client's guide

8 Things to Do Before A Lifestyle Photo Shoot

If you are looking for photography tips for your next lifestyle photo shoot, look no further. This blog post features eight things you can do before a lifestyle photo shoot to ensure you get the best possible results.
1. Gather inspiration
How do I gather your vision for a lifestyle photoshoot?

First, I like to gather inspiration from people I know. If an awesome couple tells me they have a great rustic farmhouse in the country, then why not go and photograph them there! Or if someone has a fun and modern kitchen with great light, we should probably shoot there as well.

From here, I also like to look at Instagram and Pinterest for inspiration for places and poses that I want to try out during the shoot.

I generally do a lot of searching on Google maps in the locations that we will be shooting in order to find really cool areas nearby that will provide us with different backdrops for our images.

2. Talk to your photographer.
You know the type of lifestyle shoot you want. You've brainstormed with your photographer about how you want to capture their day-to-day life. Now it's time for the two of you to talk about what that means in terms of real-life action.

Before your shoot starts, it is a good idea to have a conversation with your photographer about what they expect from you and what you can expect from them. It is normal that you and your client have expectations of each other, but if they don't align, it can cause problems during the shoot.

The first step toward preventing this is communication. If you aren't sure what your photographer wants or expects from a photo session, ask! They will be more than happy to chat with you and make sure everyone is clear on their responsibilities before the day of the shoot comes around.

3. Decide on the location beforehand.
Choosing the location of your photoshoot is one of the most important decisions to make. The location should match perfectly with the vibe you are trying to create. If you are going for a more formal look, choose a place that has beautiful architecture and some character. There's nothing more gorgeous than brick walls and chandeliers for a formal photoshoot. If you want something more natural, think about parks or wooded areas. Also, consider the time of day and season. Are there any trees and flowers in bloom? Is it warm outside so that my clients will feel comfortable?

It is also good to consider where I will be taking the photos at each location. Some locations have natural backdrops like trees or bodies of water, while others have large buildings or beautiful architecture as backgrounds. In addition to backgrounds, another thing to consider when choosing your location is lighting! A bright sunny day can be great for outdoor sessions, but if it is too sunny (or too dark), it may not work well for your session. For example: if you want candid shots taken throughout your house with lots of windows then using flash might not give you the best results because it will wash out some parts while leaving others dark - which isn't ideal! Make sure the ambiance matches what type of portrait photography style suits you best!

4. Choose a few outfits.
The most important part of a lifestyle shoot is that it's real. That means you should wear clothes that are comfortable and fit the style of your house and life.

If you are wearing jeans, make sure they fit well, haven't gone out of style, and don't have any holes in them. If you will be wearing a dress for part of the day, choose one that won't wrinkle easily or show too much skin. Some people like to change their outfits multiple times during their photoshoot to showcase a variety of looks. This can work best if you coordinate with the photographer before hand so they can plan to capture your best angles in the different outfits.

You want to look like yourself in these pictures, so choose clothes that fit your personality and let you feel relaxed enough to show off your personality!

5. Consider accessories.
Look, accessories are your friend. In a portrait shoot situation, they can be the things that take your outfit to the next level and give it an extra punch of style. Think necklaces, earrings, hats, scarves (winter shoots), purse or a nice bag.

Of course, don't just go crazy here! Consider how you want to appear in front of the camera—maybe you would like to look more formal or casual? Maybe you want all the colors of clothes and accessories to match? Just remember that shiny jewelry tends to reflect on people's faces, which will make them look less appealing in photos (unless it was done intentionally).

Try not to overdo it with accessories—just pick two or three items that will nicely complement your outfit and add something interesting without getting too busy. And… wear only what you really like! Don't wear things just because they match better with other items if you don't feel comfortable in them.
6. Wear comfy shoes.
Choose your shoes carefully. It's important to wear comfortable shoes during a photoshoot, especially when you are walking from place to place. Make sure you choose the type of footwear that fits in with the location and is appropriate for the season (if it will be outside). Avoid wearing heels – they can cause discomfort and make it difficult to walk.

Make sure your shoes are clean and in good condition before the shoot! Also, pick shoes that go well with all of the outfits you have planned out.
7. Pack for all weather conditions.
Since you can't control the weather, plan for all types of conditions. At the very least, make sure that you have a light jacket and an umbrella. If it's wintertime, consider bringing extra warm layers and accessories such as scarves and hats. If your shoot is in summertime and you're shooting in a location with lots of bugs (like near the ocean), be sure to bring some bug spray too!

If possible, pack a separate change of clothes in your car or bag. Whether there's a sudden rainstorm or you accidentally smudge your white shirt before the shoot starts, it's best to be prepared for any unexpected wardrobe changes that need to occur on-the-fly during a shoot.

Make sure to check the weather forecast several times before your shoot begins to ensure that you're prepared for whatever might come at you.

8. Bring props.
You don't need to bring too much stuff.

If you have any props you want to include in your shoot, bring them! It will give the shoot more variety. A book is always nice for the "reading on the grass" photos. If you are going to be taking photos with an object that isn't yours (like a picnic basket or ball), make sure you actually own it and won't forget about it when the shoot is over!

If you want to play frisbee with your friend or pet (or even if not) then bring one just in case - it can add more action shots and fun to your picture collection.
This is an overview of how to prepare for a lifestyle photo shoot
As you prepare for your lifestyle shoot, there are a few key things to consider at all times:

  • Do your research into what type of lifestyle photos you want and how you want them to look.
  • Talk to your photographer about their experience, what they specialize in and any tips they may have for you. This can help make sure that your vision aligns with the photographer's so that you both know what to expect on the day of.
  • Decide on a location. Make sure it reflects the theme of the lifestyle shoot. For example, if it's a family photoshoot in fall, then an apple orchard would be perfect!
  • Choose outfits that will match with each other (but keep them casual!) Don't forget to bring a change of clothes in case something gets dirty or spills on it during the photoshoot!