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Lifestyle Photography Guide: 13 Tips and Ideas to Capture Authentic Moments

CEO Tinh Phung
If you're a lifestyle photographer, you understand the importance of capturing those special moments in a natural and authentic way. In this article, we will explore a lifestyle photography guide that will provide you with...

If you're a lifestyle photographer, you understand the importance of capturing those special moments in a natural and authentic way. In this article, we will explore a lifestyle photography guide that will provide you with tips and ideas to enhance your photography skills. Whether you're photographing families, couples, children, seniors, or pets, these tips will help you bring out the essence of everyday living in your photographs.

What is Lifestyle Photography?

Lifestyle photography is a style that aims to capture the true essence of a person or a lifestyle. It focuses on relationships and emotions, telling a story through photographs. This versatile genre can be applied to various subjects, allowing you to capture genuine moments in their natural environment.

1. Strive for Authenticity

An authentic lifestyle photoshoot is all about capturing real moments that are unique to your subjects' lives. Instead of posing, encourage them to engage in their everyday activities. Whether it's cooking dinner, playing with their pets, or simply relaxing at home, let their true personalities shine through.

mum and kids smiling happily by holding each other Photo by Edward Cisneros on Unsplash

2. Shoot in Everyday Locations

The beauty of lifestyle photography is that you can shoot anywhere that holds significance to your subjects. It could be their home, office, a park, or even the beach. Choose locations that are comfortable for your subjects, as this will help them relax and be themselves, resulting in more authentic photos.

3. Tell Your Subjects' Story

To capture the essence of your subjects and their lives, take the time to get to know them. Ask them about their favorite things, family, hobbies, job, or anything that will give you insight into who they are as individuals. This knowledge will enable you to tell their story through your photographs, creating a deeper connection between the viewer and the subject.

a charming girl sitting at a chair and looking aside Photo by Soheil Kmp on Unsplash

4. Guide the Activities, Not Poses

Lifestyle photography emphasizes capturing natural moments rather than staged poses. Instead of rigidly posing your subjects, guide them to engage in activities that reflect their personalities. This could involve cooking together, playing games, or simply enjoying a walk on the beach. By letting the moments unfold naturally, your photos will exude authenticity.

5. Get Candid Shots

Candid shots capture the raw, unplanned moments that happen naturally. These shots depict the true essence of everyday life. Be prepared with your camera and have it ready to capture these fleeting moments. Patience is key, as candid shots require observation and an eye for the right moment to press the shutter.

friends talking and smiling together Photo by Helena Lopes on Unsplash

6. Mix Up Your Angles

Experiment with different angles and perspectives to add visual interest to your photos. Shoot from different heights, distances, and viewpoints. Get up close for intimate shots, capture a bird's eye view by shooting from above, or try a low-angle perspective for a unique composition. Mixing up your angles adds variety and creates captivating images.

7. Give Your Subjects an Activity

To avoid stagnant and dull photos, encourage your subjects to engage in activities during the shoot. This could be anything that reflects their interests and makes them feel comfortable. Activities add dynamism to your photos and allow you to capture their personalities in a natural and unforced manner.

8. Never Put Your Camera Down

Always be ready to capture unexpected moments by keeping your camera close at hand. Great shots often occur when least expected, and having your camera ready ensures that you won't miss these spontaneous moments. However, be mindful of being discreet and respectful of your subjects' privacy.

a mum holding up her baby boy in the air Photo by Thiago Cerqueira on Unsplash

9. Use Natural Light

Utilize natural light whenever possible to create a soft and natural look in your photographs. If shooting indoors, find a room with ample natural light. If shooting outdoors, take advantage of shaded areas or the golden hour, which occurs during sunrise or sunset. Experiment with different lighting conditions to achieve the desired effect.

10. Bring the Right Equipment

Having the right equipment is essential for a successful lifestyle photoshoot. Invest in lenses that suit your shooting environment, whether that's capturing wide areas indoors or zooming in for outdoor shots. Additionally, bring a tripod, extra batteries, and sufficient memory cards to ensure you're prepared for any situation.

a girl sitting at a desk and reading a book by the window Photo by Kinga Cichewicz on Unsplash

11. Capture In-Between Moments

Often, the moments before or after the main event can be the most telling. Keep an eye out for these in-between moments and be patient in capturing them. Whether it's a child preparing to blow out birthday candles or a couple holding hands after their wedding ceremony, these candid shots can add depth and emotion to your collection.

12. Do Not Be Afraid to Take Extra Pictures

It's better to have more photos than you need for a lifestyle photoshoot. Taking extra shots ensures that you have a higher chance of capturing the perfect moment. Although it may seem like a lot of work, the end result will be worth it when you have that one remarkable photo.

two girl friends smiling at each other by sitting in chairs Photo by Microsoft 365 on Unsplash

13. Turn On "Ghost" Mode

If you want your subjects to feel more relaxed and less conscious of being photographed, consider using a "ghost" mode. This allows them to move freely and be themselves without feeling pressured or posed. Ghost mode is an excellent way to capture candid shots and reveal the true essence of your subjects.


Lifestyle photography is an exceptional way to capture the genuine essence of a person or a lifestyle. By following these tips and ideas, you'll be well-equipped to capture those special moments that make life beautiful. So grab your camera, embrace authenticity, and start shooting!

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