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Nonetheless Life Pictures (23 Concepts, Suggestions & Examples)

Have you ever ever tried to do nonetheless life pictures? It’s a beautiful method for photographers to observe and enhance their expertise.

For those who’re unsure what it’s or methods to get began, this information could be of nice assist.

You’ll discover some nice nonetheless life pictures concepts, lovely examples of nonetheless life pictures in your inspiration, and 16 professional suggestions so that you can strive in your subsequent shoot.

Let’s get began!

What’s Nonetheless Life Pictures?


Nonetheless life pictures refers to photos that characteristic an association of inanimate objects. These could be natural – like meals or flowers – or human-made.

It’s vital to know that also life pictures could be damaged down into two main classes: ‘created nonetheless life’ and ‘discovered nonetheless life.’ Which one your pictures falls into relies on whether or not you deliberate and arranged the nonetheless life or not.

It may be additional sub-categorized in response to the topic that the photographer decides to shoot  (i.e., nonetheless life product pictures) or approach (i.e., flat-lay nonetheless life pictures).

16 Suggestions for Succesful Nonetheless Life Photos

1. Put together your tools

Nonetheless Life Gear of Garcia de Marina

As Garcia de Marina stated to Shotkit about his Nikon D800: “This digicam permits me to work with giant prints and retain nice element within the objects photographed. I don’t want a quick digicam as a result of I solely take pictures within the studio with nonetheless parts.”

So, for skilled nonetheless life pictures, what it’s essential prioritize is decision and picture high quality. Full body cameras are the only option then, however they are often expensive.

For those who can’t afford one simply but for nonetheless life pictures, don’t fear, you can begin with no matter digicam you’ve gotten – and even your smartphone.

You might also discover this checklist of the least expensive full body cameras helpful.

Prime lenses are the perfect for nonetheless life pictures as a result of they provide sharper photos, much less distortion, and wider apertures than zoom lenses. Because you’re working in a studio setting (more often than not) and utilizing nonetheless objects, you don’t want the flexibility of a zoom.

Having stated that, ideally, you continue to want a big selection of focal lengths.

A nifty-fifty is an effective total lens to start out with for nonetheless life pictures. It received’t trigger any distortions as a result of a regular 50mm provides the same perspective to the human eye.

Then, a brief telephoto (85mm or 100mm) with macro capabilities will widen the artistic prospects in your capturing. It can can help you seize small topics or experiment with selective focus.

A large-angle lens will work nicely for larger scenes or small scenes for those who don’t have a lot room to step away from them. One thing round 35mm will work nicely sufficient with out inflicting a lot distortion.

Utilizing a tripod is vital to nonetheless life pictures. Having a gradual viewpoint means that you can compose your picture in the very best method. Additionally, it’s going to stop any digicam shake in case it’s important to work with sluggish shutter speeds.

Because you’re working within the studio, you don’t want to fret about weight, so get the sturdiest tripod you could. Regulate versatility, although, since you’ll want to maneuver your angle of view.

Be certain that the tripod head means that you can pan and tilt simply. For low-angle pictures, you may discover it comfy to have a middle column that may flip the wrong way up.

Lastly, for flat-lay pictures, you may want a increase arm in your tripod.

Try our information to the perfect DSLR tripods right here.

Many nonetheless life photographers choose capturing with pure mild. Nevertheless, utilizing reflectors and diffusers could be actually useful to govern the sunshine.

 2. Plan your scene

Top down shot of eggs and berries

Credit score: Olya Kobruseva

To create good nonetheless life photos, it’s essential thoughtfully select the weather and organize them with care. Nonetheless life pictures is all concerning the particulars.

The most effective methods to get began is by planning your shot. Take into consideration the shapes, colours, and traits that you really want earlier than you choose the correct object.

Attempt drawing your scene to resolve on nonetheless life compositions; this can make it easier to set up and execute the concept with higher outcomes.

3. Composition

Photograph of stack of books

Credit score: Pixabay

Composition refers back to the place of the objects contained in the body. Many guidelines might help you with this: the golden spiral, the golden ratio, the rule of thirds, the rule of odds, and many others.

