Taking Lifestyle Photos With Your Phone

September 14, 2020
Camera Phone

As a photographer I have the luxury of having thousands of photos at my disposal to use on my website, in my social feeds or in my advertisements. Because the product I sell also happens to be the tool used for marketing I’m in a good spot. But the same is most likely not true for your brand. Which is why you might want to update your social feeds by taking lifestyle photos with your phone.

When it comes to your big selling spaces like your website or print advertising, I always recommend hiring a professional who can capture your story and give you high-quality images that make you look and feel professional. But when it comes to social media and needing content on a daily basis, by no means do you need to stick with the professionals there. Instead, use the creativity of your team, or your customers, to grab photos of your products in action and showcase the lifestyle of your brand on your social feeds.

The 3 Types of Lifestyle Photos

When a customer sees your feed as a whole, you want them to see not only variety in the products your offer (even if that’s just color or size) but also a variety of lifestyle photos that keep the viewer engaged and interested. These three types of lifestyle photos are environmental, in action and a product shot.

How to Take Lifestyle Photos With your Phone

The environmental shot is zoomed out and gives more information about the scene. For my example shoot I photographed my new Prana sustainable face masks. I wanted to tell a story of the places that you might wear your mask, paired with an outfit but also highlight the fact that these masks are reversible, meaning that even though you’re only buying 3 masks, you actually get 6.

For the second image, I wanted to show the product in action with a close up image of me wearing the mask. I set my phone it portrait mode to make the background blurry and really focus on the subject of these photos (the mask on me).

How to Take Lifestyle Photos With your Phone

Finally we have the product shots. Now lifestyle product shots are a bit different than the product shot featured on a shop. Shop pages more often than not sell multiple products on a page and therefore look cleaner with a white backdrop. However, on your social feeds photos that show a product in the real world almost always perform better. So hear, I have the sustainable masks in a natural environment that highlights the story that they are more natural and help the planet.

How to Take Lifestyle Photos With your Phone

Phone Photography Features

There are two main features of the iPhone you should use when taking a lifestyle photo on your phone. They are the native camera and portrait mode. I never, repeat NEVER, zoom with my iPhone. Unless you have an iPhone 11 with a built-in zoom lens, zooming in on an image just downgrades the quality of it. If you really want to make it closer either move closer to your subject or invest in a Moment lens that you can snap on to your phone and add variety to your focal lengths. (I personally own the 18mm lens which was used inside my in the image above.)

Portrait mode I use for close up images that I want the subject to stand out in. As you see with the image I took above of me with the mask on. By blurring your background you take away distractions and really bring the focus to your subject. For the rest of the images I just shoot natively or with my 18mm lens attached to showcase the full environment of a photo.

Taking Lifestyle Photos On Your Phone

Environmental, in action and a product shot are where it all begins with telling the story of your brand. Lifestyle photos are more than just showing off your product but they tell your customers what their future could look like. It gives them a chance to see themselves in the shoes of your model (or other customers) and say “that could be me!” Professional photography is a must to create a cohesive look across platforms and have the impact that you’re looking for. But that doesn’t mean that every photo you share has to be professional, especially on social media where more and more photos are coming from authentic places.

If you want to learn even more about how to showcase your story in lifestyle images download my guide to storytelling in photography and really drive home the message that you’re trying to tell your audience. If a picture is worth a thousand words, make sure you have something good to say!