Author: Cody Slingerland

Types of Photography

25+ Types of Photography To Try Today!

25+ Types of Photography To Try Today!

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced photographer, it’s likely that you haven’t experimented in every type of photography. It’s worth exploring different types to discover the ones you like and the ones you don’t. With that said, there are so many different “genres” of photography, it can be tough to know exactly what’s available.

That’s why we put together this massive guide covering over 25 different types of photography. In this guide, you’ll learn what exactly each type of photography involves and what gear you might need to get started. You’ll also find multiple examples for each type, so you can see what others have done and if you might want to try that type out for yourself. Follow along:

1. Abstract

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Abstract photography can result in incredibly-looking shots, but in theory, it can be tough to work. However, there are some easy ways to capture abstract photos.

One option is to move the camera around and give yourself a nice blur. This is easy to do in Shutter Priority mode. In this mode, you can set your shutter speed to 1/10th of a second or slower—offering up a stunning panning blur.

Slow shutter speeds allow a lack of light to work nicely, and minimizing your ISO level allows you to avoid overexposure in your shots. Circular items like flowers can truly shine with something simple like camera wiggling.

When it comes to lenses, variety is nice—but to start out, go with an 18-50mm or 18-135mm and tinker with different focal lengths on the same subject to see what you get.


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2. Aerial

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Aerial photography is generally used for capturing properties or city landscapes. Sometimes, an owner will need photos of the property from high above and may need to see if that property is a home, a building, or just land.

When it comes to a camera body, investing in a full-frame camera will ensure you capture a high-fidelity, wide image. Because these photos are taken from high above, you will want a long-range zoom lens – something like a 70-300mm lens is perfect.

You can capture aerial photos from a helicopter or by using a drone. If shooting from a helicopter or plane, make sure to avoid having your lens touch the window pane as that will transfer the vibration of the vehicle directly into the camera. Buying a circular polarizing filter will help reduce any visible haze or glare in your photos.


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3. Architecture

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Photographing buildings may seem simple but there are a lot of little things that can determine whether or not your shots come out as you envision them. You have to be sensitive to the direction of light because it can increase contrast and shadows and cause your camera to expose the scene incorrectly.

Architecture photography can also include capturing specific details of a building (inside or out) to show a specific design or pattern.

Going with a wide-angle lens is usually perfect for shooting buildings. A 14mm or 10-24mm are good options if you want to capture a wide space or entire building. A zoom lens can be helpful if you want to narrow in on a specific area of a building.


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4. Astrophotography

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Owning a telescope allows you to see the stars and thus see the world in a whole new way.

While just about any DSLR will work in theory, you’ll likely invest in wide angle lens with a wide aperture. This enables you to shoot faster exposures, allowing for better image fidelity and minimal noise. Either a 10mm, 12mm, or 24mm will work fine. A tripod is needed to ensure crisp images, and if you are shooting while hiking, consider a carbon fiber tripod to reduce the weight of your pack.

A remote shutter also allows you to avoid shaking by activating the shutter without a physical button press on the camera itself. In terms of core equipment, you will need a telescope alongside your camera and will also need a T-Ring and T-Adapter to connect the DSLR to the telescope.


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5. Baby/Family

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Being able to take photos of a young baby is something that parents look forward to doing. While the first photos of a newborn may be done with a phone, it’s natural to want to take some photos with a higher-end device.

If you want to focus on the baby, using a 50mm will work nicely. For a baby’s eyes, you should avoid using a flash. So be sure to shoot in well-lit environments only.


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6. Black and white

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Black and white photography is an art, and seeing a black and white photo adds a sense of timelessness to every photo you take. One of the biggest aspects of black and white photography is the composition of the shot (composition is important in all photos, but with this type, you have far less to rely on). There are no vivid/bright colors to distract from poor composition.

Most DSLRs can shoot in a monochromatic mode and it’s far better to shoot in RAW mode to bring out the highest level of details in your images. Combining black and white photography with something like street photography is a lot of fun and allows you to bring out the beauty of the world.


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7. Bodyscape

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A mixture of nude photography and landscapes, a bodyscape photo focuses on showcasing the shape of the human body. The key to bodyscape photography is to have an image in mind since shooting will require extensive planning and meticulous attention to detail. You have to know what you want before you shoot it, and if you have multiple people involved, that adds more variables to the equation.

Depending on what you’re trying to do, a 35mm lens should work at capturing a wider scope of the body, while a 50mm lens will put more attention on one part. Having stark contrast between skin tones and the background is also a way to make bodyscape photos pop off the screen.


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8. Concert

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Concert photography, much like any event with arenas or stadiums involved, requires a bit more planning. For both sports shooting and concerts, you’ll want to make sure you know the building’s rules for cameras.

Some venues will ban the use of interchangeable lens-cameras (unless you have a press pass), which limits you to point and shoots.

If you are close to the stage, then a 50mm can be a good choice. For shots of the entire bandstand, then a 35mm is ideal. If you are further away, then go with a 70-200mm lens.


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9. Event

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Event photography is incredibly popular and something that a lot of companies do in order to showcase corporate events. Things like trade shows, special dinners, anniversaries, and other celebrations all benefit from having high-quality photos taken.

