Lifestyle photography: Making “real” look artistic

Find the beauty in what’s in front of you

Life is a series of moments. Most of those moments are mundane. Things like getting the kids out of bed for school, going to work, making dinner, and walking the dog. But what if you slowed time down to look at those “real” moments. Would you see their beauty?



Making “real” look artistic

The goal in lifestyle photography is not to show life as “perfect” but as “perfectly real”.

The intention is that you photograph throughout an event without thinking about what “story” will come out of it. The point is to relax into the moment and to just be present. Photograph without giving any thought to the bigger picture.

Notice moments as they unfold.
Photograph the scene as you see it.
Photograph people candidly while they work.
Include textural elements to help show the mood, too.

Capture images spontaneously

Any event can be shot to show the beauty. Even house chores!

Shoot individual moments as they unfold. Don’t worry about the “story” as you photograph.
You’re not trying to fit into some predetermined vision here, just accept what is and see the good in it.


Photograph scenes as they are

Find the beauty in the scene. Resist the urge to style or rearrange something to “look better” for your photo.
Work with what is in front of you. Photograph one specific thing.

The water marks, not the entire floor.
The toothbrush, not the chair.


Photograph people while they work

You will get “real” photos when you capture people working. This is a great way to photograph camera-shy people! When someone is unaware of the camera, it keeps them from posing. Include close-ups of hands or feet in action.

Find the right camera angle to show off your one specific thing — subject level, top-down, or bottom-up. Frame tightly.

Identify the building blocks

When you compare all of the images side by side, which ones are the most interesting?
The best ones are not necessarily stand-alone shots or an end-all-be-all image that we typically strive for as photographers.

Pick the highlights

In lifestyle photography images are selected to convey a mood or to tell a story.
You don’t need to literally show every step, even if you photographed it.
This is when the story emerges.

There is more than one story. Be aware that the images you choose might alter the story altogether..

Show the mood

Selecting images to show a mood requires omitting the minutiae and to just pick the highlights of what happened with perhaps some ambiance and textural shots to flesh out the story.

What you’re looking to do is to show how the experience felt.

“Real” life can look artistic

The goal in lifestyle photography is not to show life as “perfect” but as “perfectly real”.

Everything can be photographed to look beautiful. Yes, even house chores!


Learn lifestyle photography in Authentic Photo Stories taught by Brit Hammer







Authentic Photo Stories

Finding Beauty

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

“I just wanted to thank you for another wonderful class. I have to confess that each week when I read the new assignment, my first reaction was mild panic and a deep certainty that I would not be able to produce anything worthwhile that fit within the parameters you had set. But before I knew it, the ideas started to flow, and I quickly became obsessed (no, that isn’t too strong a word!) with exploring the possibilities. I can honestly say that the photos I produced in response to your assignments are among my favorites. Thanks for bringing out a creative side I didn’t know I had!”

Barbara Geiger
Understanding Color

“Thank you so very much for this course! It’s allowed me to take the blinders off and present my images for what I want them to be without being a slave to the “reality” of the camera. I would also add that in conjunction with your printing course, this has been the most useful course I’ve ever taken. Your notes are more than comprehensive and your comments and critiques are direct, clear, and always directed to the improvement of the art.”

After the click

” I want to thank you for this class and for your patience and availability to answer all of my questions. I have learned very much through this class. I have used LR in the past, but mostly for editing images. I now have a better grasp in the organization of my images, an even better understanding of editing images, and an understanding of the value of presets. I still have a lot to learn, but this has put me on the road to be able to improve my photography. Again, thank you! ”

Dale Yates
Lightroom Quickstart

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