Lifestyle vs Product Photography: What’s The Difference (and which one should you use!)

When you’re a beauty or luxury-based business ready to launch a new range of products, one of your biggest priorities should be getting high-quality images. Professional photos are essential in helping to grab customers’ attention and elevate their shopping experience. With a huge impact on purchasing decisions, your photos need to show your products at their very best!

But when you’re trying to decide how to make the most out of your own brand’s product photography, you might feel overwhelmed with the options. 

…Should you go with the classic white background?

…Or is it better to add some flair with colored backgrounds and fun, stylistic props?

…Or maybe you should just go out into the backyard for a nature-styled shoot against the soil and pines

There are many different types of product photography to play around with, but before you can choose what style works best for your brand, first let’s break down the different types. 

Product Photography

Classic product photography is essentially taking pictures of your product against a plain, seamless background. This style is perfect for letting the product itself take center stage with no distractions. Classic product photography also provides a great opportunity to play with depth in your images using the contrast between light and shadows.  

When shopping in person, a customer is able to pick up your product and experience the different features and details. In functional product photography, the goal is to capture the colors, shapes, and features as if your customer was looking at it in person.

This style works best for:

  • Highlighting the workmanship of your product or packaging
  • Making the most out of your product details and features
  • Communicating your products in a clean and distraction-free manner

Lifestyle Product Photography

Lifestyle photography places your product into a setting to evoke a certain mood or feeling, essentially bringing an experience to life. By using different props, models, and backgrounds, lifestyle photography lets you communicate some of the most important aspects of your product in an engaging way.

Lifestyle photography is all about telling a story and connecting with your audience on an emotional level. It helps potential customers to contextualize your products, giving insight into the product itself as well as your brand principles.  

This style works best for:

  • Highlighting ingredients or special aspects of the product
  • Making the most out of your brand promises (all-natural, inclusive, handmade, etc)
  • Showing the size and scale of your product
  • Showcasing your product in a scene where it makes sense, showing customers how they will use your product

So, Which Product Photography Style Should You Use?

For most brands, the answer would be to use a sampling of both photography styles. On product listings, customers will want a clear visual image of the product, a place for functional product photography to shine. On your home page or social media channels, you will want to tell a story and make an emotional connection with your audience, which is the perfect fit for lifestyle photography.

The most important part of lifestyle and product photography is to capture the essence of your product. That’s why at Drawing From Memory we work to create an all-encompassing brand identity, from package design to product photography. Ready to elevate your brand to the next level? Contact our branding boutique.