All pictures wants good composition, however particularly nonetheless life pictures. With out it, you’d simply have a bunch of objects that seem like a large number, or your nonetheless life pictures would merely be uninteresting.

Most cameras have a grid with the rule of thirds that can assist you compose and body. For those who’re practising together with your smartphone, you possibly can obtain a digicam app with totally different grids.

Lastly, you possibly can repair up your nonetheless life pictures utilizing the crop instrument and composition overlays in Lightroom. Though, it’s at all times higher to get it proper in-camera for those who can.

4. Digital camera settings

Tea being poured into cup

Credit score: Nikolay Osmachko

As any skilled photographer is aware of, it’s at all times greatest in case you have management over the ultimate results of the {photograph}. Whereas the auto mode may provide you with a well-exposed image, you don’t get to resolve the remainder.

For some photos, it really works higher to have all the pieces in focus; for others, it’s higher to have a shallow depth of area. To manage this, it’s essential shoot with the correct publicity.

The identical goes for the shutter pace. If there’s a transferring ingredient within the image, akin to water operating or snowflakes falling, it’s important to resolve if you wish to freeze it or hold some movement blur.

Studying to make use of the semi-automatic applications akin to aperture precedence mode or shutter pace mode will enhance your nonetheless life pictures. Even higher for those who grasp the handbook mode – see our newbie’s information to digicam settings right here.

5. Backdrops

Makeup flat lay image

Credit score: Venus HD Make-up & Fragrance

The background is a giant a part of nonetheless life pictures. You’re not photographing a product the place you employ a white backdrop to isolate and spotlight the topic – right here, the background is a part of the scene.

To decide on the correct background, it’s essential ask your self what sort of ambiance you wish to set in your photos.

For instance, for those who {photograph} a cup of espresso on wrinkled cloth, it appears like breakfast in mattress – it’s cozy. If, as an alternative, the espresso is on a picket desk, you’re already inserting the viewer within the kitchen or a espresso store – you’re up and energetic.

The rule doesn’t simply apply to a flat backdrop. For those who’re photographing a bouquet of flowers, are they outdoors? Do you see a backyard within the again? Or is it taking place indoors? What do you see behind them?

With the background, you’re establishing a scene the place the story occurs. It helps set the temper in your nonetheless life pictures.

6. Select the correct mild

Cricket ball with hard light

Credit score: Jurie Maree

It doesn’t matter for those who’re utilizing synthetic or pure mild sources; discovering the very best quality of sunshine and lighting setup in your nonetheless life pictures scene is crucial.

Lighting is vital in nonetheless life pictures as a result of it helps you management the scene and create a temper. It’s totally different from utilizing a tough mild with robust shadows than a smooth mild that brightens evenly.

You may as well select between low-key and high-key lighting. These lighting setups are highly regarded in nonetheless life pictures.

You need to use low-key lighting to have a darkish and moody ambiance and high-key lighting for a clear and ethereal look.

The sunshine’s place can be vital and infrequently has to do with the form and materials of the objects. For instance, glass advantages vastly from backlighting.

Beautiful nonetheless if pictures calls for the correct lighting setup to show even essentially the most inanimate subject material into an attention-grabbing topic.

7. Angle of view

Flower on mirror still life art

Credit score: Roman Odintsov

An effective way to enhance your nonetheless life pictures is by attempting totally different factors of view. Transfer round your set and seize the topic from numerous angles so as to add curiosity to the ultimate shot.

While you do that, you’ll get the artistic juices flowing, and all the pieces adjustments in your {photograph}. The objects’ form is totally different: take into consideration a cake that’s a circle from the highest however a rectangle from the facet.

The attitude can be totally different as a result of issues which might be nearer to you’ll seem smaller than objects which might be additional away, and so forth. Simply by altering your place, you may get utterly totally different photos.

That’s why you’ll discover many photographers are at all times on the transfer, even when taking portraits or capturing easy objects. To maneuver is to see the world another way.

