wtf is a lifestyle image?

truth is there is no consensus.

from brand to brand, agency to agency and photographer to photographer you will get a vastly different answer. some will tell you that is any image that includes propping, others will say it’s an image that evokes a lifestyle (in a setting) and some will insist it requires the inclusion of a model.

these nuances have come up throughout my career no matter where i work or in what capacity. so - this is me, officially, admitting i have no idea what it exactly it might mean to you, and instead offering alternative terms we can use to communicate what kind of images we are producing in our work together.

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product - this images include only your product and a colored background (or a white background depending on your needs) with a mood created only by specific lighting.

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styled (flat-lay and standing) - these images include images that are styled with props, fabrics, etc. etc. etc. - whatever is necessary to set the mood. when discussing these images let’s note whether we want them laying flat or standing up - or if you want a certain amount standing vs. lying down.

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in the wild - your product anywhere in the wild - kitchen, bathroom, beach, etc. along with props to set the mood.

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live image - these include models and can be more styled or more in the wild, let’s chit chat more about the vibe + exactly how much of the model we want to show up in the image.

an april mood

via casamigos

via casamigos

via silk diaries

via silk diaries

via 2ah.ni

via 2ah.ni

via sunday goods

via sunday goods

via sunday goods

via sunday goods

via sunday goods

via sunday goods

via hannah morgan

via hannah morgan

via bev

via bev

via sean from texas

via sean from texas

via calidad

via calidad

via calidad

via calidad

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currently: jamming

 
need you still, RVRB

need you still, RVRB

la di da, lennon stella

la di da, lennon stella

old fashioned, bruno major

old fashioned, bruno major

sometimes the livingston session, HONNE

sometimes the livingston session, HONNE

honor roll, bulow

honor roll, bulow

happiness, rex orange county

happiness, rex orange county

love is so hard!, the millennial club

love is so hard!, the millennial club

less than i do, the band camino

less than i do, the band camino

too cocky, yg

too cocky, yg

know me, the band camino

know me, the band camino

back to you, hardcastle

back to you, hardcastle

santa barbara, the millennial club

santa barbara, the millennial club

from the archives : environmental portraits

this time, three years ago, I think, my friends and i took a road trip to palm springs. it was a long weekend…or maybe it was a week off, honestly i have no idea. i took my camera to work on a project for my darkroom photography i class.

it was an environmental portrait assignment - a concept i still don’t really understand - considering i’ve never been in a space that I even think can contain me, let alone encapsulate everything i am. so instead i took pictures of my friends in wide open spaces - places that i thought could hold everything they were to me - tastemakers, risk-takers, therapists, daughters, girlfriends, students, interns at media companies and record labels - the making of atmosphere.

we spent the weekend driving to bombay beach and drinking at some terrible mexican restaurant. i took my first tequila shot and i think cried over some flippant drunk comment that i can’t even remember. i shot all of it - through a lens of trying to make work that would please my professor (the most terrifying and inspiring artistic influence i had at the time - and in my mind the person who was in charge of not only my grade but the future of this weird, nebulous thing I had fallen in love with).

the second we pulled into the driveway of my boujie Lincoln Blvd. apartment I put on sweatpants and headed to the pitch black of the darkroom to develop my film. i could still tell you what song i was listening to, can still feel the lurch in my stomach as my fingers fumbled with the reel and dumped film fixer into the canister. the film came out and it said everything i wanted it to - everything i didn’t know how to explain in words … that seemed like the point of art anyways.

when i showed the images to my teacher he told me it looked like i had spent the week romping around the world with my friends. he critiqued that the environment said nothing about them, that the focus was fuzzy and that i had cut an arm off of my friend in the framing of one of the images.

i was crushed but had absolutely not a single word to explain why i thought that these image said much more than any picture in a college apartment or next to a book shelf. so i reshot the project and turned in some non-descript, technically bad, images of people doing things that were maybe kind of relevant to who i thought they were.

