Two photography terms that has confused us from years.


Lifestyle photography has always been confused as creative photography or vice-versa in terms of product shoot. Let us start by a layman's definition.


Lifestyle Photography, "mainly aims to capture portrait/people in situations, real-life events or milestones in an artistic manner and the art of the everyday. The primary goal is to tell stories about people's lives or to inspire people in different times." - Wikipedia


Important terms that can be derived are - "in situations", "real-life events", "the art of everyday", "tell stories about people's lives".


The concept being that of photographing people in their real life, their real expressions, emotions and surroundings. And not by setting up a beautiful set-up with props, drapes, a pooch and loads of make-up with high-end editing to even out their skin tones. Yet lifestyle photography should look appealing and attractive.

Lets see an example below.

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Lifestyle Portrait of a local outside her house, shot in Manali, Himachal Pradesh.


If we have to relate the same in terms of product, it will be - to photograph products with their actual purpose; to show or depict their use in actual life.

Lets see few examples below.


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Lifestyle photography for a home decor brand. Subject : Lantern

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Lifestyle photography for a home decor brand. Subject : Tea Light Holder

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Lifestyle photography for a shoe brand. Subject : Shoes

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Lifestyle photography for a home decor brand. Subject : Planters

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Lifestyle photography for a home decor brand. Subject : Home / Interior

Creative photography, on the other hand is " an extension of conventional photography into creative art. Its purpose is to stimulate creative thoughts and encourage experimentation with new ideas going beyond a simple photograph." - Waccfoto


Its is open to multiple interpretations and are often outside of normal photographic protocols. A creative photograph may be out of focus or blurred, under or over exposed; but on a purpose. Not all out-of-focus photographs can be categorised as "creative". There are bad and ill-clicked photos also!


A creative image can be a complex or a simple representation of what the eye has already seen and it always reflect photographer's interpretation of the subject.

Creative photographs may or may not have one subject that needs attention but can have subjects that make up a concept, sets a mood and evoke thoughts.


Lets see few examples below.


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Untitled. The Pen Tool Design Inc.

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Dancing with the woods. The Pen Tool Design Inc.

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Jantar Mantar - A different perspective. The Pen Tool Design Inc. Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

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Jantar Mantar - A different perspective. The Pen Tool Design Inc. Jantar Mantar, New Delhi

Frilled. The Pen tool Design Inc.


What if we have to relate the same to products? Creative photography in terms of product can be explained as - an artistic representation of the product. A unique look of the product that has yet not been seen.

Lets see few examples of creative product photography.


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Creative Photography. Shoes. The Pen tool Design Inc.

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Creative Photography. wooden box and bar accessories. The Pen Tool Design Inc.

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Creative photography. Shirt. The Pen Tool Design Inc.

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Creative photography. Jewellery. The Pen Tool Design Inc.

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Creative photography. Food : Red Pepper. The Pen Tool Design Inc.



Which of the two will drive in more sales in terms of online selling?


Lifestyle photography. Its is lifestyle photography because, your potential clients get to see an example of how you have used your product in the photograph. You can't expect your clients to have excellent imagination power. But you can help them see the use of your products in awesome ways by displaying multiple lifestyle shots of that product.


For example.


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Product : Lantern. Lifestyle & Product Photography


All that being said, there’s no rule saying you can’t work in between the two styles!




We at The Pen Tool Design Inc. knows the anatomy well. From creative shots to product shots, we have it all to offer you with the best of our photography services. We are always open to ideas & collaborations!



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