8. Props

Baby pink colour scheme objects

Credit score: Jess Harper

Very similar to product pictures, nonetheless life pictures is all about nonetheless objects. While you {photograph} just one object and go away the remainder of the body empty, it may be a strong picture.

For this to seize efficient nonetheless life photos, it needs to be achieved correctly – and never all objects are suited to this.

Generally to make a compelling picture, a nonetheless life photographer will add some props that act as composition parts. Basic nonetheless life photos are famend for the location of props – it’s one of many important pictures expertise for nonetheless life compositions. Be certain that all the pieces enhances the scene, although – very like a basic nonetheless life portray.

For artistic pictures, use props that go together with your essential topic as a result of they share a theme or a shade – in different phrases, they make sense collectively. If not, you possibly can strive opposing issues to play with different juxtaposition examples and create distinction in your picture.

See our information to props for new child pictures.

9. Put together your topic

Fresh cherries in bowl

Credit score: Wendy van Zyl

Earlier than you get began with a nonetheless life pictures shoot, it’s vital to organize your topic. There are numerous examples of nonetheless life pictures expertise that photographers use to boost meals or merchandise to make them camera-ready.

A easy strategy to improve a nonetheless life photograph is by including drops of water to a beer bottle or a glass of iced tea. It’s one of the simplest ways to carry odd objects like a bottle of beer to life – condensation is a pure incidence in actual life.

You could be as artistic as you wish to improve your nonetheless life images. Simply watch out to not cross an moral line for those who’re doing skilled product pictures or meals pictures.

Making ready the objects within the scene just isn’t solely about enhancing or including a wow issue; it’s additionally about consideration to element. For those who’re working with silverware, you may wish to polish it earlier than setting your scene – the identical goes for jewellery.

10. Coloration

Pastel antique car

Credit score: Moose Photographs

Using shade is a strong instrument in nonetheless life pictures. It may be a supply of distinction or a standard theme between objects within the viewer’s eye.

You’ll be able to information the viewer’s consideration by the scene by making objects pop due to pictures strategies akin to making use of complementary colours. One other strategy for nonetheless life pictures is to steer the viewer’s eye to give attention to form and texture through the use of a monochrome shade palette.

Different nice nonetheless life pictures concepts embody utilizing shiny issues that bling towards a black background, vibrant colours that pop, and warm-colored meals objects that tempt the attention and the stomach.

You’ll be able to seize inspiration from artwork historical past and nature for some basic mixtures or flip to design to see what’s at present trending.

11. Texture

Old fashioned keys on crinkled paper

Credit score: Ylanite Koppens

Texture can add visible curiosity to a nonetheless life {photograph} in your subsequent photograph shoot. Take into consideration a tabletop scene: will the ultimate picture with a plate of steaming meals look higher on a white-polished desk, or can it profit from a rugged wooden floor?

Utilizing a textured background for high-quality artwork or product pictures can create a distinction between the damaging house and the topic. In fact, this isn’t a rule for all of your photos, however it works nicely in some conditions.

One other vital texture is the one which the nonetheless life topic gives. Take into consideration an orange underneath the studio lights: would you moderately see a flat form or the feel of the peel?

To take artistic management of the feel, it’s important to contemplate the article and the lighting. Do not forget that smooth mild coming from the entrance will flatten a texture. If you wish to spotlight it, use a more durable mild that comes from the facet.

Even when capturing low-key photos, you want full management over the lighting to achieve gorgeous nonetheless life pictures. In any case, meals pictures wouldn’t be the hit it’s with out getting the lighting proper – even when utilizing direct daylight.

12. Storytelling

Campfire story telling photography

Credit score: Gregorio Luiz Gomez

Any full information to pictures suggestions will mandate that pictures is an artwork kind that’s all about storytelling.

Your pictures portfolio ought to learn like an image ebook filled with inspiration and artwork – regardless of the distinctive style you’re employed with.

Nonetheless life pictures is not any totally different – it’s a superb style for telling tales by nonetheless life photos that includes inanimate or pure objects.

When your picture tells a narrative, the viewer is instantly concerned in it and will get invested. Make your nonetheless life pictures talk one thing to the viewer to have gorgeous nonetheless life pictures. You will get as artistic as you need and discover inspiration from the pure world to create nonetheless life artwork.

