With Americans consuming on average 11.1 hours of media per day, businesses must make their content easy to process and digest. We know that humans are visual by nature.  But just how visual are we? According to Thermopylae Sciences and Technology, the human brain can process images 60,000 times faster than text, and 90 percent of information transmitted to our brain is visual. Businesses and the digital marketing field have recognized how visual content can increase brand engagement, clients, and revenue.

Pros and Cons

Because visual content takes time and resources to create, many companies turn to stock photography to supply their visual needs. Stock photography is convenient and saves time; it is easily assessable and is relatively inexpensive through free and paid resources, such as Canva Pro, Envato, Unsplash and, more. Stock photography can be beneficial for small businesses that may not be able to afford to book lifestyle shoots all the time.

So, we understand why some businesses need stock photos to supplement their content. However, too much stock photography can often feel staged and fake.

Brand engagement relies on trust and rapport with clients, which means demonstrating transparency and authenticity, which is why including lifestyle photography in your marketing endeavors is important. When it comes to photography, lifestyle photography is an effective way to build an emotional connection with your clients through relatable imagery.

Lifestyle photography allows customers to feel personally connected to businesses because these images represent regular people that customers can identify with and real-life situations they can picture themselves experiencing. By using real photos of your business and its community members, you’re able to demonstrate how your product or service can improve the way your customers live and experience the world around them. Lifestyle photography not only has the power to make your customers feel seen, but it can give your business opportunities to meet your customers where they are and learn their stories.

Tips for Creating a Lifestyle Shoot

Plan: Before the shoot, brainstorm and create a mood board to develop the inspiration for what the potential location looks like, shots/camera angles you would like to capture, how you want the shoot to feel, and what messages/stories you would like to convey.

Authenticity: Encourage your clients to be themselves and don’t worry too much about everything being perfect. Nothing in life is perfect, and lifestyle photography should reflect that. Take advantage of candid moments of real-life smiles and laughs.

Action: Instead of posing your clients, provide them with actions. This can help your clients feel more comfortable in front of the camera because they can focus on doing something rather than worrying about their appearance. Actions also allow you to capture interactions and engagements that cannot be captured in stagnant and staged photos.

Diversity: Make sure your clients include people from a wide range of different social and ethnic backgrounds, different genders, sexual orientations, religions, disabilities, and more. It’s good to keep your primary audience in mind, but within the context of that audience, your images should represent inclusivity and celebrate people with varying experiences of life. For example, a nursing home and a preschool might have less age diversity, but diversity in other areas still matters.

Capture a Story: Utilize the elements of photography such as depth of field, framing, perspective, and color to tell a story. Aim for various shots, including wide-angle, bird’s eye, worm’s view, movement, and zoomed-in details. Use natural expressions to capture raw emotions. Your images should evoke a sense of meaning related to your company’s brand and resonate with your customers.

Putting it Into Practice

We implemented lifestyle photography for Danny Boy Beer Works, a family-friendly pub located near Notre Dame Campus. Through lifestyle photography, we captured the lively and spirited atmosphere that makes Danny Boy Beer Works a perfect place for social gatherings. By incorporating elements of lifestyle photography, including authenticity, diversity, and storytelling, we highlighted Danny Boy Beer Works’ dedication to bringing people together through beer, good food, and fun.

We also utilized lifestyle photography to help Heart City Health better represent the clients they serve in their marketing efforts. Heart City Health is a healthcare center that provides affordable, high-quality health and dental care to the community of Elkhart. Heart City Health cares for patients of all backgrounds. Therefore, replacing stock images on their website with lifestyle photography that portrays everyday people enjoying activities like eating ice cream or getting coffee with a friend allows clients to visualize themselves as happy and healthy. Lifestyle photography also allows Heart City Health to demonstrate to clients that they are valued and provide them with a sense of visibility. Contact us if you would like to implement lifestyle photography in your marketing!