Extras & Tools
Choosing Images For Your Site
Lifestyle images can be very helpful to your site visitors because they provide context. If the information is about a place (such as a holiday destination) then an image can literally help the reader visualize the location. If the information is about an object (such as an item of clothing) then the lifestyle image can show it in use. Lifestyle images tend to answer questions such as: "What does it look like?", "How is it used?", "When would I use it?" and "Who is it for?"
Lifestyle images also tend to try to sell an idealized view of a particular aspect of life, so the subjects of the photograph are often shot in a scenario that the visitors to the site would like to be in, too. Even if the user might not ever find themselves in that place, it could be a situation that they aspire to (hence the product or service would help them attain that) or one that they simply respect or admire.
Lifestyle images work best when they reflect your brand faithfully. When choosing images for your site, the task can be made easier by allowing your brand's values to guide you. If your brand is playful, then it might be fitting to opt for bright colors and light-hearted scenarios. If your brand is serious then you might opt for a more somber palette and realistic subject matter.
Above: This image of Patagonia outdoor clothing successfully depicts both the clothing being worn, and the setting suggests that it is suitable for those who spend time in harsher weather conditions. The shot is modern and masculine and the gritty, broken rocks evoke the rugged outdoors very effectively. The people in this shot are also relaxed and enjoying a break, while the equipment around them indicates that they are serious about their activity.
Above: Here is an example of a very different kind of product (a Ford vehicle) but, as you can see, it appears to be evoking a very similar lifestyle to the Patagonia shot above. In this case, the makers might be suggesting that the vehicle is suitable for use on all kinds of roads. Even if there are a significant number of sales of this type of vehicle in urban areas, many customers are attracted to the vehicle because it can be driven in any conditions. You might also note that a lifestyle image doesn't necessarily have to have a person in it to have "personality."
Above: This lifestyle image is promoting a holiday destination off the coast of Australia called Hamilton Island. Although it is a beautiful location all by itself, by including a family in the photograph the designer is helping visitors to the website imagine themselves relaxing and having fun on the beach.
Above: The first photograph shown on the homepage slideshow for the Four Seasons hotel in Paris could have been an exterior shot of the hotel itself or an interior shot of a suite (as is often the case with accommodation sites). Instead, the designer has opted to firstly show a lifestyle image portraying the excitement and romance of visiting this enchanting city.