Environments and their layout will dictate what gear you need. If you plan to take a lot of portrait photos, make sure to bring both a 50mm and a 35mm lens. Going with a wide aperture is usually best. This will allow you to blur the background and make subjects stand out.


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10. Fashion photography

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Fashion photography is a great way to capture the action on a runway or capture the stunning beauty of a model showcasing new attire.

There are a few key lenses to consider if you’re shooting fashion. A 35mm prime lens will give you wider-angle shots, while an 85mm is going to be better for closer shots. A 50mm lens is solid too and allows you to bring the environment into your shots.

For versatility, a 24-70mm is outstanding. This focal length allows you to get wide-angle and shorter telephoto shots. A versatile lens like this allows you to capture crisp shots without having to bring a monopod with you.


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11. Food

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As anyone who has ever passed by a fast food restaurant can attest, a well-taken photo can make any food look outstanding.

When it comes to food photography, prime lenses are typically your best bet (they can provide more light and detail). A good 50mm f1.4 lens is fantastic and a great way to get a bit of distance between yourself and the food yet still get a crisp shot. A wide aperture will also provide a blurry background, allowing the food to stand out more.


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12. Landscape

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Landscape photography is a great option for anyone who likes to travel, hike, or simply be outdoors.

For super-sharp shots, a 14-24mm f/2.8 is a solid choice. This wide-angle lens will allow you to capture an entire landscape. For capturing shots from far away, a zoom lens like a 70-200mm is a good option.

It’s also a good idea to carry a tripod when doing any type of landscape photography, as this will allow you to shoot at slower shutter speeds (to capture details in dark areas, make a body of water look still, or to shoot in the evening or early morning).


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13. Lifestyle photography

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Lifestyle photography is all about capturing life and its moments. For example, a family enjoying a picnic or a person playing in a field. All of these things show off just what it means to be human.

Anticipation is a big part of lifestyle photography. If you have someone jumping rope, then you know there will be a jump above the rope. By beginning your shots before the event, you give yourself plenty of coverage and can snag that perfect shot.

While you can use a flash, it is generally better to shoot outdoors with natural light. When it comes to gear, a solid 24-70mm lens allows you to blend both zoom and a low enough f-stop to blur out your background and make subjects stand out.


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14. Macro

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Macro photography is the process of taking super-close-up photos. For example, you might capture fine details of a flower’s petals or a person’s eye.

A short macro lens is good for crop sensor cameras, and a 50mm lens at a 2.5 f-stop will allow you to capture crisp images. A 40mm will work as well, and be better if you’re going to be closer to the subject.


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15. Medical

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Medical photography isn’t for the faint of heart – but does provide a valuable resource. Medical photos allow for illnesses to be documented alongside surgeries and procedures to remedy them.

For ultra-crisp photos of things like wounds to show damage, a prime lens is ideal. For something like a deep wound, using a zoom lens like a 24-70mm will allow you to get a shot of the wound from far away and then up closer to see the true impact of the wound on the body.

While smartphones may be an easy way to take medical photos in a pinch, they will be unable to provide much zoom in these cases. Depending on your settings, a flash may also be needed if you are documenting something in a dark room or simply need more detail in the shot.


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16. Micro

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Microphotography is a highly-specialized form of photography. It involves taking photos using a microscope and requires extra equipment compared to other forms of photography. Normally, a T-adapter is needed to allow you to shoot photos alongside a microscope. You will also need a T-ring to attach the T-adapter to the microscope.

On average, a T-ring will cost about $60 while a T-Adapter costs anywhere from $45 to around $80 on the low end with higher-end options costing $200 or more.


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17. Pet

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Cat photos have gone viral many times over and what pet owner doesn’t love taking photos of their pets?

Animals have their own way of doing things and that means you can’t always count on your pet to be the most cooperative subject. If your pet allows you to get up close to them with a camera, then you should be fine with a shorter-range lens. A basis kit lens like an 18-55mm will work fine. You do sacrifice image quality with kit lenses, so if your pet is friendly, then going with either a 35mm or a 50mm should work well.


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18. Photojournalist

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Anyone looking to make it as a photojournalist should consider investing in a full-frame camera. If you are just starting out or are at a low-end blog level for journalism, then you can get by with a crop sensor camera. But, make it a good one.

Something like the Canon 77D or Canon 80D will work nicely and won’t set you back too much (relatively speaking). A 24-70mm is a good lens option that provides a decent range in order to cover a variety of situations (your shooting environment and/or subject may change rapidly).

It’s definitely a good idea to invest in good glass since a journalist can never count on having a second chance to take a photo.


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19. Portrait

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Portrait photography is one of the most user-friendly forms of photography out there and a great choice for a beginner because it involves shooting still subjects. When it comes to portraits, a prime lens is always a good choice. This type of lens will give you a wider maximum aperture, making it easier to add light to blur out the background behind your subject.

There are a variety of lenses you can use for portraits. A 24-70mm f/2.8 can provide a solid blend of zoom and maximum lighting. If you are shooting in a studio, then a 50mm may be best. This lens will allow you to have consistent results among all of your photos.


