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Lifestyle photography tips you need to know

If you are new to booking photographers and haven't been at a photoshoot before here are a few things to consider when organising a shoot for your company. Lifestyle photography simply means photographing a product or situation so it looks real and illustrates a 'lifestyle'. For example the image above was made for a university prospectus to show students enjoying student life and eating out at a local restaurant. The models here are students that have given up their time to be involved in the shoot. We actually had eight models on this shoot as the table behind also has four people sat at it but you can't see them in this shot. This is important though as even if they are not fully in shot it's good to have enough models to make a situation work. It's worth noting that because the 'student experience' is what we are selling here the food is relegated to being a prop. If the commission was from the restaurant then the focus would shift and the food would feature more heavily in the images.

Consider the following when working out your schedule for photography.


Budget for talent

If your staff are acting as models ensure they are keen to be involved. Simply being there is not enough and will come across on camera.

If you are using staff having more people than you need is always better on the day of the shoot incase some people can't make it.


Clothes need to be non branded and as plain as possible. Unless you are selling clothes they need to be neutral.

If your models are wearing their own clothes ensure they represent your brand values.

I once had a volunteer model arrive to a shoot in a skirt so short I couldn't use her in any images . I have also had a volunteer model arrive in heavily branded clothes that again could not be used in any images.

It's really helpful to have some generic hoodies and t-shirts in your brand colours to use if you are not sure who is coming to the shoot.


Plan your locations to save time on the day.

Air BnB properties can make great locations as long as you check with the owners first.

Ensure there are places to park to drop models and gear close to your locations.

Check if you need permissions to photograph at your location. Often places don't mind if members of the public take pictures but for a professional shoot you will need a permit.

Just ask - often business are open to using their premises for photoshoots.

If you are photographing at a public location ensure you have enough staff to manage the space and not cause an obstruction.


Props are hugely important. If you don't have professional models they need somethig to do with their hands.

Budget for props, coffee, lunch, parking etc.

Corporate props like laptops, tablets, phones, note pads can usually be sourced form your office. You can borrow picnic blankets glasses etc.


Are models driving themselves or do you need a mini bus.

Who is driving?



This is by no means an exhaustive list but just a few things to consider when you are getting ready for a photoshoot.

Philip Hartley is a full-time professional photographer with a degree in art photography and over 20 years experience working as a lifestyle, editorial and advertising photographer across the South of England. His unique style is highly sought after for editorial and commercial photography commissions.


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