The eyes are the windows to the mind. In this current age of technology where information refreshes with the swipe of a finger.
You have about 15 seconds to grab your website visitor’s attention and the best way to showcase a product to a potential buyer in that time frame is through images.
Now, how to keep someone’s attention through the image of a lone product on a white background?
If you want to invoke a specific emotion in your viewers, you can do so with photos. Even if you’re going to tell a story with your shots, what better way to do it than with lifestyle product photography with models?
In this guide, we’ll take a look at;
- What is lifestyle product photography?
- How to do lifestyle product photography with models?
- Lifestyle composite vs. in-use product photography
- Benefits of lifestyle product photography
- Tips to improve your lifestyle product photography skills
- DIY Lifestyle Product Photography
What is lifestyle product photography?
Lifestyle product photography illustrates real-life scenarios where people can use your product.
An example of such a scenario would be someone sharing ice cream on a hot summer day or applying a skincare product.
These types of incorporation of models into your lifestyle product photos will introduce the customer to the idea of a lifestyle promoted by the brand or seller.
How to do lifestyle product photography with models?
Suppose you want to do lifestyle product photography with models. In that case, you need the following items: models, a studio or set to take pictures, a wardrobe, and the equipment for photography.
You can hire models at agencies for a price. These agencies usually have tons of strict rules and regulations for working with them, but this is an alternative.
You can find model profiles at Model Mayhem and search based on your location to find a model suitable for representing your brand.
It is wise to have a list of models you would like to work with and then decide based on the responses you get from them.
Models love to take lifestyle photoshoots as the photos work well on social media for their publicity.
You can also look for MUAs (make-up artists) on Model Mayhem.
If you are looking for a studio location, you can find co-op spaces around town.
Professional photographers usually have studio space that they rent out.
You can use local restaurants and parks as a set for your photo shoot: choose a time when it’s less crowded.
You might have to shop for a wardrobe and accessories for your model. You can ask the models if they have the accessories you need for the photoshoot.
If they do not own any accessories required for the photo shoot, ask them for their clothing size and measurements so that you can get the right fit.
If you are shooting at a studio, you can act as the manager if they have the accessories you need.
If you are comfortable with a camera, you should take the photos yourself to know how you want your product’s pictures to be.
Make sure you have the proper equipment such as a DSLR, tripod, stage lights, etc. You can also hire a professional photographer as they will be appropriately equipped for the task.
Lifestyle composite vs. in-use product photography
Lifestyle product photography has a few distinctive qualities which make it preferable to in-use product photography.
On social media, lifestyle product photography performs better as social media is all about experiences, aspirations, and engagement.
If you plan to sell your product on an online marketplace, lifestyle photography is encouraged due to its ability to capture a customer’s attention. Nonetheless, some online platforms such as amazon prefer classic photography.
Some studios offer to take both types of photos for a product. Thus a combination can be taken for use in multiple websites depending on the websites’ demands.
Benefits of lifestyle product photography
We can implement an image of the product’s possible applications through lifestyle product photography in our customers’ minds within a few mere seconds.
This is done by:
Creating emotion and vibe in the customers’ minds
Lifestyle product photography allows you to create a vibe that matches your brand.
For example, if your product is a drink, adding citrus fruits along with the product in the images will create a refreshing and hydrating environment.
Demonstrating function of the product
Lifestyle images also allow you to demonstrate how, where, and when to use a consumer product you are selling, allowing customers to understand the intended context of use for the product.
Showcasing the textures and details of the product
Close-up shots of your product can show the unparalleled quality of your products along with the attention to detail that many customers find fascinating.
Conveying authenticity and representing your brand
Due to its convenience, online shopping has become quite popular recently.
As customers don’t see the product face-to-face, having a clear and crisp image of the product has a massive impact on the customers’ decisions.
Tips to improve your lifestyle product photography skills
Here are some tips so that you can improve the quality of your lifestyle product photography.
Choosing appropriate scaling for the photos
While posting on a website, you must first be aware of the rules and restrictions the website imposes on uploaded photos.
You don’t want an HD photograph of your product to get reshaped into a granny, cutoff box.
Make sure your photo isn’t too large, as it may slow down the loading of a page. It also makes the image blurry for mobile users.
If the photo is too small, it will lose its zoom functionality. Many customers prefer to zoom into products they plan to buy to get a better view of the product’s smaller details.
So take a square photo of around 2048×2048 pixels for optimal usage. It makes the image sharp, consistent, and smooth transitioning for the best user experience.
Providing proper lighting
“Lights, camera, action!” The fact that lights come first proves how important they are.
A well-lit picture will look amazing even with a budget camera.
You can set up your product’s photoshoot outdoors for an abundance of natural lights or use high-wattage studio lights for proper lighting indoors.
Keeping the focus on the product
When choosing props and background scenery, make sure your product does not get overshadowed.
The product should be held directly or used by the model during the lifestyle product photography session.
Please do not overdo it with edits or try to make the product overly flashy. 22% of online products get returned because the item does not look like the photo.
Also, make the product stand out as much as possible while keeping it natural.
Telling the products’ story
One of the main reasons lifestyle product photography is so popular is that it connects with the consumers, and what better way to communicate with them than by telling a story?
For example, if you plan to sell an outdoor grill, you should create an environment surrounding it, such as people gathering together around a roaring fire and having a bar-b-q party.
Using a professional service
Taking lifestyle product photography may become overwhelming, so remember you can always hire a professional to do the job.
They are far more experienced in the field and will be able to set up the perfect theme for your product.
On average, lifestyle product photography rates range between $35 to $170 per image.
DIY Lifestyle Product Photography
Here are a few tips if you plan on doing the whole photo shoot on your own.
- Use a tripod– The photo needs to be in focus, so using a tripod will allow you to take the pictures from a fixed angle while completely staying still.
- Shoot loose– When someone tells you to shoot open, it means not to keep too tight of a focus on your product. Capture a bit of the background so that the photo can be resized and cropped later to fit your website.
- Edit– Don’t be afraid to edit the photo cause slight editing can make the photos better. Just make sure you keep the looks natural.
Lifestyle product photography with models is an excellent way of representing your products and brand.
It brings in a unique representation of your product and says so much in only a few photos.
Photography is an art, and art is subjective, so make sure you are particular about your target audience; thus, make sure your photography is to their liking.
Seek expert advice if necessary, but if you want to learn more about DIY photography, check out this guide here.
Justin Parker is a professional photographer and has been in the industry since 2007. He attended the University of Georgia. Justin combines his passion for photography and his interest in writing to give life to this blog which talks about photography in order to help and inspire young photographers.