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20. Product photography

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Product photography is another seemingly simple type of photography to get into. You can typically get started with a basic lighting kit. However, achieving proper lighting on products can be trickier than it looks. A certain amount of staging should also go into taking professional products photos (ex. Adding props or positioning a dress shirt so that the lines flow just right).

When shooting against a backdrop, make sure to set your white balance manually so that colors and tin are consistent across all of your photos.


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21. Nude/erotic

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Nude photography can be a touchy subject, but at its core, it is artistic. When it comes to proper gear for nude photo shoots, an 85mm prime lens works nicely and gives you fantastic sharpness. You can also use a 50mm lens and get a fair amount of detail, especially if you have a f/1.4 lens to blur out backgrounds.

A 70-200mm lens is also great to use if you want to bring out the detail of the body itself. Capturing something like goosebumps on an arm or belly can be stunning and easily captured with this type of lens.

If you are shooting someone in the nude, be sure to keep the room warm and comfortable. Setting up a home studio with spot lighting or even using a sharp contrast with something like the body against a black background can be stunning too.


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22. Real Estate

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Real estate photography is an intricate art form and something that requires a lot of instinct to do well. Every house is different and if you’re shooting in less than ideal conditions, you have to be very selective with the gear you bring.

Using a full-frame is certainly what you want if you’re in a high-end housing development, and a nice 18-105 lens would work perfectly. This lens gives you both wide angles and can zoom when necessary.


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23. Sports

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Sports photography is one of the most popular kinds of photography and also one of the most difficult. The fast speed of athletes, and in the case of team sports like baseball, basketball, soccer,and football, the balls themselves makes it challenging. However, shooting sports can be thrilling, especially when you’re a fan of the sport.

The gear you need will vary depending on the sport, venue, seating, and lighting situation. A flash may not always be permitted, and be sure to get permission from either the event organizer or the arena before bringing a DSLR.

An 18-135mm lens can allow you to get wider shots for things like soccer and football, while also having a healthy zoom range. If you’re going to be in the stands and far away from the action, then a 70-300 lens may be best. If you aren’t sure where you’ll be, then an even more versatile lens like an 18-300 might be perfect.


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24. Stock photography

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Stock photography encompasses a wide variety of subjects, so it’s important to have a jack of all trades approach to your gear. Versatility is key and as a result, having something like an 18-135mm or an 18-300mm lens is ideal. This allows you to get pretty much any kind of photo you want (within reason).

An 18-135mm is going to be solid for sports, portraits, buildings, and products. For things that require a bit more zoom (ex. like a sports photo taken from the nosebleed seats), then an 18-300mm would work well at both capturing the entire field and some player action.


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25. Street

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Street photography is a fantastic way to capture local culture and the people who make it great. Prime lenses, much like with portraits, are the best overall way to capture the beauty of the subject. They typically provide more light and capture more detail. This can be helpful when capturing details like the cracks in a wall or pavement.

The standard go-to lenses for street photography are the 35mm and 50mm. 50mm is perfect for tighter shots, while 35mm is better when you want to capture more of the environment.


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26. Travel

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Travel photography is another popular type of mainstream photography. Everyone enjoys a good vacation and what better way to savor the memories than with high-quality photos?

For family vacations where you want to capture the whole family in the frame, a good wide-angle will work wonders. While most cameras will come with an 18-55mm lens, kit lenses can lack detail and sharpness. For the best results, you should look at using a prime lens.

A 20mm lens with a 1.8 aperture is a fantastic choice. If you want to get a wide variety of shots with a single lens, then either an 18-135mm (on a Canon) or an 18-140mm (on a Nikon) are ideal. These lens ranges will provide both wide angle and telephoto zoom shots, enabling you to capture pretty much anything.


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27. Underwater

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Underwater photography is tricky but doable. It is a good idea to take some scuba diving courses so that you feel comfortable when shooting underwater. Diving with someone is also a smart choice, and be sure to learn your equipment above ground.

Underwater, you won’t have perfect visibility and you will need to know where things are within a moment’s notice. When it comes to proper underwater photography, a higher-end GoPro can work nicely, but it will be limited in settings and image quality.

For pro-grade shots, something like the Backscatter Canon 5D Mark IV will work nicely (an underwater camera housing).


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28. Wedding

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Wedding photography is another extremely popular type of photography, especially for freelance photographers. Nearly anyone who gets married wants the occasion documented with high-quality photos. Thus, hiring a wedding photographer is considered one of the biggest parts of the planning process.

There are many things to consider if you are shooting a wedding. You’ll likely need to capture a variety of different shots (like portraits and action shots of people dancing) in multiple lighting situations (outside, in a reception hall, etc.). Having a versatile zoom lens or multiple prime lenses will ensure you have the coverage for each situation.

A 50mm f/1.2 is ideal for getting shots of the bride and groom on their own and to blur the background out. Spacial awareness is important too, and if you don’t have much room to work with, a 24-70 f/2.8 lens is an alternative.


