Click the “explore” button on Instagram and your feed will be flooded with lots of people doing lots of really cool things. Lifestyle photos are what make Instagram tick. They attract followers, and they attract more likes than plain, old product photos.
If you think your brand and industry can’t benefit from lifestyle photos, think again. Here’s how to use create these in-the-moment photos to promote your brand on Instagram.
Know Your Audience
First and foremost, you must know your audience when shooting lifestyle photos for your brand. Remember – these photos are going to depict people in real-life, everyday situations. If you choose the wrong settings and activities, you risk alienating your customer base.
Know what appeals to your audience and their own lifestyle choices.
Show Your Product in Action
It doesn’t matter whether you sell t-shirts or framed artwork – your lifestyle photos should show your product in action.
Have your models photographed while actively doing something. Maybe they’re hanging around a bonfire, talking on the front porch, or playing a game of charades. Capture an experience – a moment – your audience can relate to. Have them do something people actually do.
Take, for example, the Instagram page for HGregoire, which sells used Honda vehicles. Their Instagram page features photos of people doing things with their vehicles, like going on ski trips, planning adventures and enjoying the summer weather. These photos make the vehicle more appealing and the Instagram account worth following.
If you sell something like wall art, show your audience what your art could look like on their wall. Add a few props, like décor items your audience would actually have in their homes, to make the photo unique.
Take Candid Photos
It’s always better to over-shoot when taking lifestyle photos. Sure, you have a list of shots that you’re aiming for, but have your photographer shoot those in-between moments. Those candid shots are often more authentic and appealing than the planned, posed ones on your shot list.
Use Real People
Use models that you feel comfortable with – e.g. real people. Get your friends or family involved. Not only does this help create authentic lifestyle photos, but it also makes it easier to capture genuine moments with real expressions and stories.
If you take four actual friends out on a hiking trip, you’re sure to capture lots of genuine laughs and smiles. Everyone knows each other. Everyone has a history. Everyone is comfortable with one another. When we’re comfortable, we let our guard down a little and let those genuine emotions shine through.
Catch Your Models in Action
Posed photos are great, but action photos are better. Have your models doing things. If you want a photoshoot of someone running in the park, have them actually run – and capture it while it happens.
The goal is to capture a story as it unfolds, but you can only do this if the model is actually living the story you’re telling.
Last, but not least, have fun while on set. No matter where you’re shooting, make sure that everyone involved is having a good time. Emotions come through in photos, and your audience will be able to tell if your model is miserable.