The memories of particular events in our lives start fading as time passes, but we will never forget the emotions associated with them. The family breakfast on summer Sunday morning, your first date in a cafe, a trip with your friends to the sea beach, which was not planned. When you close your eyes, you remember warm weather, rain and sun, fresh breeze, laughter, coffee afterward, the smell of cinnamon and fresh bread. When you look at these candid shots, they breathe joy from the very heart of the picture and show the best moments captured, so same as anyone else's life, but different, too.
If you aim to capture candid shots, no serious preparation is required. However, it is still worth looking through some tips on preparing for a lifestyle shoot and preserving dear to your heart moments.
- Look and act naturally. The base of lifestyle images is to forget there is a camera aimed at you and do not be afraid to express how you feel. It's better to avoid slouching and taking closed poses, as they will not show the true yourself.
- Find an interesting location. Maybe, you do not know yet, but the best places are usually within easy reach, and there is no need to travel far to take the good shots. For example, if your plan is to take sunlit images, all you need is to get hammocks and go to your backyard. If you wish to make cozy pictures during autumn, you may rent a truck, go to the nearest forest and make a fireplace. Simply saying, it is enough to choose a place that matches the theme and idea of the photoshoot.
- Prepare the looks. Think of the character, apply the makeup if appropriate, choose the outfit that matches the location. Remember that everything should be as natural and harmonious as possible, and no unique costumes or accessories are needed. Lifestyle photography may be done in absolutely any style, including retro, hippie, hygge, the 90s, or any genre, such as family photography, portrait, etc. Regardless of the choice, the main thing is to convey the atmosphere and feelings of the models.
- Get the kids ready. If your children participate in the shooting, let them choose their own outfits. If you are worried they may go overboard, you may let them choose from the outfits you have already prepared. The whole point of family lifestyle photography is that you may want to document who your family is at this point in your life. Let them express their individuality through clothing, and bring their favorite toy if they like. Make jokes and talk to them. Kids will feel more comfortable, which is your recipe to success.
- Be creative with angles. Take a picture, then a few more variations of the same image. Don't be afraid to focus on the details, use different compositions, try making a close-up shot, shoot from the side or up high. A good idea is to challenge yourself to tell the story from at least three different angles. Not all of them may work, but they will allow you to create the variety you may choose from later.
- Take notice of details. Although it's not an easy task to catch people's emotions and natural behavior, try and pick up the subtle things, such as habits, mannerisms, and even little smiles of the photo models in their familiar surroundings. You will be surprised how the pursued photos gain honesty, rawness, authenticity, and draw breath.
- Try using black and white mode. The connoisseurs reckon that black-and-white photography helps convey the shot's meaning and removes unnecessary visual information. They also believe that emotions are more visible in monochrome pictures. Hence, the photos look more powerful. Feel free to try different options.
- Seize the moment. The lifestyle in photos is pretty fast, and capturing the scene unfolding in front of you is rather challenging. You may not have enough time or another opportunity to recompose the shot and click the shutter. It is unnecessary to run the camera at the maximum frame rate. Instead, use your technical and artistic skills to read the scene. Find the good light, evaluate the correct camera settings, imagine the result. Then, take a picture.
To sum up, the lifestyle photography genre belongs somewhere in the middle between documentary and classic portrait and showcases everyday life without attempting to embellish it. It is about the beauty, individuality, and uniqueness of human relationships.
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