How to use Baking Photography for the Perfect Lifestyle Photoshoot

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How to use Baking Photography for the Perfect Lifestyle Photoshoot

If you have some kids available and they like cookies, then a baking photoshoot is perfect for you and your family!  Baking photography is fun and lends itself to the natural expressions and joy that everyone loves in a lifestyle photoshoot.

But What is a Lifestyle Photoshoot?

If you’ve never done a lifestyle photoshoot, then you may wonder what it’s all about. Let me defer to Wikipedia for the very technical definition: Wikipedia says, “Lifestyle photography is a genre of photography that mainly aims to capture portraits of 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.”

In short, lifestyle photography is all about taking photos of the everyday moments of your life. This kind of photography is fun and essential for a whole bunch of reasons.  I love it because you can capture people in their authentic life moments that happen every day.  If you’re new to the genre, then here are some great tips to get you started.  And what better way to begin than with baking photography?

My friend Ambar of Ambar Hornback Photography, helped me by sharing images from one of her amazing lifestyle photoshoots with the Sorrells family.  So, without further ado, let’s begin with some simple lifestyle photography tips for baking photography!

Related: 10 Super Simple Unposed Family Photo Prompts

Lifestyle Photoshoot Tip #1

A Little Prep Goes a Long Way!

A little prep work can set you up for success, especially when you’re working with kids.  When you’re shooting baking photography, it helps to have your tools and ingredients ready.  If the kids get bored, things can quickly go downhill.  Having some of the details prepared in advance will help to make your shoot move smoothly.  So, dig out the oven mitts, clean up the KitchenAid, and make sure you know where the aprons and spoons are before you begin!

black and white image of two girls baking in a kitchen
Photo Credit Ambar Hornbeck Photography

Lifestyle Photoshoot Tip #2

Change Up Your Angle

As you’re shooting, be sure and change your angle.  Move your camera up and shoot down on your subjects to get a birdseye view of the fixings. 

Two girls mixing dough in a green mixing bowl - shot from above
Photo Credit Ambar Hornbeck Photography

Be sure and lower your camera, too. Shoot at eye level to capture the action from the height of your subject.  This tip works in all kinds of photography scenarios but is especially important to remember when capturing lifestyle photos.  Shooting from eye level gives the feel of being in the middle of the action.

Related:  How a Low Angle Shot Can Drastically Improve Your Photo Composition 

Two girls watch a Kitchen Aid Mixer mix cookie dough
Photo Credit Ambar Hornbeck Photography
Pink background with "Hip Grandma Merch" available on front

Lifestyle Photoshoot Tip #3

Be Ready for the Candid Moment!

Don’t be afraid to make a little magic happen.  And be ready when it does!  Feel free to coach mom, dad, or big sibling to do something magical.  I’ll be honest – I’m not sure if mom Summer naturally bopped a little flour on Lily’s nose or if she was prompted to do it, but I don’t think it really matters!  Look at that sweet smile!  And mom’s natural smile is also gorgeous.  This teensy moment made a memory that will stick with these beautiful girls for a lifetime.

So don’t be afraid to help out and make some of those special moments happen. Have big brother make rabbit ears over lil bro or encourage someone to take a sneak taste of the batter.  Genuine smiles always translate beautifully on film.

Mom booping daughter's nose with flour while baking cookies in a baking photography lifestyle photoshoot
Photo Credit Ambar Hornbeck Photography
Mom booping daughter's nose with flour while baking cookies in a baking photography lifestyle photoshoot
Photo Credit Ambar Hornbeck Photography

Pro tip:  Be sure your shutter speed is fast enough to freeze the action so that when your subjects are wiggling and giggling, you don’t miss a sharp focus.  And bonus pro tip – put your camera on burst mode so that when you press down on that shutter button, you can pop out several action shots in a row!

