How To Take Beautiful Lifestyle Photography | 10 Easy Tips

Do you want to capture amazing lifestyle photos?

Lifestyle photography may seem like a hard genre to master. After all, you’re taking photos of people in their everyday life!

girl in water

But it doesn’t have to be difficult.

In fact, with these 10 lifestyle photography tips, you’ll be shooting amazing lifestyle photos in no time!

Let’s get started.

1. Send Out a Questionnaire Before the Shoot

Before you arrive for your lifestyle photography session...

…start by creating and sending out a short questionnaire to your client.

Ask specific questions about the family members. For instance, you could ask:

  • What do the children like?
  • Does anyone have any special hobbies?
  • What are the favorite foods, animals, or movies?

You can then incorporate these into your shoot! Plus, the more you get to know the family, the more comfortable you’ll all feel.

boy by shower
Ask the clients about themselves in a survey

I’d also suggest that you ask about the client’s biggest concern for the shoot. You can take this into account so that everything goes smoothly on the big day!

2. Ask Parents to Sit Back and Relax

Here’s what you should advise the parents:

In order to keep the session authentic and happy...

…please don’t instruct the children (unless it’s truly necessary).

Often a parent can interrupt the flow by telling the child to “Say please” or sit down etc.

children in tree
You should instruct the parents to relax

Instead, tell the parents that they can sit back and relax. Reassure them that you’ll be in charge and that you’ve seen it all before.

This way, everything will remain natural!

3. Get Rid of Electronics

people in room
Let the action flow naturally!

Here’s another important lifestyle photography tip:

Have the parents remove all electronics before the shoot starts.

You see, electronics can become a huge distraction. This includes phones, tablets, computers, and video games.

(All TVs should be off, as well.)

You don’t want to do a kids’ photography session while they are distracted with their phones and tablets. Nothing ruins a photo faster than a distracted subject.

Related Article: Best Camera for Kids

4. Plan a Beginning, Middle, and End for Your Lifestyle Photography Shoot

As you plan out your session, try and loosely outline your own “arc” so that the session has a beginning, middle, and end.

baby in a bed
Create a photoshoot with an arc

Why is this so important?

First, this is great for reporting on the session. That way, you’re better able to explain the session on your blog and on social media.

girls in sunglasses

Second (and more importantly), this creates a flow to the final set of images. The lifestyle photos you take will tell a story–and your clients will be so happy they chose a lifestyle photography session!

5. Photograph Familial Talents or Interests

If you sent out your questionnaire (see Tip 1)…

…then you hopefully found out about some amazing hobbies or talents.

And if you have, see if that person will show you a few things!

For example, if a child does gymnastics, ask that the family gather around and watch a few tricks. You’ll be able to capture reaction, support, smiles, and laughter.

Plus, you’ll be able to capture that lifestyle photography feel!

6. Make Them Laugh!

One of the best ways to create a beautiful lifestyle photo?

Make your subjects laugh!

Pull out all the stops, tell dumb jokes, dance like a monkey, let loose and have fun.

kids on bed laughing lifestyle photography
Make your subjects laugh!

Plus, the more comfortable you are, the more comfortable your subjects will be.

Better yet, ask the mom or dad to do something silly–that’ll get everyone laughing!

7. Make The Lifestyle Photoshoot a Special Occasion

When you’re doing lifestyle photography, you want to take natural, authentic photos.

But you also want to add a bit of excitement to the day.

So I suggest you have the family (especially the kids) do something that isn’t usually allowed to do.

girl sitting on counter
Let the kids do something exciting!

For instance, you could have them:

  • Jump on couches
  • Sit on tables
  • Stand on countertops
  • Run around outside

(Of course, check with the parents, first!)

family riding around during lifestyle photography shoot

One of my favorite lifestyle photography sessions had an entire family rocking out to Michael Jackson–while standing all over the living room furniture!

8. Play Fun Games for Engaging Lifestyle Photography

The best lifestyle photography is engaging. It’s full of captivating moments.

And one of the best ways to create these moments…

…is to play games! See, games bring people together–and get them having fun.

family playing game
Playing a fun game is a great way to add to your lifestyle photography shoot

Make sure that the game isn’t too serious, however. You don’t want people getting intensely involved!

Instead, you want something a bit more silly. This will help you create those lifestyle moments that have energy and engagement!

9. Capture the Details

In lifestyle photography, you’ll be tempted to shoot the big scenes.

And the big scenes are great. Up to a point.

But once you’ve captured a few bigger scenes…

…start looking for the details. Look for someone holding someone’s hand, or the mother tucking a hair behind her daughter’s ear. Look for a quick smile and nod between parents.

child's feet with bubbles
Photograph the small details!

If you aren’t seeing this naturally during your session, just ask! “Mom, can you tuck her hair behind her ear? It’s in her face.”

Or:

“Child, which of your mother’s rings are your favorite? Can you show me?”

That way, you’ll get some lovely, intimate detail shots.

10. Change Your Perspective for Unique Lifestyle Photography

Do you want to take original lifestyle photos?

After you’ve taken a few of the obvious shots, look for the not-so-obvious.

One of the best ways to do this is to change your perspective! Stand on a couch behind someone sitting, or stand on the countertop and shoot down.

overhead lifestyle photography shot
Shoot from a different perspective for unique shots!

You can even lie on your belly and shoot like a worm. You may be surprised at what you get!

Related Article: Family Photography Tips

Now that you’ve learned these tips for stunning photos, you’re a better photographer.

Guaranteed.

But the fact is, the journey doesn’t stop there. There are more tips, tricks, and secrets--all of which will help you take gorgeous photos.

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About the author

Audrey Blake

Audrey Blake is a full time lifestyle photographer specializing in newborn, children, maternity, and wedding photography. As a lifestyle photographer, Audrey aims to capture your family in the present moment, so that you can appreciate and recognize more fully the beauty in your daily life. As a parent of 3 young girls, Audrey understands the charm and grace in the in-between moments and aims to capture these genuine moments for you to savor for years to come.

Her work has been featured in Saplings Magazine, Mozi Magazine, Design Aglow, USA Today, & Pregnancy and Newborn Magazine.

Audrey currently resides in New Jersey with her husband and three daughters.
She is available for travel.

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