Tonje Lilleås

To capture a lifestyle

With social media playing such a significant role in our lives, a lot of us spend time trying to capture a lifestyle. It’s not even always our own lifestyle.

To capture a lifestyle

The problem with trying to capture a certain lifestyle is that our images are rarely honest, and often become a bit boring. We don’t capture the raw moments as they happen, but we try to make specific moments happen so that we can indeed capture them. And ultimately share them.

We buy yellow jackets even if we know we’ll only wear them for the images in front of the waterfall on that one trip to Iceland. Or we make coffee on top of a mountain even though we’re really craving a coke. It just doesn’t look as good on pictures. And we don’t pick up the camera to capture our kids when they’re full of mud or wear their most worn out outfit, even though they may never have looked happier.

Most of the time I think we try to capture the lifestyle we’d like others to believe is ours. And believe me, I’m as guilty as anyone else of this nonsense.

But even if I think we’re kind of ridiculous, I also love shooting lifestyle images and video. So is it possible to do that in a more interesting and honest way? Or will that make what we share too personal?

Here’s some of the things I try to think about when I shoot to capture a lifestyle:

Honest feelings and expressions

I don’t tell the people I shoot to behave in a certain way. If I tell them to smile or laugh or look interested, it immediately comes across as fake in the image or footage. I find that it’s all about being good at observing and having a bit of patience. If you force an expression or feeling, that’s all people will see.

Mind you; this doesn’t mean I don’t tell people to look at the camera every now and again. But I still wait for their natural expression before I capture them.

Activity over posing

I usually prefer shooting people as they are involved in some kind of activity, instead of just telling them to pose. The images of someone putting up a tent is always a ton more interesting than the images of someone posing as if they were putting up a tent.

If I want an image of my son in the hammock, it will always be better to observe and wait for the scene to arise on its own than directing him. I know, because I’ve tried both approaches.

Wide, medium, close up

Shooting series of images will always be better to capture a lifestyle than simply shooting the one image you think will do well on social media.

I always try to capture a wide image that shows the surroundings, a medium image that shows an activity and a close up shot of either an activity, a product, a person or some natural detail that catch my interest.

I hope you enjoyed this short post with my take on capturing a lifestyle, and that you feel somewhat inspired to capture more honest and interesting lifestyle shots. On my end I know I’m going to keep showing more of my lifestyle than only the outdoorsy nature stuff, as that’s only one part of my lifestyle.

Make sure to check out my Instagram to see how my work develops and head over to my YouTube if you’d like tips on videography or just want to see my video work. I’d really appreciate it if you’d like, follow, subscribe, comment, and all that jazz.



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