Lifestyle Product Photography: Tips for Stunning Visuals that Sell

Lifestyle product photography is one of those conversion-calling photos that we often see on social media, online stores, or e-commerce platforms.

If you have products in your hand, not sure how to get started, but you need to pull the job off— I can feel you.

On that note, this article is dedicated to you, the lifestyle product photographers, to aid you in capturing professional photos aimed at Amazon-like platforms.

So buckle up for ideas and tips, and let’s get started.

What is Lifestyle Product Photography?

Lifestyle product photography means when a photographer captures shots of products in real-life events, situations, uses, or scenarios so that the uses can relate to the purpose and usage of the products. Lifestyle photography is the actual demonstration where a photographer can visually display the product’s needs for the users. 

The Importance of Lifestyle Product Photography

The importance of lifestyle product photography

Lifestyle theme-based product photos are always an important category or set of photos every e-commerce product seller wants. This is the most essential way they can show their products in use and their chance to deliver a good message across the target audiences, which is different from their competitors.

Here are the important lifestyle pictures of products:

Product Display in the Best Form

Lifestyle product photography aims to show products in their real use, resulting in people’s acceptance. So, these photos are mostly displayed in a natural or pristine look (through advanced-level editing). So, when the viewers see the products photographed in use/ motion, they kind of feel relief about the authenticity or usage of the products.

Capture Attention Fast

Lifestyle photos are mostly lively, meaning looking at them doesn’t feel like static in most cases. They show some type of scene or story or describe a purpose or use. So, you can always convey something that grabs viewers’ attention.

Improve Viewers Engagement

Like other product photography, high-end lifestyle photos attract viewers and call for their attention. As a result, with quality photos posted, e-commerce store owners can expect to see an increase in viewer engagement.

Builds Reputation & Trust

Publishing high-quality lifestyle photos of products has psychological effects on the viewers. As they can’t check the product firsthand, they expect to see high-resolution photos that are zoomable to get confirmation about the products. As a result, quality lifestyle photos help build trust and reputation as time passes by.

Enhance Traffic and CTR

Well-captured lifestyle photos always have their traction on the market. Those can convey messages, evoke the target audience’s curiosity, and thus bring more traffic to the product pages, resulting in more click-through rates (CTR).

Reduce Product Returns

High-quality pictures assure not only the product’s look but also of the quality. So when any buyer gets the exact products that s/he has ordered through the website, they are less likely to return the product and stay satisfied with the purchase.

15 Lifestyle Product Photography Ideas

There are many ways to shoot products based on the theme of ‘lifestyle. ‘ It is always better to explore which ways to capture your product images better, with the basics as the starter. On that note, here are the top 15 lifestyle product shoot ideas to get your work started.

1. Product in Action/ Use

Product in action in lifestyle photography

This is the most common way, though. Here is what you should be considering while using a product in use and action.

  • Who is the target audience for this product?
  • How do people use it?
  • Which type of setup suits it best?

Once you have known the answer, try to organize a scene as close as possible. For example, if your products are skincare products, you can capture a shot where a model is using it.

2. Create a Story

Shooting candle products to celebrate birthday

Want to evoke emotion? Dig a bit deeper by creating an ambient that tells a story. For that, you need props to decorate the scene. Let’s say you are shooting candle products. You can create a setting, have a cake, and light candles to show that the fulfillment candles bring to birthday celebrations.

3. Include a Pet

Include a pet in lifestyle photo

How about leaving an attached string on your photo? Include a pet in your scene. You know there are many pet lovers, and having one in your images not only attracts the target audience but also onlookers.

For example, once, I was about to take a shot of a bicycle, and what I did was carry my neighbor Papillon. My client found it so amazing!

4. Add Playfulness or Fun to the Scene

Add playfulness or fun to the scene

Want to take some out-of-the-box shots for your products? Add funny activities, playfulness, or some uncommon scene to make it look candid photos. Let’s say you have been assigned to food photography; apart from the flat lay and bird’s eye photograph, you can capture children playing with food or a picnic scene.

5. Allow Product-Appropriate Models

Allow product appropriate models

To enliven your subject material, make sure to take advantage of product-appropriate models. Lifestyle product photography with models helps people understand the products better than plain images. Having humans, such images have a higher engagement rate, as they help visualize the customers about the products’ usability in their lives.

