What is lifestyle photography?

Lifestyle photographer Dorset

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.