The Importance of Good Lifestyle Images

As a follow on from last weeks post about the importance of good cut out images, we thought we’d talk lifestyle shots.  A lifestyle image, or in-situ as it’s often called, features a product in a real-life setting. Although cut out images are the most often used product image type in magazines, great lifestyle shots are still commonly featured. These days, journalists rarely have time or budget to call in products for in-house shoots, so a high quality lifestyle image is sometimes just what they need. If you have an amazing lifestyle image on hand, you’re covering all bases and giving yourself the best chance at getting your brand featured.Quality is key, so if you want your image featured in a top-notch magazine, then your lifestyle image must be nothing short of stunning!


There are two basic ways to approach a lifestyle image. One shows the product in an entire room, creating an entire vision. The other is simpler, where the piece is in a real life setting but focuses on the product without much distraction. There’s no right or wrong, both have their pros. Room shots can really portray the design aesthetic for the collection/brand so are ideal for individual stories about you plus for your own website, though simpler shots can sometimes be suitable for more features.

These gorgeous shots from Vavoom Emporium and Xavier & Me below are perfect examples of the two. The desk is styled into an entire look, where all pieces work together.  The simpler shot from Xavier & Me makes the print the hero of the pic, and is professional and modern, reflecting the clean aesthetic of their Abstract prints collection. Importantly, the styling in both images reflects the product collections perfectly – which is what you want!

Here are a couple more examples of lifestyle images from Designers Choice and Anaca Studio which are to die for – take note of the styling, even and natural lighting, products are in full view and are the focal point and the shot really reflects the companies design aesthetic.

– As well as individual product shots, group shots of your whole collection can also be a great idea. This shot from Bowerhouse shows a range of their pieces working exceptionally well together.

Comparison time

Now, to help you see what’s good and what’s not in terms of a beautiful lifestyle image, a little comparison can be quite helpful. Below are a few lifestyle images that, while possibly fine for other purposes, aren’t quite right for PR purposes. Remember, it’s about putting your product in the best possible light.

Image 1. Poor composition and harsh lighting. The angle of the photograph is disorientating.

Image 2. This one could have been really good with it’s modern, fresh products, but the white sheet background and dark shadowing looks unprofessional. It unfortunately wouldn’t be used in a magazine.

Image 3. Here you can’t tell what the hero product is. The product is ‘shown’ but the image is not inspiring; it’s a quick snap and hasn’t been styled at all.