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29. Wildlife

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Wildlife photography can be a risky game if you aren’t careful. The biggest key to safety is to keep your distance and make sure to use long zoom lenses whenever possible. An 18-300mm lens is fine for getting a mixture of your entire environment as well as animals.

If you know you’ll be quite a distance away, then going with a 200-500mm or 80-400mm lens is great. Image stabilization is a must for wildlife because without it, you will likely have blurry photos.


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Picking the Right Type of Photography

Ultimately, what you decide to shoot comes down to personal preference. If you’re the outdoors type, shooting landscape or wildlife photos might be a good fit. If you love music, then maybe concert photography.

You really just need to get yourself out there and experiment with every type of photography you can and decide what feels right for you. There is no right or wrong decision, and experimenting is ones of the reasons why photography is so much fun!

Let us know in the comments below what types of photography you shoot, or if you’re a beginner, what types you’re most interested to try out!

Lifestyle Photography

Lifestyle Photography 101: Everything You Need to Know

Lifestyle Photography 101: Everything You Need to Know

Lifestyle Photography continues to trend in 2018. Authenticity is what the industry is looking for, not just personality. Candid moments and careful planning might seem like an oxymoron, but this is exactly what you need for snapping the best slices of life.

In order to become a successful lifestyle photographer, you need inspiration, the right equipment, and patience. At first glance, the idea of snapping everyday photos of people and places seems like a breeze. What many people miss, in between those “life moments” is the amount of downtime and planning necessary to capture that moment.

If you’re reading this guide to improve your skills at capturing life’s energy, passion, and joy, then you’re in the right place. Everything you need to build a solid foundation as a lifestyle photographer will be discussed in full detail throughout this guide.

We’ll cover the definition of Lifestyle Photography, list photography ideas, cover recommended gear, blogs to follow, and more. Follow along:

What is Lifestyle Photography?

You may have noticed some photographers include themselves in this category, but only photograph still life. Others focus primarily on family photos and candid interactions.

You’ll notice a lot of flexibility as to what is exactly defined as “lifestyle” photography. Take Mark Delong’s portfolio (a lifestyle and celebrity photographer), for example:

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His work blurs the line between catalog photography, travel photography, and lifestyle photography. There is definitely an audience out there seeking this style of photography, it just might not be what you think of when defining the category.

For the sake of this article, we’ll define lifestyle photography as capturing people, places, and things in candid moments. It has to have some sort of human connection to it.

The important part here is to be authentic and not stage anything you shoot.

Lifestyle Photography Ideas

Life happens all around you. It’s your job as a photographer to be in the right place at the right time.

If you’re new to lifestyle photography, then you’ll find that it can be difficult finding subjects. Finding that combination of interesting, exciting, and unexpected is the ultimate goal. Here are a few ideas to consider:

That “Inner-child”

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If you want an environment that is loaded with these three qualities, look for a place where children gather. A playroom, amusement park, or playground are all great places for creativity and expression. Nothing is staged here, just pure unbridled joy and curiosity on display.

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Expect the Unexpected

You shouldn’t set out on a mission to capture any specific moment or interaction. This is especially true for photographing children. What you should do instead is go into your session ready to capture anything.

You can try to prepare for hired photoshoots by taking a survey of the clients, learn about kids’ personalities, life stories, etc. This also works both ways, it’s a good idea to collaborate your photoshoots with parents and young adults. You might be inspired by their ideas—after all, it is about capturing their most precious moments.

Ideally, you should set aside a few hours to get to know your clients. Being able to have a conversation and relax with them will make snapping their pictures easier. You don’t want them to constantly have it in the backs of their minds that you’re there taking to take pictures.

For children, it’s definitely a challenge to sit in the back of their rooms and take candid photos. Toddlers might be a little less concerned with your presence, especially if they’re distracted by an activity, their parents, etc.

Capturing the curiosity and competitiveness from a family trying out something new together is a great idea. Other things like swimming, karaoke, sports events, building furniture, and holidays are always good environments to be a fly on the wall.

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Be Dynamic and Ready

From the start, your camera should be set and ready to shoot. There’s going to be a small window of opportunity when you first arrive where you’ll be able to capture some candid shots before anyone notices. Even if your arrival is planned, you should start out in scout-mode, looking for shots.

Those shots where children are laughing and playing in the background before you approach are timeless. Remember, you don’t want to spend all day looking for good shots, but you also don’t want to rush anything. It might even be worthwhile to plan your photoshoot around a lunch or dinner. This can open up opportunities for you to sit behind and observe meal-prep, conversation, sharing, clean-up, etc.

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Lifestyle Photography Camera Settings

While there are no specific settings to lock yourself into when shooting lifestyle photos, the settings below will help get you started (then, you can tweak from there):

Shutter Speed

If you use a slow shutter speed, you’ll likely end up with a blurry image. That’s why we recommend a fast shutter speed, especially if you’re snapping pictures handheld.

Start with a shutter speed between 1/125 to 1/200 of a second. Your shutter speed will also depend on the sync speed of any flash lighting you are using (many have limitations on how slow or fast they can sync). If you’re trying to capture a fast-moving subject (like a person running or riding a bike) you may need to use a quicker shutter speed (like 1/1000 of a second).

