Photo needs to be appealing enough or else it will not motivate your buyer to visit the landing page of the product. They will not buy it and will leave the website. You already know that the lifestyle images are the one which actually shows the use and context of the product.
So to make the photo appealing enough, you can brainstorm to get some ideas and find out the best strategies that work. You can also take some inspiration from the top leaders in your niche.
So as we are talking about luxury handbags as a product for your buyers, to actually make your lifestyle product photos appealing, take inspiration from a very popular brand like Louis Vuitton.
Look at the images there and how they have actually taken the lifestyle images, Stalk them. Get the ideas and then start implementing on your images. But remember not to copy but taking the flavor out of it and create your own set of images.
Will you need any Models
As the ideation is over, its time to see what you’ll be going to need in creating your Photographs.
Most lifestyle images include models and if you also need models, its time to find out them. You can go to modeling agencies to hire professional models but they can charge a lot of money on an hourly basis.
But if you don’t know any modeling agencies then you can directly contact a model through their business email in their social accounts or you can just type “models in________(your location)” in google and get some leads from there. You also ask your friends if they are interested.
One of the things to consider that hand models and regular models are different. Most hand models are professional and will charge you an amount to be in your shoot. You cannot just ask anyone to do hand modeling for your shoots.
Can your Friends or Family help you in Assisting
In your lifestyle Product photography shoots, you will require some helping hands and everything you cannot handle alone, you’ll forget something or you can make a small to a big error doing everything by yourself.
You can ask your family or friends to help you out in the shoot. Request them that you need a helping hand and I’m sure they gonna help you out if it’s possible for them. If they help you out then don’t forget to give them something in return, and it will appreciate them.
Which Locations will you need- Indoors or Outdoors?
Some of the lifestyle Images will look good outdoors or some will look good indoors. You as Photographer need to decide in advance, that where you’ll do your lifestyle product photography.
If you plan to shoot outdoors make sure to make all the arrangements; such as if you shoot in a location that needs a permit then before the day you shoot, you can visit the owner and take written permission signed by them.
If your location is far away in other states then make sure to make all the proper arrangements like flight tickets, hotel booking, etc for the whole team. Or even if you intend to shoot in the outskirts of your city, then you need to be ready with the items you will require for the shoot.
Look for the right set of Props
Props are the most important things that you will require especially in lifestyle Product Photography. You will need different types of props for your Photoshoots, so be ready with them beforehand.
One of the most important rule when choosing the props is that should match with the theme of your Product. Or else it will be junk.
There is are a number of things you can use a prop for your product photos but not everything can be a prop, so read this post where I’ve outlined some important props to use for any product.
Remember you are shooting lifestyle Product Photography, so your props should be which match with the concept, of the showing the product in use.
How to do Lifestyle Product Photography correctly
Now it’s the time when you take out your camera and start shooting Pictures. We have already covered all the initial stage of researching and brainstorming about the lifestyle product, therefore you know what you will be doing. You have a clear idea about the photos you are going to take.
Step 1- Prepare for your Shoot
This stage kind is optional as it depends on the product if it needs some type of touchup to get prepared for the shoot.
If your product is made up of suede material or some unique type of cloth material, then you need to dust off, if the product got a bit dirty. You need to use a suede brush to clean it up.
Also if you are shooting pictures of bags and backpack, then you need to fill it with paper to make it fuller, or else it will look kind of pressed and not in usual shape. So you need to fill it up until it looks full in its shape.
Also, make sure that you are ready with all the equipment that is needed in the shoot. Make sure to have a checklist of items that you’ll include.
Step 2- Choose the Right Gear
Depending on the concept of the shoot, you need to bring the proper set of gears and the right type of equipment with you. You can need a standard lens to photograph the lifestyle image to make it look normal or you may need a telephoto lens to compress the background.
The lens selection entirely depends upon the type of photo you want to take. So choose the gear rightly.
Choosing the perfect lens can be a tough decision as there are hundreds of lenses in the market, and also you have so many focal lengths to choose from. The problem is that you’ll waste a lot of money if you don’t choose the lenses we recommend.
Step 3- Pick the Location
Before you commence your photography you need to pick the right location for the shoot. It does not matter if you shoot indoors or outdoors but you need to have an appropriate location based on the context of the Product.
If you shoot outdoors and you want to take advantage of the natural light then you need a location where natural light is plentiful. The building or the giant trees should not block the light to hit your subject. Also, make sure to have a color match between the product and the location.
When you shoot indoors, most of the time you’ll shoot with artificial lighting as the area you may pick in your room, where the sunlight may not reach adequately. So be prepared with the off-camera lighting setup.
There are different types of lights in the market these days, but not every light is of professional-grade and will not help you create amazing images. I’ve written a post on Home lighting kit for Product Photography, where I discussed the complete essential things you’ll need to create your Inexpensive lighting Kit.