6. Reflection in Vision

Reflection in vision

E-commerce products need a boost on their looks to make it appealing for the viewers to make the buying decision. Reflection photos are another type of photography that you can do to create an aesthetic view of your subject. It not only enhances the perspective but also offers a glamorous look for the product.

7. Display Emotions

Do you know what top brands say about selling? They don’t sell products; they sell feelings— it can be a feeling of looking good, feeling healthy, relaxation, happiness, comfort, security, or care for yourself or your loved ones. So, try capturing shots that bring feelings through the product images. Product photography in such a scenario is bound to capture people’s attention.

8. Take Fashionable and Trendy Images

Take fashionable and trendy images

This goes without saying. None can but give a glance at a fashionista. Our curiosity gets the best when we see someone dressed up nicely, or fashionably. So, regardless of the product, you can always have it included in the frame.

9. Display the Time and Season

Display the time and season

Does the product relate to any time and season? If yes, that’s a great chance. You can shoot many scenes based solely on that particular time and season. Make sure to include it as vividly as possible. This will help fulfill the purpose most authentically.

10. Let the Product Float

Let the product float

Make your product photos artistic by letting them float. Use thread or put it on top of something to keep it in a steady position. Floating products trick viewers’ eyes and help awaken their curiosity.

11. Show the Ingredients

Show the food ingredients

If you are working for food photography, perfume, or soap photography, you can easily make the scene lucrative by adding the ingredients surrounding the subject. This way, the subject will give off a realistic and trustworthy vibe.

12. Shoot Unusual Look

Apart from the regular activities, motion, or fun, you can capture some unusual or unique-looking scenes with the products. The purpose of such images is to just provoke thought. It can be shooting at nightgime, or shooting in neon light.

13. Make Collage Photos

Collage creation is always a creative art for photos. You combine several product shots or keep the focus on the subject and add several relevant prop images to make the collage creative. It’s all up to your perception.

14. Take Advantage of Negative Space

Take advantage of negative space

Having negative space in your image forces the view on the subject. Hence you can take the chance to shift the viewer’s attention to ‘anything’, it can be a feature, the ingredients the brand logo, or any particular message while you are shooting lifestyle photography for brands.

15. Include 360-View

Include 360 degree lifestyle product shoot

360-degree product shots have their specific charm and fanbase. So, you can pay special attention to this. These types of images help increase viewers’ engagement and traffic as the view offers a clear and close look at the products from all angles.

Lifestyle Product Photography Tips

There is no surefire way to say that any particular type of shot will work best for your commercial lifestyle photography. It’s all about trial and error. The more you practice, the better your skills.

However, there are some tips to follow that will help you stand out from the crowd, think differently, and capture quality and thought-provoking shots. Let’s check those out:

Have a Clear Concept

Depending on the product, I bet you have many vague and clear ideas scattered on finding ways to use lifestyle photos for products. But to get the job done, you need organized thoughts to have a clear roadmap on where you are headed with this product. Therefore, here is what you can do to have a clear concept.

  • Online surfing on stock images

The advantage of surfing through stock images is that you come across seas of ideas, not only directly about the products but also about setup, background, surroundings, props, etc. In a broader range, you get the chance to organize the full scene from preparing to delivering.

  • Competitor photographer analysis

If your time is tight, you need to get started ASAP, then go through the other lifestyle product photographer only. This will help you get ideas or concepts on what type of specific product shots are mostly demanding or photographed so that you know what type of shots you need to capture, stay on track, and how to make some unique shots as well.

Location

When you are taking lifestyle shots, one of my special suggestions would be to be everywhere and tweak scene locations between indoor and outdoor photography. Capture the products in almost any scene you find relatable. The location can be in your:

  • Home
  • At the office
  • At any park
  • Inside a restaurant
  • Sea-beach or near the pool

You never know which of your scenery is coming to life and making the viewers gaze in ‘awe‘.

Equipment

Commercial-grade photography requires a lot of equipment, though. If you photograph inside a studio, you have access to everything. But if you are shooting outdoors or just sailed the sea for photography, these are the bare minimum equipment you need to have.

  • Camera: Various types of cameras are best for product photography. Go for one that will allow you to take different shots with one camera body.
  • Lens: Depending on the products, you may need to swap your lenses: prime lens, telephoto lens, zoom lens, etc. Better be prepared with a few lens options as well.
  • Tripod: Helps remove any tremor, and shake and keeps the camera in a steady position for ensuring professional photography.
  • Light: A lot of options. But I would recommend getting 1 or 2 lights and bounce cards or diffusers to balance the lighting. Also, take advantage of sunlight as much as possible.
  • Backdrop: A well-suited backdrop helps highlight the subject. You can have fabric, vinyl, paper, cardboard, or any type of product photography backdrop for placing the subject. Refrain from choosing distracting designs.
  • Props: As relevant as possible, make sure it assists the scenery and does not shadow the subject.

