by Guest Contributor Jean Smith
Typically, lifestyle photography is described as a style of photography where daily events or happenings are captured. So, that means capturing a family in their home doing the things they love or do on a daily basis is lifestyle photography, right? Right. And wrong. Lifestyle photography doesn’t HAVE to be confined to your subject’s home or other familiar places they frequent on a daily basis. You can tell a story with the same feelings of love, playfulness, relationships, and “everyday” in any location.
In order to do that, there are a few things to consider to help you steer more toward lifestyle and candid captures.
- Lens – Typically, a wider angle lens (24-35mm) is considered to be more of a storytelling lens. And for good reason. It shows the entire story and scene. No matter how wide your aperture is, most everything will be in focus and your viewer will feel like they are “in the scene.”
- Motion – Capturing motion is a sure fire way to take your photos from posed and traditional, to candid and lifestyle. You can create motion either through giving your subject movement direction (running, walking, throwing hair, twirling, laughing, etc), or YOU can create the look of movement within an image with a lower shutter speed, choice of lens (Lensbaby or Tilt shift which create blur), or by physically moving the camera while shooting (ex: dragging the shutter).
- Emotion. Showing emotion is one of the easiest ways to capture the “everyday” in any location. Show the laughter between a son and mother. A quiet, intimate moment between mother and father. A playful interaction between siblings. Showing emotion within the relationships of a couple or family will give the viewer a sense of looking in at a certain special moment in those people’s lives.
- Distance. Think about moving away, toward, and around your subject. Again, you are trying to tell a story, so the same angle, focal length, or distance from your subject throughout an entire shoot becomes static and non-storytelling.
Lifestyle photography isn’t for everyone, but if you are attracted to relationships, emotion, and capturing the “every day,” practice these different suggestions, and you’ll find yourself thinking differently and capturing more moments rather than poses.
About Jean: I am a photographer living in New Hudson, Michigan, with my husband and four little boys. I adore my family more than anything, and also love exercise, reading, travel, travel, travel, and delicious food.