What makes a good lifestyle image?

January 18, 2022

We have heard it time and time again: it’s not just the quantity of imagery that’s important, but the quality. You can post multiple times a day, but if the image quality is poor, it’s not going to make an impact or generate sales. But what do we mean when we talk about high- vs low-quality imagery? What, exactly, makes a good lifestyle image? We chatted to the talented photographers here at We Should Create, who let us know what they think can make or break an image.

Tell a story through colour, clothing or location

Images are a unique communication device, in that one shot can tell a story and invoke emotion in people. These are the shots that we’re aiming to produce; images that sell a particular lifestyle.

“You’re selling the lifestyle of the individual in shot,” says our Managing Director Alex. He stresses the importance of telling a story through different factors within the shot, such as colour, clothing or location. We want to create an image that makes viewers imagine themselves with a particular lifestyle, and encourages them to associate that lifestyle with the product in shot. Ultimately, this is what drives sales.

Make sure the image colours are true to life

The purpose of lifestyle photography is to capture real life authenticity within a setting. So it comes as no surprise that you will want the colours in your images to be an honest reflection of the colours present within the setting that you will be using.

So how do you achieve this within your lifestyle images? We asked our Senior Lifestyle Photographer Cat how she approaches colour. “It comes down to having your white balance set correctly in the camera. So for example, with indoor shoots there might be a warmer light so we’d need to cool down the white balance on the camera settings.” Cat also suggests that with post-production editing, you need to be wary that certain presets and edits don't affect the colour of your product within the image.

Use a variety of focal lengths

Having a good variety of focal lengths can really enhance a product's appeal in your lifestyle images. It’s important that you capture all angles of a product, as it will give your audience a much better feel for the product and a more honest representation.

Here at We Should Create, we start with close-up, detail shots using a macro lens. We then change to a wider angle lens and progressively move further away from the subject to help capture more of a scene. As our Managing Director Alex explains, “By capturing a range of close up and wider angles shots, it ensures we can tell the story about the model and how they’re interacting with the products”.

Does the model make sense for the product?

As we have reiterated the importance and value of being able to tell a story within your lifestyle image, being able to identify the right models that will convey your story and reflect your brand is equally as important. If the models you use for your lifestyle images do not tick those two boxes, you risk losing your image’s capacity to target the audience of the specific lifestyle you are portraying.

“Quickly building a rapport with the model and making sure they are comfortable and enjoying themselves is really important within your shoot...capturing natural reactions and laughter can really make an image”, says our Lifestyle Photographer Issy. This is a really important factor that contributes to the making of a good lifestyle image. Ensuring that your models are comfortable and enjoying themselves will lead to better outcomes.

Here at We Should Create, we deliver professional lifestyle images that will set you apart from your competitors and help your audience connect with your brand.

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