Nonetheless life pictures concepts exist in all places we glance. Very similar to classical life work, flip the mundane into artwork with your individual distinctive type.

Possibly you wish to inform your grandfather’s story by making a nonetheless lifetime of the household heirlooms or the story of a tradition with some conventional objects.

13. Shoot multiple image

Citrus fruits in still lifes

Credit score: Jill Burrow

As I discussed earlier than, it’s at all times good to plan your nonetheless life picture. Think about the way you need it to look and draw a sketch that can information the ultimate picture.

Nevertheless, among the finest pictures suggestions I can share is that after you have that shot, don’t cease there. Nonetheless life pictures calls for that you simply change the lighting setup, rearrange the objects, change your digicam settings and viewpoint.

Nonetheless life pictures is all about growing your first thought and attending to work capturing exactly what you envisioned. Then, when you’ve nailed these nonetheless life pictures, change it up – you simply might give you a fair higher thought or nonetheless life pictures composition within the course of.

One other important tip is to be ready to shoot quite a few totally different nonetheless life pictures compositions on the identical time. For those who’ve gone to the difficulty to arrange your lighting, digicam gear, and workspace, you may as nicely shoot quite a few totally different nonetheless life pictures compositions.

14. Characterize summary ideas

Pocket watches conceptual image

Credit score: Giallo

To place collectively a artistic nonetheless life photograph, you don’t have to consider the article itself. You’ll be able to strive utilizing summary ideas and put collectively the objects that signify them – for instance, autumn or love.

To get began with conceptual nonetheless life pictures, you possibly can browse some pictures and artwork books. Painters have used this system for hundreds of years, and you may get nice inspiration from them and their artwork.

Pictures is not any totally different, and you need to check out quite a few conceptual pictures books and even a web-based portfolio of a conceptual photographer.

15. Maintain your eyes open

Image of cactuses against pink wall

Credit score: Elle Hughes

Not all nonetheless life is constructed by the photographer in a studio atmosphere with handmade objects or painted canvas.

Generally, it’s only a matter of protecting your eyes open for these little treasures you could flip into the proper picture. Artwork is in all places, and it calls the viewer’s consideration in plenty of other ways.

Many pictures genres, akin to road and panorama pictures, are about seeing the wonder and artwork that already naturally exists.

‘Discovered’ nonetheless life is as a lot of an artwork as nonetheless life that’s created. To stroll round and acknowledge one thing that will make a gorgeous photograph is a superb talent.

So get on the market together with your DSLR, smartphone, or mirrorless cameras, eyes large open, and begin capturing nonetheless life pictures.

16. Publish-processing

Eggplants with post processing effect

Credit score: Toa Heftiba

Publish-processing is a crucial a part of nonetheless life pictures. Typically it’s only a small adjustment like tweaking the publicity or correcting the white steadiness in your nonetheless lifes.

Nearly all pictures, even that shot with a full-frame digicam, advantages from somewhat enhancing. All professional photographers work with post-processing or enhancing workflow – the identical applies for nonetheless lifes.

Different instances it’s extra complicated, for instance, therapeutic specks of mud or imperfections that you simply didn’t see if you had been capturing.

A photographer might even take away undesirable objects crucial for manufacturing, such because the threads that maintain ‘floating’ objects.

You may as well do some artistic post-processing. For instance, make a photo-composite, or add an impact to make your nonetheless life photograph seem like a high-quality artwork portray.

In sum, including post-production to your workflow opens up a world of alternatives to enhance and enrich your nonetheless life photos.