Step 4- Product Setup with or without Models
Now let’s dive into shooting images, the first and foremost thing is to set up the product. If you’re using Models then keep in mind that you’re not creating normal fashion images or normal Portraiture.
This time it’s all about showing the product, the model is not the hero in the image, it’s the Product. The model is just helping the product to get the attention and show how the product is used in real, and what it does exactly.
Let’s take an example if your product is a Headphone, then the Image should appear that the model is wearing the headphones and enjoying her time, listening to music.
Step 5- Adjust the Lighting
So after you’ve roughly set up your product and you have the finalized the posing of the Model, now its time to adjust the lighting. When shooting in the natural lighting but you need to direct the model to pose in a way that the product doesn’t get in shadow.
The emphasis should be on the product. The brightest part of the image should be the product but it should look natural. If you’re using artificial lights like flash or continuous light then make sure that you’re aiming the light at the product more.
Step 6- Taking the Photographs
Without wasting much time start taking photos, try to take as many images as you can, so that later in the editing stage you get the advantage to pick the best from the lot.
You need to see that the exposure is right. If you shoot RAW and I recommend you should, then it’s better you follow the ETTR method of Exposing the Image. The ETTR means exposing to the right until your highlights are blown out.
This time you can use the shallow depth of field to make your lifestyle product pop out from the background but don’t use too wider apertures, that your product gets softer.
Step 7- Editing Your lifestyle Product Photos
Editing your lifestyle product images can be quite exciting and interesting as you’re no longer you’re editing boring white background images.
But don’t go too far enjoying the editing process, that you over-edit your images. Make your images look natural and then color grade it if it needs.
Add infographics and insert text in your images. Make sure it looks satisfying and stylish as well.
Tips for doing Lifestyle Product Photography
Now it’s time to learn some tips which are going to help you out in your Lifestyle Product Photography sessions. These are the most practical tips which will also save you time and stop you from making some mistakes.
#1. Make your Models Comfortable
One of the most important things for you as the Photographer is to make your models feel comfortable in the Shoot.
When your models feel comfortable and enjoy the shoot, then it does help you out. They will pose freely and won’t look unnatural.
If you shoot with a professional model then it will be easy to work with, as they know what they are doing. But if you include everyday people who are not into modeling, then it becomes a challenge for you.
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You need to give them extra guidance on posing and to look professional in the shoot.
#2. Check out the Competition
Always check the competition before you pick your camera. It’s better to check out what other brands are doing so that you have a ground and you can generate new ideas to create better lifestyle images then them.
Different is what makes Difference
If you have an idea about what is happening in the market, then you can create something different from your competition and stand out.
#3. Tell a Story with several Photos
It always better to shoot lifestyle product Photos in a sequence, so that you get enough choices to pick from them. You get to select the best ones for you.
Try to form a Story in your lifestyle Product Photos. For example, if you are shooting pictures of a headphone then form the story like this:
- The model gets bored in the office working hard, so she picks up the headphone and wears it.
- The model closes her eyes and starts dreaming out her vacation in a beautiful place where she enjoys the music sitting near a rock side.
- The model continues to enjoy listening to music wearing the headphone, as she turns her head she finds an envelope, which is her increment letter.
- The model suddenly opens her eyes, realizing that she still in an office, but she got the leisure only listening to music in that headphone.
I just made up a story, you can create your own too, it’s very easy. As you form a story write down each stage and then visualize how can you photography it in real.
#4. Try different Colors Scheme for Location, Props, and Clothing
Always have a color Scheme in your lifestyle images, because color scheme makes your product photo really attention-grabbing.
There are many types of color schemes, find out the best that suits your concept. Find out the color of your product in the color scheme. Then select the locations, props, the dress of the model, in the corresponding colors or complementary colors of that color scheme.
#5. Have Model Releases
It’s always better that you have a model release with you. A model release is a type of legal arrangement, where the model grants his/her permission to be featured in your Photo.
It’s necessary because you don’t want trouble for yourself. As you already have an agreement, you stay out of any problems, like if suddenly your models want you to put down those images. You got the legal right to stand on your ground. But don’t forget about ethics.
#6. Leave Negative Space for Wide Shots
Leave some negative space in your lifestyle product photos, especially in the wider shots, because the negative space you left can be used to insert text, infographics or design elements in it.
Sometimes in editing, you’ll require those images to include them. Your client may ask you to fill in those areas. So it’s better you shoot some photos in negative space composition.
This package includes 4 lifestyle pictures shot in 1 styled set up.
Please contact me if you want extra set ups.
- I'm based in Spain: I'll give you my address and you can send me your complete product or just the packaging. You can also ship me your product through Amazon.es, Amazon.it, Amazon.co.uk, Amazon.de or Amazon.fr
- I'll deliver high resolution photos (JPG or png), with basic editing included (contrast, lighting, colours, removing undersired spots, etc.)