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How to Get the Most Out of Your Lifestyle Imagery

Are you wanting to market your brand on social media. Social media presence now is the bread and butter of your brands presence. As a startup, or SME, this is where you will reach a lot of people on a budget.

Maybe you are struggling to work out how to fill your feeds with quality branded content that promotes engagement, doesn’t bore your audience, and doesn’t seem too pushy.

Here are some ways that you can get the most out of your branded Lifestyle imagery.

Use an Agency or a Professional Photographer. 

As a startup brand you might not have the budget for this… and if you don’t, stick around because it will go into some ways that you can DIY it and keep the costs down. However, your imagery is your shop window… and if it looks like shit, people won’t stop by. Simple as that. Good quality imagery doesn’t have to cost the earth, and can be the difference that promotes genuine engagement converting to sales.

If you can find the budget for it, I would recommend using an agency to manage your social media presence. This is Life Leverage  and frees you up to do the things you need to do to grow your business. Multiply the amount of time you spend on your social media presence by your hourly rate. That is your budget. If you’re interested in learning more about how agencies can help you out with your content and social channels, visit 

If you don’t feel that you’re at the stage to use an agency for your social yet, then you should consider having a professional lifestyle photographer look at helping you. For a full list of the excellent reasons why you should use a professional lifestyle and product photographer please see my blog post: 5 Reasons to use a Professional Photographer.

If these options are out of the question for you at this point, then there are some DIY tips to make your lifestyle imagery look great:

Visual Style and Consistency.

Identify a visual style which fits with your brand identity. look at what similar brands, or competitors are doing; analyse why they are doing what they are doing, and use it to inform your own style. Pinterestis a great tool for visual ideas, and image inspiration.

Once you have identified you brands visual style, like a logo, DO NOT ALTER IT. Your visual style can become synonymous with your products, and may be the reason people follow you, engage with your content etc.

One way of maintaining consistency throughout is to begin with descriptive words on your brand document to help ground you in the future. clean, airy, bright, crisp – or rugged, textured, natural and earthen are examples of two visual styles described cohesively whilst still allowing for fluctuations in the macro elements of the style.

Some examples of brands that do this well are:

There is a strange phenomenon that once a brand becomes so globally massive that it is its own brand identity – i’m talking, coca cola, macdonalds, oreo, play doh etc. they do a lot less of this – because they ARE their own identity they do not actually need to live 100% by their own visual style on social. However, for an SME or startup, you definitely do want to stick with a style to keep it consistent.

Quality of Imagery

Unless you have access to pro quality photographic lighting, then you want to be aiming to photograph your products in natural light. Natural light will do several things to improve your Lifestyle Photography. Natural light will limit the amount of photographic issues, like blur, incorrect colour balances and noise/grain. Natural light will likely only come from one source (clue… it’s the sun)… or a window so the direction and quality of the light will be photographically attractive.

For your natural light lifestyle photography, I would recommend the following options:

  • Outside in the shade, for a soft light
  • Outside in direct sun for a summery vibe
  • Near a window for soft directional lighting
  • In a white room with multiple windows for an even softer feel. 

Planning the use of images

Always have a plan of how you’re going to present your social lifestyle imagery. Have an idea of the end use. Questions to ask yourself:

  • Will it be used across multiple channels?
  • What will it sit next to?
  • What is going on socially/ globally right now (in case you accidentally post something insensitive)
  • What is my aim?
  • Does this add value for the consumer?

Planning how your images will look next to each other will help you keep your feeds visually cohesive and flowing nicely.

Emotions drive sales

Retail is heavily driven by emotion. There’s a reason why shopping is called retail therapy. Consumers are not buying a product, they are buying a potential feeling, or the end to a potential feeling.

Using your imagery to tap into these emotions is a very powerful tool. Identify how your customers want to feel, and how that fits in with your brand ethos and visual style. The imagery should practically produce itself at that point.

Props / Backgrounds are key to great product imagery

I don’t want to push the professional photographer line too much, because I’m not trying to bully you into using a photographer… however a professional lifestyle and product photographer will have access to plenty of different props and backgrounds.

The correct kind of props and backgrounds will compliment your products, make your imagery look deliberate and confident, whilst improving that all important consistency.


So there it is, just a few handy pointers to help you with your lifestyle and product images for social. If you have decided that this all seems a bit too much and want to discuss the option of using a professional photographer, then please get in touch on the contact page.

Good luck creating!

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