Aperture (F-stop)

Your aperture setting will depend on the lens you are using and what needs to be in focus. If you’re trying to achieve a blurry background, you will want to use a fast aperture (ex. f1.2 to 2.8).

Additionally, if lighting is a concern, a fast aperture can allow you to capture a brighter image (since a fast aperture allows more light to come through the lens)

If you need a wide image to remain in focus, you’ll need to use a slow aperture (ex. f8 to f11).

Experiment with different settings to find the best result.


Ideally, you want to use the lowest ISO setting possible. However, when shooting in a dark environment or even on a cloudy day, you may need to bump up your ISO level to ensure your image is properly exposed.

Increasing your ISO allows you to brighten an image but doing so will add more noise to your image and degrade the quality of the final result.

Some cameras handle higher ISO levels better than others (ex. Less noise in higher settings). As a rough example, though, the image below provides a better look at the lighting increase with each ISO setting as well as the noise added:

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Again, you will need to experiment to find the best results. But with most cameras, you will begin to see noticeable noise at ISO 800 to 1600.

Recommended Gear

These recommendations fall outside of basic gear like your tripod, a nice neck strap, extra batteries, memory cards, etc. Here, we’ll focus on gear that gives you an edge or makes your adjustments easier. Having great lenses and lighting make a world of difference when it comes to lifestyle photography.

Best Lenses for Lifestyle Photography

Prime lenses should be your go-to for lifestyle photography. Prime lenses minimize guesswork and allow for quicker intuitive snaps. Getting impressive depth of field and bokeh on shots is less of a problem. Even outdoor shoots work great with prime lenses.

It’s hard to be a lifestyle photographer without a 50mm prime, for example.

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If you’re set up in a home for some play time with kids, TV time with older siblings, or in the kitchen with the parents, you can get amazing depth and background blur that takes any busy details out. This accentuates those candid moments, bringing them to life.

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Wide-Angle Lens

Outside of prime lenses, it’s good to have at least one wide-angle/focus lens (like 10 or 11 to 18mm). This lens makes for great multi-scene captures. If you want to get an entire living room, a cross-section of two rooms, or across a field, this is what you need.

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The image above was taken with a wide-angle lens (Source)

Lighting Equipment Suggestions

Don’t assume that just because you’re going for more authentic shots of your subjects that natural lighting is all you’ll need. We want to capture authentic moments in their best setting.

Don’t look at it as staging an event, look at it as setting the stage for one.

Speed Lights

Speed lights, also called TTL flashes, help control the lighting in spaces that aren’t well-lit or have unreliable lighting. Outdoor spaces are where you’ll need a speed light the most.

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Speed lights are also a handy tool to get the perfect amount of backlight for scenes in dark corners. They probably won’t be the best solution for young children trying to play with their toys, of course.

All the major brands have their own that perform the same, but make sure to find one that has tilt and swivel motion.

Light Modifiers

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There are a number of methods you can go with to modify the harshness or softness of the light in a room. You can use reflectors, scoops, domes, and softboxes. All are made to refocus your light and give you better control.

A traditional lightbox kit can be bought for as low as $50 online.

UV Filters

UV Filters are a must-have for controlling light in outdoor settings. When shooting outdoors, you already have to struggle with exposure levels enough as it is. Throw in the issue with UV exposure and color values and you have two big factors that amateur photographers struggle with everytime they shoot outdoors.

If you’re in open shade, your subjects will have a bluish tint to their whites and neutrals:

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The image on the left was take in shade. Notice the blue tint. The image on the right has been color corrected. (Source)

It’s all about how certain materials absorb UV light and reflect it back. Rather than trying to fix all of this in post-production, an aggressive UV filter can balance everything out. This results in a more accurate exposure and proper flash levels.

Don’t forget that you can also apply UV filters to the flash as well. This will require some experimentation to find the best color balance and light for your outdoor shots.

Tips for Taking Better Lifestyle Photos

With a solid setup, you will be equipped to take the best pictures on a technical side. When it comes to being mentally-ready to take these pictures, you have to prepare as well. This means arriving to your photoshoot with the right attitude and mindset.

Lifestyle photography is about being in the moment. This includes you too. Not just your subject.

For example, if your client or project involves capturing morning routines and midday activities. Then, naturally, you would want to be there as a guest. Sit at the table with them, have breakfast, talk with them around the coffee table, etc.

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View your job as more of a documentarian than a photographer trying to snap good pictures. The tips below will help you do just that:

Get Everyone Involved

It’s easy to become content with always sticking in the background. The truth is, though, the most successful approach would be to include your subjects in what you are doing as much as possible. You don’t need to direct them or even suggest what they should be doing.

Just give them a basic overview of what they can expect a day with you will look like. This prevents awkward, tense, or confused energy during your session. Your clients should know what they’re getting and what you will deliver.

Time, Money, and Expectations

Yes, taking pictures as a lifestyle photographer will vary from day to day, but it’s good to have an established base. The client should know how payments will be calculated and how long they can expect the session to go.

