Simply makes your brand more accessible, believable and even likeable to boot as we are wired to look for ourselves (even if we are not narcissists!) in images. It also makes us wish that we are the ones having that slice of pizza, drinking that cocktail, having the time of our lives at the party, owning that ridiculously expensive rock, you get the idea… Because it’s not the product that sells but what we are feeling when we see the product that is the clincher. Sentiment not the product sells.
I always always suggest clients to have lifestyle images as part of their shot list because that’s what differentiates their brand from their competitors. Brands have different target audience, no two brands selling the same product have the same positioning so why have the same old plain as vanilla imagery that your competitor is using as well? In fact, lifestyle images is what your target audience desires to see so it’s a definite refresh needed for all your branding and marketing materials. If you are still using lifestyle images from a decade ago, my gosh your target audience would not be able to relate to your brand at all because the world has come a long way over the past 10 years hasn’t it! If you don’t want to look like a blast from the past and have your audience write you off as a has been or old fart, look into getting some modern and relevant lifestyle images that fits the current times that we are living in now.
Lifestyle images very often also denote some form of movement or action such as pouring a glass of wine and that makes the image more appealing and holds the attention of the viewer just a little longer. If you capture a series of pour images, you can turn that into a gif or cinemagraph if you shoot video. While the option to hire talents and models is always there for lifestyle images if budget is not an issue, you can also easily ask your staff very nicely to be the models for the shoot. This is perfectly acceptable and the key is to find and ask your staff very politely and get them to sign the model release form before the shoot.
Please do not, I beg you to just pull in any available staff for the shoot as they will be annoyed but forced to pretend they are okay with participating in the shoot. Bad vibes are abundant and they may not participate as willingly or happily and in case you are unaware, we can’t Photoshop smiles onto faces! Many times when crew members are not prepared to be a hand model or to do any action shots such as pour, drizzle, sprinkle for example, there is a huge tendency to look confused, volunteer someone else or simply make excuses like they need to use the loo just as you ask them, talk about impeccable timing right?! They also may not have the right clothes on, their hands may not be appropriate for the shot or their nails are just too long or bitten off or downright dirty…the shoot gets dragged on longer than it should and everyone ends up doing OT! A photo shoot that is poorly run creates bad vibes and simmering resentment from the participating crew is not what we want after spending hours together.
The reason I know the importance of this guide is because all of the above happened to me on a shoot! I came home and promptly wrote out the fine details that even pro photographers miss out in their images all the time. In this handy guide which can be forwarded to your client easily, I drill down to the nitty gritty details such as what types of hands are better for what kind of shots, do the clothes on your hand models matter since we are just showing hands down to the nail colours if your hand models are ladies in question. Since then, this guide and it’s accompanying model release form has been sent out to all my clients who have lifestyle shots in their shot list so yay to no bloopers and smooth as butter shooting on shoot day!