Life Style Photography...
Lifestyle photography is considered one of the most straightforward styles to create, for its simplicity and casual feel. Still, it is also known to be the hardest for positioning and lighting. The photos shown above fall under the category of lifestyle, which centers around "everyday" attire or activities that the subject in the photograph portrays. This style of photography is most used in advertisements featured in magazines or billboards, to give the viewer a sense of peaking into a person's everyday life. The goal of this style is to show an overall theme of simpleness while using the beauty of the surroundings to bring the subject into focus.
The photos above are crafted to make the viewer think that the subject is going throughout their typical day. From a girl "casually" leaning on a vintage car with sunflowers in hand or a girl sitting on the ground in a random apple orchard, the viewer never questions the picture. That is purely because of proper positioning and lighting.
The positioning of a subject is an essential tool when taking a photo, especially when it is life or street style photography. To achieve the most beautiful picture, the photographer must use both the features around them and the ability of the subject. An example of this is the photo of the girl in the water or near the barn. These photos were located next to the Wethersfield Cove, located in Wethersfield CT, which included a beautiful barn and greenery. These features had vibrant colors of green and brown that brought out the colors and tones of the sandy beaches. Along with this, the barn provided a focal point that caught the viewer's eyes immediately. It was a beautiful scene that created a division of color, directly at the center of the photo. In order to use a background like this, you need to position the subject in the correct location.
In a photograph with a very prevalent focal point, you must put the subject either slightly below it or at the center of it (The 1st photo and the 9th show this). This positioning creates an elongated and highly detailed display that showcases the subject beautifully as the main focal point. Positioning is a hard lesson to learn and takes trial and error to understand in order to prevent the subject from blending into the background
Another aspect of positioning is the use of the elements. The elements of water, fire, wind, and snow are some of the most exciting and challenging to work with. In some of the photos shown above, there are subjects in water or high winds. Water is one of the best elements to work with - as long as your subject is willing. The use of water can add a dramatic effect to any photo and allow for more light to shine on the desired focal point. When I took the photo above of one of my friends, Kasey, in the water, I had to direct her to stand a certain way or direction to achieve the best refection. Along with this, I also had her use the water as a prop by kicking it for added dimension and action into the scene.
Wind is one of the hardest, purely because of how unpredictable it can be (I learned that the hard way when shooting photos in Ireland). Wind is both the best feature for increasing movement and depth for the subject or background imagery. As shown above, there are many photos of hair blowing, which can bring a dramatic effect to the photograph, along with a bad hair day. Though messy hair and wet clothing are unavoidable in these conditions, the elements need to be used to enhance the natural beauty of a photograph.
The primary way to achieve these perfect "everyday" photos is to take A LOT of them. On an average photoshoot, I take around 2,000 to 3,500 pictures and slim that amount down to 40 when editing. When working with elements of rain or snow, make sure to take plenty of photos with different levels of ISO or exposure, to give yourself different lighting to choose from. You would especially want to do this during a partly cloudy day, to avoid the changes in lightly and glare.
The lighting used during lifestyle photography is manipulated by the setting of a camera or during the later editing process. It is best to take photos on a cloudy day, for it prevents overexposure off the background or the subject. Many of the images above show a very vibrant color scheme but have a dull white sky; this is an example of compensation of exposure, which is the process of adding light into a photo. This addition of light often whites out the sky or background to give enough exposure for the foreground.
At the beginning, the settings of a camera, communication with the subject, and working with the weather were all intimidating things, but you will get the hang of it with some practice and a good rain jacket!
This is just a brief background on positioning and lighting for photography, but if you would like to learn more, here is a great source to check out!