Be mindful of scheduling conflicts and the day’s expenses. This is without accounting for potential delays or rescheduling due to uncooperative children, weather, etc. Do your best to convey to the client that this isn’t an exact science and you are flexible.

Being too rigid or cold as a photographer is rarely good for business, let alone as a lifestyle photographer.

Wardrobe and Props

We mentioned how some fabrics can interact with the sun’s UV rays outside. Choosing clothes for a photoshoot should be two-parts client’s decision and one-part the photographer’s decision. That is, you should only be there for refining or providing suggestions to help bring out their best qualities.

Not many clients will understand things like color theory and how to play with lighting, so be their guide.

Watch the Background/Backdrop

With all the attention on what’s happening in front of you, it can be easy to forget what is hidden in the background. Depth of field can help you avoid unattractive clutter or business from TVs or patterns. Keep your position in mind when waiting for a great moment to capture.

If there are no flat or blank surfaces behind your subjects, try going for a top-down or bottom-up view. These are fun angles when doing lifestyle photos because they emphasize the third person POV (either a short or tall person looking over).

Smile and Enjoy Life!

It’s hard to capture all the great moments around you when you are operating like a technical robot. It shows up in your photos too. If you’re in the mix, laughing, playing, and having fun with your clients, they will forget about the camera. The best shots are made when eye contact and genuine emotion is recorded.

It doesn’t matter if you’re:

  1. On a luxury yacht shooting young people diving into a pool.
  2. In front of a playpen getting the wide-eyed curiosity of a toddler who just stacked up a group of blocks.
  3. At a wedding manning a tripod in silence, panning to capture all the emotions as it proceeds.

You have to be present in the moment to truly capture it.

It’s your job as a photographer to make your clients look good, but it’s also your job to turn them into time-travelers. With your photos, they can return to that exact moment in their life and relive it all over again.

Lifestyle Photography Blogs to Check Out

We want to include some useful resources that you can refer to whenever you’re stuck, uninspired, or looking for the next big step as a photographer. These blogs and specific articles are great references to check on when shooting lifestyle photography:

Get Out There & Start Shooting Lifestyle Photos!

As with everything, practice makes perfect. When it comes to lifestyle photography, practice helps you learn the best settings to use and how to prepare. It may also come with a side of the “feels” or potential life-long connections.

Falling in love with your subjects (in a platonic way, of course) is easy when your job is just an extension of your passion.

Product Photography Ideas

10 Product Photography Ideas to Copy for Your Next Shoot

10 Product Photography Ideas to Copy for Your Next Shoot

Shooting on a white background doesn’t always have the “go to” for product photography. You should aim to mix it up a bit and consider the uses of your product photography (will the images be used for an e-commerce shop, advertising, or social media?).

To help you come up with some ideas for your next shoot and inspire your creativity, we’ve put together this list of 10 product photography ideas for you to try out. Give them a look, and if you have any of your own ideas, leave them in the comments below to help out the rest of our community here on Grid50.

Shoot on a White Background

I know! We just said there are other options besides shooting on a white background. But, we at least need to list the most obvious and most popular choice for product photography.

Shooting on a wide background is the “go to” choice for most photographers capturing products for an Amazon shop or an e-commerce website. The white background allows the product to stand out and ensures the background is not distracting.

There are many different ways to shoot against a white background. Keep in mind, though, all methods will still require a bit of editing. Even when shooting against a well-lit white background, the background will not be completely white in the final image. The images levels will need to be brought up in post.

Here’s the basic process for shooting against a white background:

  • Set up the white background. You can do this by:
    • Using a photo lightbox. These are relatively cheap and work for smaller products.
    • Using a white muslin or paper backdrop. A white seamless paper backdrop is usually best but it can be tough to store.
    • Using white foam board. This can be purchased for under $10 from Walmart.
    • Using a white piece of paper. If the product is small, you may even be able to get away with just a few sheets of paper.
  • Set your camera’s settings manually. When adjusting your settings, you should:
    • Set your camera’s ISO as low as possible. This will reduce grain in your images.
    • Set your exposure manually. Make sure your histogram shows that the white or black levels are not blown out.
    • Use a tripod. More than likely, you’ll need to shoot at a low shutter speed which will result in a blurry image if you’re shooting handheld. Using a tripod will eliminate this problem.
  • Shoot your image
  • Edit the image using Lightroom, Photoshop, or a similar editing program. For some shots, you may just be able to bring up the levels of the image but for others, you may need to remove the background completely and replace it.


White Background Product Photography Example

Image source: New Balance

White Background Product Photography Example

Image Source: Rudy’s Barbershop

Shoot on a Colored Background

Shooting on a colored background can not only give you a different look but it can make editing easier when shooting lighter products. Let’s say you’re shooting a light product such as a white t-shirt and you want to replace the background completely.

Shooting this on a white background and editing it later will be difficult since the white shirt will blend into the background. You will have to spend a lot of time manually selecting the product in order to delete the background.

A workaround can be to actually shoot on a colored background such as a light tan or gray background. Bright green backgrounds are often used for this purpose, but when shooting light objects, especially white clothing, it can cast a green hue onto the product which can be difficult to remove later.

