Lifestyle photography: images you’ll cherish for a lifetime

Make your images come alive

Everyone knows you can photograph a wedding in a series of beautiful images. But you can also photograph everyday “real life” moments in a series — a story — that you’ll cherish for a lifetime. This is what the genre of lifestyle photography is all about!

Start thinking beyond just taking a snapshot of your day. Even the most mundane events can form the basis of a beautiful story — one worthy of photographing!

How to approach lifestyle photography

At its essence, lifestyle photography is about being in the moment.

What you’re looking for as you go about your day is to see moments unfolding. These are moments that are beautiful to you. Or perhaps these moments are filled with chaos and disorder but you’re seeking to find beauty hidden within them.

The intention is that you photograph throughout an event without thinking about what “story” will come out of it. It doesn’t matter what the event is. The point is to relax into the moment and to just be present. All you’re doing is photographing as you go without a thought to the bigger picture.

Capture real life in an artistic way

The process of lifestyle photography is not about trying to fit into some predetermined vision. It’s about accepting what “is” and seeing the good in it. Lifestyle photo stories are authentic in that they capture real life moments in an artistic way.

The storytelling happens after you’ve downloaded the images. There is more than one story that can be told.

Create authentic photo stories

The first step in creating a story is to find the best images taken. These are not necessarily images that can stand alone or those end-all-be-all images that we typically strive for as photographers. These images are the ones that speak to you.

Each photo serves as a building block. Different image combinations yield different stories.

The storytelling part of the process is one of review. It allows you to reflect on your images and to decide which moments you want to remember.

The better the components, the better the image series

Okay, so is lifestyle photography as simple as just holding up a camera and clicking away? If only it were!

Lifestyle photography is where the technical aspects of photography intersect with narration skills. The better the individual components, the better the end result. This means the same rules of good photography apply.

Photo stories rely on the quality of the individual images. Gear is not what is important here. What is important is that you can work freely…even if that means using your phone.

Learn how in Authentic Photo Stories taught by Brit Hammer

 


 

SIGN UP NOW FOR BRIT’S CLASSES 

Authentic Photo Stories

Amazing Travel Photos Made Easy

Celebrate Your Life in Beautiful Images

Photography Essentials

No post processing skills necessary for any of Brit’s courses.

 


 

You can also work with Brit privately

Mentoring: Schedule a live session with Brit via Skype

Get a private image video review: Private Video Image Reviews

Find out about all of Brit’s courses, including Photographing Fine Art & Craft

Happy New Year from Bryan Peterson

Quick Photo Tip: Wait For It

Of all the genres in photography, I personally think that street shooting offers the hardest challenge…why? Because “like a box of chocolates you never know what you’re going to get”….while walking down the street.

Landscape, portraiture, food, are three areas that immediately come to mind that gives you time to think ahead of time about your photo. You have the luxury of finding the location, looking for the best light, and as far as food photography you have total control in the studio.

When I’m walking the streets with any of my fellow photographers that are taking my “Stretching Your Frame of Mind” workshops, I’m basically looking for light. If I can find the light, chances are pretty good that I will find a shot somewhere in it.

I have had other photographers that take my online class with the BPSOP submit photos that lack visual interest and can’t stand the test of time. For example, a photo that’s showing someone talking on a phone leaning against a corner with a cigarette hanging out one side of the mouth is not going to stand the test of time; unless something extraordinary is happening. How about all those photos that show homeless people eating, begging, or sleeping on the sidewalk?

Having said that, when you do find some light…light that’s worthy of spending some time with, it’s important to find a comfortable spot and wait for some action; just the way Henri Cartier-Bresson did.

When you do see something or someone approaching the light you have settled in on, don’t be in a hurry to bring the camera up to your eye. Too many times I have seen a photographer do just that only to have the subject veer off. Sometimes it’s either because they’re polite and  don’t want to “photobomb” your shot, or they just don’t want to be photographed.

It’s important (and hard to do) to wait for it...wait until the very last minute to bring up your camera.

In the above image, I came around a corner and saw the light hitting just this one part of the building. I thought I would give it a few minutes to see if someone would walk through it. I pre-visualized where I wanted them to be in the light, and I also thought about making sure their entire shadow was against the wall.

I fired off several exposures of the spot I wanted to get the exposure down, knowing I would probably get off one shot.

Well, the waiting paid off. Not only did I get her in the light, but I was lucky enough to have her wearing great colors; of course her looking down the intersection didn’t hurt!!!

Visit my website at: www.joebaraban.com, and check out my workshop schedule at the top of this blog. Come shoot with me sometime.

-BPSOP Instructor: Joe Baraban

Joe Teaches:

Stretching Your Frame of Mind I 

Stretching Your Frame of Mind II

Photographing flora creatively (Frozen flowers)

If you live somewhere where it is quite cold now and you keep saying to yourself, that this is not a good moment to photograph flowers (or flora in general), then don’t… We have one creative photography tip to keep you busy during the holidays. How?

frozen flowers patrik and monika banas

© Patrik and Monika Banas

 

Have you ever thought of putting flowers in a freezer instead of a vase? No? Shame, put them right there! Another creative technique of photographing flowers is simply – freezing them.

What you need:

  • Plastic container (aka Tupperware)– it doesn’t have to be deep
  • Flowers (if not in the garden, then plenty in your local Flower kiosk!)
  • Water
  • Freezer
  • Towel
  • Photo equipment including tripod

Tap water will make the ice a bit hazy, so if you want it shinier, use distilled water. There is oxygen in the plants, which makes them lighter than water and they will float and also create bubbles. So, you need to freeze them in stages, with a little bit of water added each time. If you make the ice too thick, it will be more difficult for light to get through, if you make it too thin, the whole masterpiece will melt too quickly. So, after several long hours or even days you can get your creation out of the freezer, wait a moment for the edges to soften and you can start shooting! Place the ice on a towel to prevent flooding and place it so that you have enough light behind it – for example in front of a window. And then experiment with different angles and compositions. If you go over the ice with a warm hand, you can polish it a bit. You can even wait for the ice to melt a little and the flowers will become more visible, or you can even smash the ice!
You might first have to experiment with different containers, flowers, and their arrangements and different thickness of the ice, but we are sure that you will break the ice eventually! 😉

We would be delighted if you will join our PHOTOGRAPHING FLORA class, we are opening in February and you can sign up here! We will explore together tons of creative ways how to photograph beauty of flora. And don’t forget, you can still put this course on your Santa’s list and elfs at BPSOP will be happy deliver a Gift Certificate for you! 😉

frozen flowers patrik and monika banas

© Patrik and Monika Banas

 

And here are few examples of Frozen Flowers taken by our fantastic students in previous classes of Photographing Flora:

© Beverly Burke

 

frozen flowers patrik and monika banas

© Michaela Nesvadbova

 

frozen flowers patrik and monika banas

© Tomas Feller

 

© Alyda Gilmore

 

frozen flowers patrik and monika banas

© Peter Stin

 

frozen flowers patrik and monika banas

© Lucie Portesova

 

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  • "I forgot to tell you that the one thing that opened my eyes was your course (The Art of seeing) at the BPSOP. It really helped me! The assignments really improve your skills exponentially!" Read More
    Dimitri The Art of Seeing
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