and now - three (maybe) years later I look at these pictures and see a portrait of something different - maybe an answer to the assignment in the first place.

i see our becoming. i see my hands shaking on a lens as i choose to become an artist - one who will decide that learning this craft will become one of the only things that means anything.

i see girls exploding into the atmosphere as they should - being big and loud, drunk and obnoxious, deciding to do what they want to do - ‘romping around the world’ and figuring out who they’re supposed to be.

i see an environmental portrait - of every single fight we had, and all the things that pulled us together and eventually pulled us apart.

i see my own environmental portrait… of the person i became.

and yeah - i get why that didn’t meet the project requirements.

xx- kennedy

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a march mood

via tumblr

via tumblr

via subliming.jpg

via subliming.jpg

via tumblr

via tumblr

via lemon.laine

via lemon.laine

via tumblr

via tumblr

via bethcath

via bethcath

via vivianne audi

via vivianne audi

via kaitlinmeagan

via kaitlinmeagan

via summer fridays

via summer fridays

via summer fridays

via summer fridays

via pharell

via pharell

via maia mitchell

via maia mitchell

via maia mitchell

via maia mitchell

via boyish jeans

via boyish jeans

via lennon stella

via lennon stella

via bethcath

via bethcath

the creative process

the joy of freelancing, creating my own hours and working with a diverse set of clients is the ability to continuously refine my creative process and to find new ways of working that allow me to open my creativity and protect my client/artist relationship.

at it’s core this process is meant to provide you with the highest quality product with the lowest time investment from you and your team - after all you hire a freelance artist to cut down on your team’s time and energy not add to it. that being said - i welcome ways of working outside of my own and value openness and honesty from the first signed contract to the final delivery. so - if you read the remainder of this post and are worried that something won’t work with your team or structure - please reach out so we can adjust upfront and protect your final product. what my creative process looks like:

kick off call (or meeting, or brunch)

however we structure this I just want to understand what exactly you’re looking for and what approach I will need to take in order to reach your final goals. bringing any samples of previous work you loved or hated, mood-boards, inspo pics to this meeting is abundantly helpful.

moodboard.

after we chat about what your project looks like from a logistical standpoint i like to provide a moodboard. this moodboard governs the general color pallet and propping of your shoot. of course as we move through the process things may change but know that if we align on a generally yellow, spring toned moodboard your final images won’t be black and white or if our mood is all flat lays your shoot will not include models - that would be considered a separate product and incur a separate charge. so please! take your time to think over the mood and make sure that it feels right before we move full speed ahead.

alignment, quote, contract.

once we’ve aligned on our vibe and mood we will move through the formal stuff like quoting and contracting. your quote will include the price of set design, any models needed along with the work to set up, shoot and edit your shoot. additional work outside of scope will be discussed and billed separately. for your knowledge, no work will begin until a contract is signed and a 50% deposit is provided upfront.

shot list.

once all of that is done and dusted we get to the fun part. you are free to provide me with a specific shot list (i can provide you with a good template that gives me all the deets i need) or we can discuss and create one together. things to keep in mind during this step of the process:

  • what’s your final use occasion for the images: email, website, instagram, instagram story, ad sets?

  • what products do you need to feature and do they need to be shot in certain pairs or groups?

  • do you need a certain amount of laydowns vs. in the wild vs. live shots?

  • do you want a certain amount of shots to look like x (please provide example) vs. y?

from there I will take care of the planning shooting, editing etc. and deliver you a final product that we’re both STOKED about.

a few notes/disclaimers/post scripts

Due to the nature of how i work i unfortunately cannot provide NEF RAW images to my clients - unless discussed in the contract. With that being said the number of images you purchase = the number of images that will be delivered to you in high-resolution .JPG format. for larger shoots i may provide you with a contact sheet for you to choose selects from - this will be discussed during contracting.

If you feel that in any way I have missed the mark based on our previous communications (moodboard and shot list) please reach out so we can discuss where the communication breakdown was and how best to amend the product.