However, by shooting on a  light tan background, it’s much easier to remove the background in Photoshop. You can use “Select Color Range” to select the tan background and remove it that way. Or, if you’re simply using the selector tool, the tool will have a much easier time discerning the background from the product making it easier to select.


Colored Background Product Photography Example

Image Source: Glamour

Colored Background Product Photography Example

Image Source;: Wired

Shoot in an Organic Setting

Now, we’re moving beyond the standard e-commerce shop look. In this idea, you would actually place the product in an organic setting as it might be seen. This can be great for additional images on a product listing or for use on social media or in advertising.

An example might be shooting a bottle of shampoo in the bathroom.


Organic Setting Product Photography Example

Image Source: Kicks on Fire

Organic Setting Product Photography Example

Image Source: 1800 Vodka

Use Props or Add in Complementary Products

Going right along with the idea above, you can also add some props to the frame. If again you’re shooting a shampoo bottle, you might throw in a colorful shower cap, bath bombs, or any other products you might see in the bathroom.

You don’t want to distract from the product but you want to set that stage a bit. On top of using props to create a unique shot, you may use the opportunity to subtly add in complementary products.

For example, with our shampoo bottle, if this company also sells hair conditioner or body wash, you may add those to the background of the image.


Product Photography Example

Image Source: Amazon

Product Photography Example

Image Source: Bacardi

Shoot All Products at Once

While this idea won’t work for every company’s line up of products, this type of shot can be great for use on a company’s website (such as the featured image on the homepage), for advertising purposes, or on social media.

The idea is to shoot a group of products all in one shot. For example, if you’re shooting a line of scarves, you could lay the scarves one over another and shoot them in a horizontal, landscape shot. If you’re shooting a line of bathroom products, you could line all of the products up in a “v-shaped” line on the bathroom counter.

This idea is great for showing off product lines.


Product Photography Example

Image Source: Dove

Product Photography Example

Image Source: Things Remembered

In-Use Product Shot

Another idea is to capture the product in use. For example, if you’re hired to shoot a bottle of lotion, you may shoot someone applying it to their leg. If it’s a pair of headphones, you may shoot someone sitting on a couch and listening to music with the headphones.

These are great opportunities to showcase products in advertising and for posting on social media.


In-Use Product photography Example

Image Source: New Balance

In-Use Product photography Example

Image Source:

Shoot Different Angles

This might seem like an obvious one, but often companies only shoot products straight on. If you’re hired for a job, you should recommend the company to take multiple angles of their products. Potential customers often want to inspect the product as closely as possible and having multiple different angles will allow them to do that.

Consider what aspects of the product are important to capture. For example, photographing the side of a lotion bottle may not be necessary but photographing the side of a phone would be (since it would show help show the thickness of the phone and the button placement).


Different Angles Product Photography Example

Image Source: Autonomous

Different Angles Product Photography Example

Image Source: Amazon

Shoot Close-Up or Macro Shots

Running right along with the idea above on shooting multiple angles, make sure to shoot close-ups as well. This gives you the opportunity to really show off the fine detail of the product.

For example, on a pair of jeans, you might take a close up of the pocket stitching, the pants zipper, or the button.


Close-Up Product Photography Example

Image Source: The Jeans Blog

Close-Up Product Photography Example

Image Source: Odyssey

Take a 360 Degree Shot

360-degree photography is becoming more and more popular. Having a 360-degree image allow potential customers to really inspect the product and view from any angle.

In most cases, you will need a rotating table to do this type of photography. Here’s a helpful video to show you how to take 360-degree photos:

Take a Ghost Shot

This type of shot can work well for clothing. You will need a mannequin or a model to do it. The idea is to shoot the product, in this case, let’s say a t-shirt that is placed on the mannequin.

To create this shot, you would set the lighting and shoot the image as normal but later in editing, you would remove the mannequin from the image. This would leave just the shirt so it’s “floating” in the image.

It also gives the clothing a more “3D” look and overall it more eye-catching.



Ghost Product Photography Example

Image Source: Uniqlo

Ghost Product Photography Example

Image Source: Amazon

Now, it’s your turn. We want to hear your ideas for shooting product photography. Leave them in the comments below!

Selling Used Camera Equipment

The Best Places to Sell Used Camera Equipment

The Best Places to Sell Used Camera Equipment

Looking to get rid of some of your used camera equipment but still get the most amount of money for it? Then, you’re in the right place.

In the post, we’ll cover some of the best (and worst) places to sell your used gear so you know where to get the most back for your equipment and which places to avoid. So, let’s right into it.

Sell Your Camera Gear at These Places to Get the Most Money:


Grid50 is a marketplace website catered specifically for photography and videography people. The site lists all different kinds of camera equipment including lenses, lighting, DSLRs, pro video cameras, and more.

It’s similar to eBay in that people can list their own used or new equipment and browse hundreds of listings of equipment to buy from.

However, unlike eBay, you’ll keep a lot more of your money when you sell your gear on Grid50.

