Hard facts first: initially a customer does not care about your brand. Why? Because the current state of advertising platforms - like Instagram - is incredibly fast-paced. No matter what kind of service or product you are offering, there most likely is already an abundance of everything.
Unless you convince a customer that you can solve their problem according to their individual needs, they will not care about your brand. To convince a potential customer to choose you, you will have to cater to their lifestyle. Fortunately, there is an elegant way of doing so: lifestyle photography.
What Is Lifestyle Photography?
Conventional product photography usually portrays a product neatly posted in front of a neutral background. However, lifestyle photography is based on the principle of “show, don't tell”. Lifestyle photos show the kind of person who uses a product and portrays them in relatable everyday life situations. They are photographed doing an activity they enjoy featuring your product.
With authenticity and transparency being key factors, lifestyle photography aims at creating a personal narrative through visual storytelling. This allows your potential client to identify themselves with your brand or service.
To understand why shooting lifestyle photography is so effective for your brand, think of the photos in your grandparent’s household. You will find wedding and graduation photos placed on the walls and shelves to catch every visitor’s eye. These photos convey a sense of trust and affection. This is just what you would want your potential customer to feel like when engaging with your brand. Conversely, simple and stiff product photos will not do to gain a client’s trust and interest.
Why Lifestyle Images Are So Effective
Especially in an increasingly fast-paced world, people are looking for something or someone to connect with. An Instagram feed full of stiff, neutral and impersonal product photos will no longer be enough to appeal to potential customers.
Instead, you should provide an impression of authenticity, trustworthiness and transparency. Your customers want to be able to relate to a product or service on a personal level. In other words, they want to feel engaged, involved and part of something meaningful. Consequently, your brand needs to communicate the feeling that it will be a trustworthy provider for your client’s dreams.
Although it has become a platitude by now, the saying that a picture is worth a thousand words still holds. It does so even more in today’s fast-paced and changing world. Continuous change seems to be the only constant, and consequently, the time has become one of the most valuable resources. Especially on social media, where only a few people take the time to read reviews. A professional photo will communicate everything your next client needs to know in a split second. All it takes is the sheer power of visual language.
For a real-life success story, look at Gymshark. The brand used smart lifestyle photography to appeal to its target customer base: women who want to look good and feel comfortable while working out. Thus, Gymshark’s images go to great lengths to check all of a potential customer’s boxes. For example, they created detailed images of workout pants with pockets large enough to fit a smartphone into. This sends the message that working out in Gymshark gear will make your life easier. After all, you will no longer waste time trying to find a place where you can put your phone. Gymshark promises its clients that it will be the solution to their problems through their visual language. At the same time, they send the message that purchasing their products will make them part of a supportive activewear family. By imitating desirable real-life events, lifestyle photography allows you to communicate the values and the essence of your brand.
Create Emotional Connection With Your Customers
As Seth Godin once remarked, “people do not buy goods & services. They buy relations, stories and magic.” Thus, emotions play the most important role in making decisions and oftentimes even overrule rational factors. Consequently, appealing to your customer’s emotions and feelings is vital to turn them into loyal, returning customers.
Instead of an impersonal client-customer relationship, you want to convey the feeling that your brand is a family. Similarly to the photos in your grandparents’ house, lifestyle photography will be your most effective choice for conveying these emotions. After all, there is a good reason why emotional marketing is so tightly linked to lifestyle photography.
If you need more reasons why lifestyle photography will take your brand to the next level, let these statistics convince you.
- Facebook posts that include images achieve 2.3 more engagement than imageless posts.
- Tweets containing images get retweeted 150% more than tweets without images.
- 41% of people prefer to see visual content by brands.
- The most preferred Instagram stories feature short narrative stories with images.
- 65% of marketers agree that media including photos is essential for communicating a brand’s message.
However, to recap the origin of successful lifestyle photography, there are some key principles you should be aware of.
Lifestyle Photography Tips
Our environment is becoming increasingly visual, and the success and popularity of apps like Instagram are the epitomai of that development. However, Instagram is no longer just a photo-sharing app where people post snapshots of their avocado toasts and vacations. It has become a powerful and professional business tool allowing brands to generate large sums of revenue.
According to the platform, 60% of Instagram users discover a new business by scrolling down their feed. Even more so, 75% of followers were inspired to take action after seeing particularly appealing posts. This should give you enough incentive to incorporate lifestyle photography as an essential part of growing your brand.
When you decide to adopt lifestyle photography onto your agenda, there are two things you need to keep in mind: it is vital to focus on quality and consistency.
- No matter, if you are posting lifestyle photography on Instagram or your website, the quality of the images, will be crucial. The better the quality, the more effective, and appealing the content is. And the greater the engagement, the greater the revenue. Keep in mind the power of images and their immense ability to communicate and convey messages. To communicate messages catering to your client’s needs, you will have to invest in well-planned lifestyle images. Hire professional lifestyle photographers and put precise thought into the conception, context and message you want the image to convey. You do not want to waste hard work for anything by communicating the wrong information by accident. Stay away from stock images! You do not want your potential clients to think that they deserve whatever is produced for the big masses.
- Be consistent. Imagine a new potential customer checking out your Instagram feed for the very first time. It takes only a split second for a person to create a first impression. This is why these nine images on your grid are vital. To make a lasting impression, this grid needs to be consistent. Different styles of photos or editing will create messy, unorganized and chaotic imagery. Not what you would want your brand to convey! This is why it is helpful to collaborate with professionals. They will help you come up with a consistent style for your photos in terms of mood, colour scheme, and editing. Just like with a gigantic puzzle, the pieces need to resemble each other to make a perfectly coherent bigger picture. A coherent and consistent feed of high-quality lifestyle photography will also help your account boost its engagement. Appealing content is more likely to make a user like and share it with their friends. Before you know it, your engagement will have grown organically. Even better, increased reach has been shown to automatically increase revenue as well. According to research done by Constellation Research, increased user engagement will increase cross-sell by 22% and also order sizes from 5% to 85%.
Lifestyle photography has become a vital method to connect brands with customers by appealing to their individual needs and desires. As a brand, lifestyle images allow you to stand out from the masses. It will engage with your customers on a more personal, authentic and emotional level. It allows them to dream, and you as a brand make their dreams come true.