Is lifestyle photography right for your business?

It can be warm, engaging and personal. But is lifestyle photography right for every business?

Miss Matilda's Boutique

Let’s start with a bit of a definition. What do I mean by ‘lifestyle photography’? Ask a dozen different commercial photographers and you’ll probably get a dozen slightly different answers, but here’s my definition.

Lifestyle photography is ‘keeping it real’. Your portrait subjects aren’t staged (or, at least, they don’t look as though they are). Lifestyle photography is real people doing real things – there just happens to be a commercial photographer a couple of feet away from them.

The value of lifestyle
Lifestyle photography is great at conveying an impression of ‘who you are’. It’s great for embodying values. When your business is about getting customers to buy into your brand, lifestyle photography tells the story of your brand through your people.

Here’s an example of where lifestyle photography works brilliantly. Legal, accountancy and other traditional services have tended to be very conservative in their use of website imagery. Often they choose stock imagery. Those that don’t tend to opt for rather stiff corporate portraits.

Until recently, these businesses rarely conveyed a feeling of warmth and approachability – the imagery was always about calm and assured professionalism. Very rarely was anything approached from a customer perspective.

But some of these businesses are changing. Corporate portraits are becoming warmer. Site imagery shows people who are still credible and professional, but also more human and approachable.

Corporate lifestyle photography can do this.

When lifestyle is inappropriate
As with all commercial photography, it’s all about context. When you sell widgets and components. When price is the key driver for your customers. When the brand you have is less important that the product you sell, corporate lifestyle photography can feel overblown. It all becomes ‘a bit much’.

Here, product shots work just fine. They should be good, professionally sourced product shots – and ideally they should be original rather than stock (because that increases your chances of conversion), but in these instances lifestyle photography is arguably an investment too far.

Unsure whether professional product shots or corporate lifestyle imagery is the way forward? Let’s have a chat. Get in touch here.

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