Whereas eBay charges 10% of the final sale value, Grid50 only charges 3.5%. So if you sold a camera lens for $100, eBay would take $10 of that sale. Grid50 would only take $3.50.

grid50 screenshot

This can add up when you list an expensive piece of gear (and we all know how expensive camera gear can be) or when you sell multiple items. You’ll keep a lot more of your money when you list and sell on Grid50.

Additionally, since it’s marketplace website built specifically for photographer and videographers, there’s likely a good chance there’s someone looking for exactly what you’re selling. In other words, there is a target market of potential buyers and you’re not limited to selling to only a specific geographical area as you are with a site like Craigslist.


Craigslist can sometimes get a bad rap. While there have been some horror stories from people meeting on Craigslist, these are rare and Craigslist still remains one of the best places to buy and sell camera equipment.

If you’re worried about meeting someone in person, just make sure to meet in a public place. If you’re buying or selling an expensive item, bring a friend or two along and keep your money in your car at first.

Personally, I’ve bought and sold over 100 items on Craigslist and I have never had a problem.

Probably the biggest advantage of Craigslist is that there are no listing or selling fees. So you’ll keep 100% of your sale.

In addition, with Craigslist you don’t have to worry about shipping the item. Which in a lot of cases, can be more convenient than shipping. You can simply meet up with the potential buyer to sell your gear.

Lastly, you won’t have to deal with Paypal transaction fees as you would if you sold your gear on Grid50 or eBay (Paypal charges $0.30 + 2.9% of the total sale value on transactions).

Avoid Selling Your Camera Gear at These Places


eBay can be a great place to sell your gear if you want to get rid of it fast since the marketplace website has such a large number of users.

However, if you want to make the most amount of money from your sale, then you should avoid eBay.

As mentioned above, eBay charges 10% of the total sale fee. So if you sell an item for $100, eBay will take $10. If you sell something for $1,000, they will take $100. It should be noted, however, they do have a max fee of $750. So if you sell a really expensive item, the most you will be charged is $750.

ebay listing fees

That is still a lot of money, though, and it adds up when you sell expensive items or list multiple pieces of gear. The large percentage that eBay takes from your sale could be money invested into higher-quality camera gear, additional lenses, etc.

Your Local Camera Store, KEH, B&H, or Adorama

All of these places are camera stores that will buy your used camera equipment, then turn around and resell it for a profit.

In order for any of these places to make a profit, they have to buy your gear at a low enough price point to ensure they can resell it and still make a decent enough profit for it to be worth their time and investment (they often will clean the equipment afterwards, take quality pictures, list the item online, and keep it in their inventory until the item sells). There’s also a certain amount of risk if they can’t sell the item.

This concept means that you won’t get top dollar for your equipment from any of these places. Therefore, you can expect to earn about half of what the used value of your equipment is worth. So if you could sell your used camera for $500 on eBay or Grid50, you might get one of these places to give around $250. Of course, it varies by each store.

If you need to get rid of your gear fast, either because you need the money right away or you don’t want to hold onto the equipment until it sells, then these places are probably your best bet.

But, if you want to get the most money back from selling your used camera equipment, these places should be avoided.

Tips for Selling Your Used Camera Gear

Include the Original Box

When listing your camera gear online, if you have the original box it came in, make sure to include that in the item listing and even include a picture of the box.

Listings that include the original box tend to sell more quickly (and for a higher price) because it shows the owner is organized and likely took good care of their equipment. The original box may also be helpful to the new owner in terms of warranty information.

Clean Your Gear

Clean up your gear as best as possible. If you’re selling a camera lens, make sure to wipe the glass clean. If you’re selling a camera body, try to clean any dust and debris out from the cracks. It only takes a few minutes but it will make your listing more attractive to potential buyers.

Take Quality Pictures

It might seem obvious, especially to many of you who are photographers, but taking the extra time to take a few quality images of the gear you’re selling can help it to sell more quickly. Buyers appreciate when there are a lot of detailed pictures. It puts any worries at ease that there may be damage to the item.

While many of us don’t have a professional studio, there are still a few things you can do at home to capture quality photos. First, make sure the image is well light with natural lighting. You can do this by snapping pictures near a well-exposed window.

Next, make sure the image background is a solid color and free from clutter. Messy backgrounds can distract the buyer and they may not click on your listing.

Lastly, take multiple pictures from different angles. This will give buyers the chance to really inspect the item. If there are any scratches or other damage to the item, make sure to include those so they buyer knows what to expect.

Be Detailed & Honest

It will do you no good to leave out any important details about the condition of your gear. The buyer may receive an item that wasn’t properly describer and you’ll then be in a dispute over the item. Which will likely result in a return and refund of their money.

To make sure the buyer knows exactly what they are getting, be as detailed as possible about the item you’re listing. If there’s something wrong with it, just be honest. State that X feature doesn’t work or there is a large scratch on Y.

In conclusion, if you want to get the most from your used camera equipment, try selling it on Craigslist or listing your gear on Grid50. Signing up for Grid50 is free and you are only charged when and if the item sells.

We hope this post was helpful to you, and if you have any tips for selling used camera equipment, leave them in the comments below. We’d love to hear them!