8 Nonetheless Life Pictures Concepts for Your Inspiration

Listed below are some nonetheless life pictures concepts so that you can observe at dwelling:

  • Meals Pictures – This sort of nonetheless life pictures options any meals: from uncooked produce to totally cooked meals. To {photograph} it as nonetheless life, do not forget that you shouldn’t embody an individual within the image – neither cooking nor consuming the meals.
  • Product Pictures – This is among the classes of business pictures. The principle attribute is that you simply’re showcasing a product with the intention of promoting it. To observe nonetheless life pictures with merchandise, you can also make a composition with them. Yow will discover many examples in make-up manufacturers – consider a photograph that features a set of lipsticks of various shades, for instance.
  • Flower Pictures – Flowers are one of the crucial basic topics in nonetheless life, and I’m not simply referring to pictures however work too. You’ll be able to organize lovely bouquets or organize the petals in a artistic composition.
  • Black and White Pictures – Switching from shade to greyscale is an effective train to enhance your pictures, and it may be very nicely suited to nonetheless life. Objects photographed in black and white get a special temper that you should utilize in your artistic imaginative and prescient.
  • Flat-lay Pictures – The time period ‘flat-lay’ refers back to the angle of view moderately than the topic. To shoot an ideal flat-lay, the sensor must be parallel to the floor the place you’ve gotten the topic. Any such nonetheless life pictures grew to become very stylish on social networks akin to Instagram. Yow will discover many examples and typically even contests utilizing the hashtag #flatlay.
  • Tabletop Pictures – It is a class of nonetheless life pictures that focuses on objects organized on a desk. It’s one of the crucial widespread types you will discover. It doesn’t matter for those who’re working with fruits, books, or toys so long as they’re on a tabletop.
  • Idea Pictures – With this kind of pictures, you’re utilizing your nonetheless life objects to signify one thing apart from what they’re. For instance, within the video above, the photographer makes use of an alarm clock hooked up to a balloon to represent that point flies.
  • Toy Pictures – Recreating scenes depicting actual life is usually a enjoyable and rewarding expertise, significantly since a lot of these humorous pictures are sometimes so well-liked on social media.

There are examples of nonetheless life throughout you, so seize an object and take a look at these nonetheless life pictures concepts in your inspiration.

Nonetheless Life Pictures FAQs

What are the two forms of nonetheless life pictures?

There are created nonetheless lifes, the place you purposely organize a set of objects in your {photograph}; and located nonetheless life, if you bump into a pleasant scene or set as much as {photograph}.

What constitutes a nonetheless life?

A nonetheless life is an association of on a regular basis objects with no human topic. The objects could be pure akin to fruits and flowers, or human-made, akin to books or jewellery.

What makes nonetheless life pictures profitable?

A profitable {photograph} begins with the topic; it’s essential choose the correct ones and organize them correctly. Then, use photographic strategies to inform the story you need – contemplate the lighting, the composition, and many others. Profitable nonetheless lifes take the type of artwork and create a response within the viewer.

What’s the greatest lens for nonetheless life pictures?

A fantastic all-around lens is a 50mm prime. Nevertheless, for those who can afford to have multiple, brief telephoto lenses with macro capabilities make an important addition to your bag.

Why is it referred to as nonetheless life?

Nonetheless life – each pictures and portray – is so named as a result of its topics don’t transfer; they’re inanimate objects. The time period derives from the Dutch phrase ‘stilleven’ as a result of it was within the Netherlands, the place it was first acknowledged as an artwork style.

How do nonetheless life photographers generate profits?

Industrial shoppers usually ask for nonetheless life pictures to showcase their merchandise and use them for promoting or editorial functions. Additionally, nonetheless life photographers usually promote their photos on inventory pictures web sites.

Ultimate Phrases

I hope this information explains all there’s to find out about nonetheless life pictures. Extra importantly, I hope that this has impressed you and gotten you enthusiastic about creating your individual artwork with nonetheless life pictures.

Do not forget that many well-known photographers have used this style to create high-quality artwork pictures.

Photographing nonetheless lifes doesn’t should be the only style of high-quality artwork photographers. With somewhat preparation, inspiration, and loads of observe, you possibly can create gorgeous nonetheless lifes worthy of any artwork gallery within the nation.

What have been your experiences with any of the nonetheless life pictures genres we’ve lined on this information? Do you like meals pictures, or is product pictures extra your factor? Don’t overlook to share your tales, feedback, and questions right here to grow to be a part of the dialog.

Assume massive, get artistic and begin practising!

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