Lifestyle photography is the art of the everyday, it is the craft of artistically photographing people and places so they appear to be perfectly natural. The aim is to impart a narrative to the viewer so subtly that they believe the situation to be a real event. Why not just photograph real life? Because to wait for real life to reflect your story may take a very long time indeed. If you take the image above as an example this was a lifestyle shoot for a student bar. The bar is actually quite dark and we wanted to keep that cosy feel but still have a bright image. The solution was to move the big freestanding light into the frame and then use my strobe off camera to actually light the image. This is a great example of a lifestyle image because every part of it has been manipulated but it still looks natural. The people are student models, it's totally lit by external flashes and I was telling them to laugh on cue.
Philip Hartley is a full-time professional photographer with a degree in art photography and nearly 20 years experience working as a press, magazine and lifestyle photographer in London and the South. His unique style is highly sought after for editorial and commercial photography commissions.