AUTOMOTIVE LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHY
The term Lifestyle Photography is popping up everywhere. Though the definition amongst photographers may vary slightly, the style of photography is here to stay.
Automotive Lifestyle photography is a kind of photography aims to capture people and their cars in situations, real-life events or milestones in an artistic manner and the art of the everyday. It is a modern style of photography that combines the best of two distinctly different traditions. Lifestyle blends the candid nature of photojournalism with the preparedness of studio portraiture. We achieve ‘a day in the life’ look with an editorial quality.
A primary goal of this art of subtlety is to tell a story about people in their environment in a natural, energetic, authentic way. The images may resemble snapshots, but everything from the lighting to location and styling details are deliberately thought out to support a certain mood. There is arranging involved but not over-staging. If something looks too perfect, it does not come off as real.
In 2013 Nissan North America, Inc. commissioned me to shoot some Public Relations lifestyle images of their electric car the Nissan LEAF. The idea was to shoot a set of images with people using their product in real life scenarios that they could then hand over to the national automotive news media to support the articles they were writing about the product. Automotive advertising teams have been using lifestyle shots in Marketing and Advertising for decades. In 2013 this was a relatively new concept to most automotive Product PR teams who were not using models in their PR images. Fast-forward to today and most automotive PR teams are shooting lifestyle images of their product. They can be seen throughout social media on Facebook and Instagram. It's a powerful way allow potential buyers to imagine themselves living a particular lifestyle in a product they are considering.
The main goals of shooting automotive lifestyle imagery are to capture the emotion of the vehicles, the excitement of performance and today’s active lifestyle. In many of these images the viewer may not see the entire car and that's okay. The photographer is trying to create a setting and tell a story with a set of images. Story telling is an important element in automotive lifestyle photography. It's very different than traditional PR images that just show the car. In lifestyle shots the hero may not be the car but rather the owner of the car. The story shows the overall big picture of a person or people living their active lifestyle and the car is just a part of the story. The photographer will incorporate things that they would typically do. This can be hanging out at home, going to their favorite coffee shop, or record stores or bookstores they frequent. It is incorporating their "real-life events" into the session.
So in the end, what is lifestyle photography supposed to accomplish? Most likely you're going to capture moments and activities that people are going to remember. It's a different feeling than that of a straight up PR session. It's something that could be shared on all social channels, that gets shown to friends or family.