Shoot Your Own Brand Lifestyle Photography
I was thrilled when Zoe Bond of Heirloom House in Thorndike, Maine contacted me regarding a brand lifestyle photography shoot for her new shop. Zoe opened a Parisian style boutique in the center of her small town. She wanted imagery that spoke to her brand, a beautifully styled shop with an eclectic mix of vintage and modern – clothing, jewelry and items for the home. She envisions the shop to be a meeting place as well, offering coffee and pastries in a space meant for community and family. I see this being such an asset in her community and enjoyed meeting her so much! The place and concept is so inviting, I wanted to do my best and deliver imagery that she could use on her website and with social media.
And it’s a perfect opportunity to share my brand lifestyle photography process with you!
So here are 5 essential tips for shooting lifestyle photography for your brand, whether it be a store, product, any type of artwork, or service.
Tell Your Story with Real-Life Situations
What real-life actions and situations would your customer be engaged in? Imagine the scene as if from the movie of your ideal customer using your product or shopping at your store. Would the items be used in a luxurious home or are they for everyday use? Is your store filled with precious items or is it a welcoming place for families? If your brand is a service rather than a physical product, imagine the feeling your customer will have after using your service and set the scene depicting the feeling or emotion that relates the benefits.
Props are extremely important and should be chosen carefully. They should add to the story of your brand and relate to the words you have chosen to describe it.
Choose Your Models Carefully
Another thing that must be carefully considered is your model choice. Family and friends may work out perfectly … or they may not. You do not need professional models but they should feel comfortable behind the camera and enjoy having their picture taken. If the friends you ask to help don’t readily say “yes!” – consider putting out a call on Facebook or advertise in a local paper. You will be surprised at the response. My latest call for models was extremely successful and I live in a pretty small town. Have them email you several pictures so you can choose someone who has an aesthetic that would fit well with your brand. If you have an opportunity to meet with them beforehand, choose someone who can move gracefully and slowly.
Direct Your Models
Tell your model ahead of time that you will be bossy and be telling her how to move. You may also have to move her arm or turn her head in just the right way, so make sure she is OK with that. You can also demonstrate by standing and posing in a similar position to make your vision clear to her. Help her forget you are there and direct her to go about doing normal things in slow motion. Speak in a calm and soft tone to facilitate the process. Use words like dance, dream, imagine, to help her relax. If two persons will be interacting, make sure they relate well to one another. They may need time to get to know each other a bit if they don’t already.
Pay Attention to the Light
Of course, as with all photography, lighting is the most important element to consider. Interior shots can be challenging, especially on dark, cloudy days as it was at this shoot. Thankfully there were plenty of windows allowing light in from several directions. Even so, I was glad to have extra lighting. In the image below you can see the equipment I used to cast extra light on the scene. I also used this set-up to create balanced lighting for Zoey’s head shot. She was standing by a window to her left and the light was to her right. I was very happy with the effect, soft light with very little shadow. You can find the equipment I used here on Amazon, I loved it so much (it being quite inexpensive and pretty great!) I ordered another.
In some cases, I left the lights in the store on as well. They all had a warm glow which added another dimension to the images. I especially like the shots where we caught a mirror reflection too. Artsy, don’t you think?
For more camera setting and lighting tips head over here.
Keep on Clicking!
And last but certainly not least … click away! The only way to catch nuances of expression in your models is to continually click the shutter. There is no way around it … if your model stops and poses it will not look natural. So make like a fashion photographer and click, click, click! You might come away with hundreds of images to cull through but it will be worth it. And the easy way to do that is with Lightroom, but you probably already know that!
* Just a little heads up guys. I am now an affiliate for several companies and may link to products and services that I use and love. They will turn around and pay me a small percentage for this, which is awesome because it helps pay the bills. Thank you in advance for using my referrals.