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Why lifestyle photography is critical to your marketing

If you want to stand out in a city like Boston, show your product in-use!

Written by Mark Mendoza on July 20, 2018

Why is lifestyle photography so important? Imagine the same thermal imager in the photo above, but this time, imagine I shot it in a studio. That’s right, I’m talking no fire. No hardhats. No steel mill blazing about in the background. Take away all of those things and it’s just not the same, is it?

Lifestyle photography is powerful. There really is no substitute for showing your own product in-use in its authentic environment by people who actually look the part. It’s the best way to lend legitimacy and authenticity to your product. It also helps catch the eye of your targets. 

So ditch the stock photography if you want to stand out.

Capturing a great lifestyle shot is difficult. It takes three things many companies don’t have on hand: a photographer with the right experience, the right equipment, and the right skillset. Which is why so many companies resort to using boring ole’ stock photography. What’s wrong with stock photos, you might ask? Not only are stock photos overused but they do nothing to show how your particular product stands out from the crowd. And, of course, by “the crowd” I mean your competitors. The very ones who could be using the same stock photos as you. 

Getting a great in-use product shot is not about luck. It’s about skill.

The challenge with lifestyle photography comes from the unpredictability of your surroundings. When shooting a product in the studio, there is so much you can control: the angles of the product, the environment, and most importantly, the lighting. The key to capturing a great lifestyle image is all about the experience and skill of the person taking the photos. 

Experienced lifestyle photographers have a great deal of technical knowledge right at their fingertips. This allows them to stay on their toes and whip out the right equipment at a moment’s notice when, say, the sun goes behind a cloud and a new shadow appears. Or a roaring fire in the background causes unpredictable lighting in the room. 

Shoot your product in its most extreme condition to show off its limits. 

Speaking of roaring fires in the background of a product shoot, let’s think back to the thermal imager in the photo above. I could have shot this same product in action next to an electrical box in someone’s home. But the beauty of showing a product in its most extreme environment is that you get to show off its absolute limits. Which in this case, is pretty impressive. Not to mention visually exciting. 

Don’t know where to start? Ask your photographer!

Having a hard time figuring out the best way to shoot your product? Or where to stage it? Or what models to choose? You’re not alone. It can be confusing trying to figure out how to plan and stage a lifestyle photo-shoot. But don’t worry, your photographer can help! An experienced lifestyle photographer should be able to offer guidance to his or her customers throughout every stage of the shooting process, from the planning phase to the end product. 

Showing your product in-use through a professional lifestyle photography session is one of the smartest, most effective things you can do in the world of product marketing. And it doesn’t have to be difficult to achieve. Just make sure the person taking the photos of your product in action is experienced in the art and science of lifestyle photography. 

Want to chat about staging options for your product shoot? Give me a ring! 


Tags: lifestyle photography, professional photographer,  location photography

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