What do Journalists Want in a Lifestyle Image?

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Lifestyle images from Norsu Interiors and Fromage la Rue.

Journalist: Sophie Taylor, from Inside Out.

1. Do you often like to use lifestyle/insitu shots provided by brands in your features? Or do you prefer to shoot in-room shots in-house more often?
We often have features within our magazine called ‘Buyer’s Guide’ or ‘Design Solutions’ that will feature a holding shot (lifestyle shot) for a particular product e.g. Heaters, lamps, flooring etc. This shot always needs to be provided to us as a lifestyle shot rather than deep etch product shots.

2. What makes a good lifestyle product image in your opinion?
For Inside Out we are looking for lifestyle shot that is clear about what product is being emphasised but also doesn’t look like the product has just been placed in the forefront. We are looking for an image that has a sense of styling within the whole room and has an ‘Inside Out feel’ ie. A sense of personality, homes with heart, current trends, fresh but still homely.

3. What type of lifestyle images do you not like to use?
We will never use images where it appears that the product has just been photoshopped into the image. We will also usually not use an image where the product has been repeated throughout (e.g. Used in multiple colours etc.).

4. Do you prefer styled images with lots of products in the shot, or more simple, showing the specific product alone? i.e. do you like to see a whole look?
We would prefer to see a few products but definitely not a product overload, nor just a single product. We usually go for images that look like they have been taken from a house shoot and just ‘happen’ to have that product in them.

Inside Out Magazine | Press Loft Blog

Cover and pg 122 of Inside Out, March 2014 issue.

Journalist: Selina Gordevich, from Modern Home

1. Do you often like to use lifestyle/insitu shots provided by brands in your features? Or do you prefer to shoot in-room shots in-house more often?

Essentially, images are what draws the eye to a page so images need to be vibrant and professionally photographed. Depending on the feature, lifestyle images are often better than deep-etch images as long as the styling and setting is beautiful. 

2. What makes a good lifestyle product image in your opinion?

Good professional photography is always key, as is beautiful styling and a lovely setting. Lifestyle shots of products set in beautiful homes can make a feature and we often use good lifestyle images as a full page and as an opening to a feature. 

When shooting furniture, homewares and accessories in a home-setting make sure the home and products are clean, ensure there’s plenty of natural light and if you have a window in the shot make sure the outlook is of a lovely garden, beach, sea, pool etc. Remove all clutter, but keep accessories, coffee-table books, candles etc. as they will make the home appear ‘lived in’ and cosy – the last thing people want to see is products in a cold, bare room. It’s also a good idea to include more products from your store /  collection in the shot so customers / readers can see your range and brand style. 

In terms of styling, keep in mind that different publications prefer to use certain colours over others, so put together some different options – change the flowers, cushions, lighting etc. Also be mindful of seasons, it’s not worth doing a bright, summery shoot with yellows, blues and greens to last you the whole year as it will only be applicable to one season. 

For products that have a use such as a bed frame, basket, tray, table etc. make sure the product is complete with mattresses, cushions, lamps etc. For baskets put items in them – one shot of the basket filled with toys, another with a throw, cushions etc, another with magazines etc. 

3. What type of lifestyle images do you not like to use?

Badly styled and photographed shots. Products with the price-tags still on, messy settings, rooms etc. And lastly, shots that people can’t relate to and don’t make sense – for example, a sofa on a beach, a bed in the middle of a garden etc. 

Modern Home Magazine | Press Loft Blog

Cover and pg 55 of Modern Home, March 2014 issue.

4. Do you prefer styled images with lots of products in the shot, or more simple, showing the specific product alone? i.e. do you like to see a whole look?

 Depends on the products. Eco Chic does some lovely styled shots as they use all their own products but have a certain style and colour scheme to each image.

If you have a collection to shoot it can be a good idea to include everything in the one shot, e.g. matching bed base, bedside tables and dressing table – this is ideal as one shot. BUT, if you have a collection of say, rattan baskets, hampers and trays – having all rattan products in one shot can be overkill. Just be mindful of your products, their size and how people use them. That said, some products need to stand alone – especially if it’s a unique shape, colour or design. 

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