The Key Components to Lifestyle Photography

I l o v e taking photos with the goal of connecting with people. It brings me way too much joy and often challenges me in the best of ways. That being said it’s also quite confusing. It’s more than standing in front of a pretty scenery (though one of my favorites), it’s about capturing one still moment people can connect with.

Though getting the key components to lifestyle photography practiced and utilized are much harder than standing peacefully in front of a mountaintop.

Small moments

This is the most beautiful part to me.  No need for stunning landscapes or endless bouquets of roses, though I don’t think they will ever hurt!  Lifestyle photography can take place right in your home.

On your bed.

In your Pjs.

And truth be told I think the simple settings are where it truly has the most impact.  Everyone has curled up in their covers or snuck in a breakfast in bed once or twice.  Not everyone gets the opportunity or necessarily wants to travel the world.  Lifestyle photography gives everyone a fair chance of shining.

Human element

It’s really interesting to me a human element doesn’t actually have to be a person.  While a hand or a couple of well positioned feet certainly help, the human element can take the simplest of forms.  I’m a sucker for daily uses like glasses, shoes or even the occasional glass of wine to add something “human” to a typically bland photo.

Don’t ever underestimate the power of a well placed pair of shoes or distant figure!

Folktale Winery Carmel Valley California

Key Components to Lifestyle Photography


I had a really hard time naming this element.  I kept calling it ‘movement’ but that seemed confusing because lifestyle photography doesn’t always have movement.  But it does always have interactions.

You don’t actually see the people biting cutting in to the cheese plate and reaching for the wine, but you can feel it.  You don’t see me bursting out into laughter, but you feel it.  And what’s more is that you want it.  The vast majority of people in the world are seeking positive interactions and so those are what I typically focus on.  However, the more authentic your interactions seem the more powerful they are – positive or negative.


I don’t think it can be lifestyle photography without this. And I also think this is the hardest element to create.

This is the piece to the photo that helps your viewers   s e e  themselves in your photo.  The element that has them nodding along and thinking ‘Hey that’s me!”  Brands have started to tap into this regularly, realizing the power of connection to their customers or followers is far greater than their product could ever be.  Take for instance this Walmart commercial.  You don’t even see a store!  But there is something seeing a kiddo passed on the potty that just tugs at your heart strings and makes you know her day was epic.

You could certainly argue that all great photography requires connection and I would agree.  But I think lifestyle photography feels especially lost without it and connection is what powers lifestyle.

Key Components to Lifestyle Photography

Lifestyle photography and connecting to people through photos has become such a passion of mine. While it’s certainly not for everyone, it seems to be the one part of photography everyone can join in on.


While I tried to break down the key components to lifestyle photography that I always focus on… but did I miss anything?


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