Lifestyle photography can be said to be a little abstract. It’s about anything and everything we encounter in everyday life. It’s also a popular theme for many stock photographers. Two of our contributors, Luka Funduk and Oleg Breslavtsev, share some insights about how they have approached lifestyle photography, what has worked and helped them along the way to building successful portfolios.
1. Where do you find inspiration for your photoshoots?
Luka Funduk: Inspiration is coming non stop ! There is no one specific thing I can think of. I’m trying to think from the perspective of consumers and I go after what I think will work.
Oleg Breslavtsev: Hi! Inspiration is around us. Beautiful nature, interesting people, crazy trips, unforgettable moments. When I’m traveling I love to discover new places, go to places where no one else has ever been. I like to photograph happy people – they fill me with emotions and energy. When you love what you do – that’s true inspiration!
I regret that one day consists only of 24 hours and you don’t have a chance to catch and feel every moment. Routine, fuss. We need to stop and get some rest, regain strength, and then move forward again. In my free time I also go in for sports – I run and ride a bicycle. It also gives a lot of strength and inspiration, allows you to see new places and test yourself.
2. With lifestyle photography, there is a lot of ground to cover. How do you choose your themes?
Luka Funduk: Trends in the photography are changing and I’m trying to find something new and different to shoot all the time, which in itself is a challenge, and challenge is the thing that encourages me to work with different themes. Also I feel like I am transitioning slowly into world of video, so it would be interesting to see where can I go with it.
Oleg Breslavtsev: It’s easy, I just take pictures of what I live by. I do not come up with something that I’m not interested in. My passion is travel, active rest, interesting people, beautiful places. Before I dive into a new journey , I look through inspiring photos in Instagram – that way i can find more locations and ideas for shooting.
3. What’s the hardest part about organizing photoshoots?
Luka Funduk: I can’t stress this enough – TIME! I am in a constant struggle with time. I live in New York City, and everybody is on a tight time schedule so that makes it hard sometimes to organize everything.
Oleg Breslavtsev: Yes, it often turns out that the photographer should not only take pictures, but also be in charge of all parts of the photoshoot session. Find the models, find a hairdresser, makeup artist, decorator, choose the right place. And then – to shoot and do the retouching. Therefore, one of the most difficult things is to pick your team. Same-minded people can give a chance not to think about all little things than can possibly go wrong and devote most of the time to your favorite job – photography. But there is one thing you cannot rely on – the weather.
4. What’s your favourite photograph that you have taken and why?
Luka Funduk: I don’t think I have a favorite one. It’s going to sound like a cliche, but I love most of my photos and it would be difficult for me to choose just one 🙂
Oleg Breslavtsev: One of my most favorite pictures is below. I adore the mood of this photo and the story. The wedding began at the sea, the air was hot and humid and the sun was bright. After the ceremony, we decided to go up to the mountains where everything changed instantly and dramatically: the wind grew stronger, the rain began to drizzle, the forest covered with a magical mist. As a photographer, I couldn’t wish for more. We got the opportunity to take very atmospheric and absolutely stunning shoots. It is a rare stroke of luck to make such photos at an actual wedding.
5. What is the most important lesson you’ve learned over the years about the business of stock photography?
Luka Fundu: Jokes aside, learn how to use light!
Oleg Breslavtsev: Most important – never stop, always learn and move forward. Look for current trends and interests of people. As soon as you stop, others will immediately leave you behind. It is important to wisely consider the wishes of your customers, do your best to make the work enjoyable, and eventually they will come up to you with another request of pictures that should be made.
As for stock photography – I take pictures of everything! You never know beforehand that it will be better to sell. Sometimes you do a special prepared shooting, and nobody buys these shots. And any random shot, which you at first did not even plan to publish – is being constantly bought.