Pay Attention to Details

While taking shots of your product, take a close look at every corner and side of the subject, think about how this product can have a boost in look, what features will capture the attention of the viewers best, which type of look makes people interact, how to create a story with this product and convey a message.

Follow specific e-commerce guidelines, for example, Amazon image requirements for clear conception.

Take note of the composition. While you observe the product and surroundings, your subconscious mind will naturally generate the ideas that go well. So, allow yourself some time to ponder over.

Take Note of Different Angles

When I talk about different angles, a lot comes to mind. If you can experiment with all those angles, it’s good. But if not, there are some common ones you can start with. For example:

Eye-level shotPlace your camera with a tripod at the same level as the product height.
Aerial shotsTake shots of the products from higher up, to make it look like a bird’s eye view.
Low & high-anglePlacing the camera diagonally below or above the position from the product.
Close shotsIf there is any certain design, decoratives, or features of the products that the viewers need to see, you can take close shots.
Long shotIf the product is big enough or can be differentiated from a distance, make sure to go for this shot.
Candid shotAllow models to take some ‘go with the flow’ type photos with the product, just simply natural movements and interactions, no rigid formal look.

Play with Color Psychology

This part may seem more appropriate for the photography post-production section, but you can still check the white balance, color, contrast, hue, and even colored lenses. Check which color is vibrant enough to make the subject appear naturally yet differently. Color impacts the viewer’s perception and reaction to a certain product.

Look at this chart to see what popular colors convey to the viewers.

Photography Post-Production

Last but not least, edit the product photos. High-end edited images are more powerful and dominating when it comes to capturing the target audience’s attraction. Hence, by doing editing like noise reduction, background removal, photo sharpening, color correction, and retouching work, you can give the product the glamorous look it deserves.

If you have a busy schedule or editing work is too much of a hassle, consider outsourcing photo editing services from professionals.

Edit your Lifestyle Product Photos

Lifestyle Product Photography FAQs

How do I choose the right setting for my lifestyle product photography?

Finding the right settings for product photography depends mostly on the products and the type of shots. Check shots best display the products and you can approve of yourself.

What type of lighting is best for lifestyle product photography?

The types of lights that are suitable for product pictures for lifestyle are overhead lights, ring lights, strobes, etc. 

Have a key light that will fill most of the subject, and have 1/2 fill lights that support the sides key light couldn’t cover. If you want the background to be lightened up, use a backlight as well.

How can I make my lifestyle product photos look more professional?

To give the product images a professional look, make sure to edit them. Photography post-production works wonder to bring professionalism with a natural appealing look.

Can I do lifestyle product photography indoors?

Yes, lifestyle product shots can be done indoors as well. With indoor setup either you can take studio shots or home-based shots.

What editing software should I use for lifestyle product photography?

Adobe Photoshop, Lightroom, Skylum Luminar Neo, PaintShop Pro, and ON1 Photo RAW 2023 are some of the photo editing software you can choose to use.

How do I find models for lifestyle product photography?

To make lifestyle shots for products, you don’t always need professional models. You can have someone assist and take shots of a fraction of their body part, for example, a hand or shots from the backside or running legs.

Or, if you must, you can always look online for newbie models; as they are just starting their careers, you can hire them on a convenient budget.

Final Thought

Lifestyle photos are a powerful way to take shots of products as you can show every tiny detail of what the product offers and how the viewers benefit, encouraging them to take action. 

By following the tips and ideas mentioned, you can hope to have pretty decent pictures. But remember, taking good photos is all about practice. The more you do that, the more polished your ideas will be. 

Keep up the good work, then. See you in my next article!

Outsource Photo Editing, Easily.

photo-editing-service-by-cps

About the Author

I'm also on

Joshua Malik

|

Photographer, Writer

Joshua is a photographer and editor with over 12 years of experience. He possesses strong technical skills that have enabled him to create and edit stunning content for beauty campaigns, fashion magazines, and book covers. His proficiency in photography and editing has earned him recognition in the industry.

Read more from Joshua Malik

Pixel-perfect Image Editing Solution for Ecommerce