Lifestyle product photography
Does lifestyle product photography need an explanation? Yes, I think it does. Product photography usually means ‘shooting clean shots of a product against a white background’, most often seen on eBay and other auction sites, or on the store part of a company’s website. But ‘lifestyle product photography’ is different.
Quite simply, it’s photos of a product set in a context. It’s still often shot in a studio rather than on location, but the photo is composed, if not to give the impression of being on location, of highlighting certain elements of it. The context is usually a suggestion of the lifestyle associated with the product. That might be by using props that suggest the kind of person or place that you might find the product. Or here, the use of props to suggest the style of decor that would work with these floor tiles.
Stone Superstore have been a regular client for a couple of years now. When I began working for them they already had a clear idea of how they wanted their products shots to look, and that style has evolved over time to what you see below. Things do change over time, but by making those changes gradual, it’s been possible to integrate newer stock photos with older ones without them clashing.
It’s a very simple look – but therein lies its effectiveness. By choosing props carefully (and there are always either two or three, no more), we can create a look that fits across the ranges. Like the styling, I’ve developed a lighting style that’s deliberately simple. It’s aim is to show off the colours and texture of the tiles accurately. I set the lights at a fixed height so that the lighting replicates window light shining down on the flooring – and it’s constant every time, no matter the tile floor. The intention is that you feel as if you’ve walked into someone’s home.
Hard to believe that it’s actually all shot in a warehouse in North Manchester isn’t it? But that’s the point.
I’m writing this post in the eighth week of Lockdown; some (but far from all) businesses are starting to return to work. As with every assignment I’ve done before the epidemic, I ask myself: “Could I do this job now?” In this case, the answer is a definite yes. While there’s usually somebody from the company around on a shoot to assist with placing props, I’ve done the shoots alone many times. The same could be true of many similar kinds of shoots. All I need is to have a chat beforehand about the kind of photographs that you want and on the day itself a quiet corner where I can set up equipment and where everything has been laid out in readiness for me to photograph. Of course, it’s possible to schedule the shoot outside of normal working hours too, to minimise contact with staff members.