Lifestyle Photoshoot Tip #4

Know Your Light

Lifestyle pictures are best when they capture moments as they naturally occur.  For this reason alone, you want to make sure you know the lighting with which you’re working.  If you’re shooting in the evening and the scene isn’t well lit, be prepared with the correct camera settings.  For information on how to calculate your exposure to get the perfect result, click HERE

Two girls mixing dough in a green mixing bowl.
Photo Credit Ambar Hornbeck Photography

In our example, Ambar is shooting in a well-lit kitchen.  If your baking photography is in a kitchen that doesn’t have this level of fantastic light, don’t be afraid to add some of your own light.  I often use an inexpensive softbox to add a pop of light in low-light situations

Pro Tip:  When using a lightbox to add light, be sure and keep your subjects far away from the background to avoid shadows.

Learn Your Camera: Manual Mode: One Tool To Give You Control of Your Camera

Lifestyle Photoshoot Tip #5

Focus on Details

A lifestyle photoshoot offers the perfect opportunity to catch little details like a tongue sticking out in concentration or small hands gripping the spoon or bowl tightly.  Don’t be afraid to make those details the focus of some of your images.

two little girls pour cookie dough from one bowl to another
Photo Credit Ambar Hornbeck Photography

When thinking of the details of your lifestyle shoot, consider that the tools you’re using in baking photography are also fun details.  It will be so meaningful to look back at these photos many years from now and see what our mixer and tools looked like “back then.”  We all have fond memories of the tools that mom or dad used in the kitchen when we were growing up, so don’t be afraid to include some of those tools in the foreground or background of your images.

I remember the giant green Tupperware bowl my mom always used to mix cookie dough in.  In fact, I remember many of the tools from her kitchen cupboards, and whenever I look through old photos and catch a glimpse of those items in a picture, I get a warm fuzzy.

Related: 5 Habits that will Improve Your Photography Composition

Lifestyle Photoshoot Tip #6

Give Your Lifestyle Photoshoot an Ending

After your super adorable kids or grandkids finish baking up the delicious goods, make sure you capture some images of them enjoying the fruits of their labors.  What a fun way to commemorate the baking photography fun, right?

Two young girls hold a pan of hot cookies - while wearing oven mitts
Photo Credit Ambar Hornbeck Photography
a little girl with a red bow in her hair gazes happily at a cookie
Photo Credit Ambar Hornbeck Photography

Now is a great time to bring in an extra family member and let them in on the tasting!  The Sorrells family brought dad in for a cookie tasting, courtesy of big sister Emma. 

a young girl feeds her dad a cookie while mom looks on with a smile
Photo Credit Ambar Hornbeck Photography

When everyone had their fill of cookie tasting and it was time to wrap up their baking photography session, the Sorrells posed for one final family photo.  This image falls more into portrait photography, but good lifestyle shoots are flexible that way! 

A family gathered around a mixing bowl for a lifestyle photoshoot using baking photography
Photo Credit Ambar Hornbeck Photography

Another great read: Make Grandma’s Apple Crisp Recipe with 5 Easy Ingredients

Wrapping it all up

Baking photography makes an amazing lifestyle photography photoshoot.  With these simple tips and photography ideas, you can have an impromptu baking photoshoot in your own home.  All you need is a camera, a photographer to shoot the images (that’s you or a tripod), and a recipe.  If you’re starting to take clients as a lifestyle photographer, this is a super fun way to build your portfolio and add to your client base.

Related: The Great Big List of Christmas Prompts for Your Christmas Photo Shoots

One Final Thought

Don’t forget to get Creative

If you find that you love these types of lifestyle images, then put your thinking cap on and create your own scenario.  For example, you could shoot lifestyle photography with a family, making an outdoor snowman in the winter months.  Imagine a couple making s’mores over a backyard campfire.  How about lifestyle shots of a pair of elderly grandparents reading or praying together.  Lifestyle photography ideas have no limit!  Style your next shoot to match whatever interests your family or client.  It’s a simple matter of tapping into your creative side.

I would love to see your work.  Show me your best lifestyle photography in my Facebook group HERE!

AD image of little girls mixing in a green bowl

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