Lifestyle Images: Master the Most Popular Genre in Stock Photos!

There's one thing you quickly learn when using images in your work: lifestyle images photos are the best-performing ones for pretty much any purpose, and especially for advertising and promotion. For this very reason, it's one of the all-time popular categories in stock photography, and a constant in visual trends year after year.

But what's lifestyle images meaning? What kind of photos fall under this label? Where to find them? Is a better or currently trending style within them? Here we answer all these questions, and as a bonus you will also find the best places to buy awesome lifestyle stock photos for your designs!

Lifestyle Images Definition: What Are They?

Liferstyle Images Definition

Lifestyle images are the name given in photography and visuals to any image depicting people in a life-related activity. Be it one person, or a larger group of them, if there are people doing things, then it's a lifestyle image.

What constitutes a life activity? It can be every day actions, such as walking, brushing teeth, eating or sleeping. It can also be more specific things like exercising, working, spending time with family, using technology, traveling or visiting locations, etc. People showing emotions are also within this category: people laughing, crying, looking confused or concentrated… you get the point.

So, to sum it up: any image of a person or people doing something, is a lifestyle image. Obviously this makes the category to be very broad and varied. For this reason, you will commonly find subcategories in this genre, which represent some of the most sought after topics that include people and activities.

Why to Use Lifestyle Images? Why Are They So Popular?

In brief, lifestyle images are popular because they do the trick. It is proved by numerous researches and studies along the years that human beings have a faster and more positive response to seeing images of members of their own kind than they do to images of depicting any other subjects.

That makes them a great fit for marketing and advertising, branding, promotion, etc. In fact, they are some of the most perfect images for marketing and visual content you can find. If you are to promote a sailboat tours service, for example, an image of a family having a great time on a sailboat in the open sea will work a lot better for your purpose than an image of the ship alone.

And this is why every day more and more users want to download and use lifestyle images in their designs. And so should you!

Where to Buy Lifestyle Images?

Being so popular, it's logical that lifestyle images are available at most, if not all, of the main stock photo agencies. This also means you can get lifestyle images downloads on the cheap!

PhotocaseWhere to buy? One great option is Photocase. This is a premium stock photo agency with almost two decades in the market, specializing in artistic, authentic photography, and with a strong focus in lifestyle imagery. You can learn more about them and get an awesome discount on your purchase by checking our Photocase review here. And you can also discover the value in their curated images right here.

You can also have a look at the top 5 stock photo agencies. If you want lots of images, here are the 7 cheapest stock photo subscriptions to choose from. You could also go for one of the 4 best unlimited downloads subscriptions if you wish!

What are Popular Subcategories of Lifestyle Images?

Combining research and user behaviour, after so many years stock photo agencies are capable of identifying the most popular topics customers look for in their libraries. As we said, lifestyle (people images) is one historically uber popular genre. But there are also several relevant topics within it that photo buyers all over the world keep looking for. Here's some of them, with visual examples from our friends at Photocase!


What we do for a living is the main topic in lots of designs and business images are highly sought after. From more typical photos of executives in suits sitting at corporative boards or handshaking, to more modern takes on informally dressed groups of people brainstorming and team-working, business images are very popular.

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See more awesome business lifestyle images from 


Another very popular topic is that of the portrayal of families, and family life. Adults and children sharing activities, couples portrayed in intimate moments, scenes of the daily household, and other similar images are always in high demand.

Copyright: criene /

Healthcare & Medical

Be it because of the number of businesses and companies dedicated to any form of healthcare and medical related product or service, or because of the number of people looking for these services, photos with concepts related to medicine and healthcare are very popular. From the traditional shot of the smiling doctor in white coat and the confident patient sitting on the exam table to holistic representations of people using home remedies, these shots are always relevant in stock photo agencies.


Copyright: FemmeCurieuse /

Discover more healthcare related photos in

Sports & Recreation

Exercising, sports practising and other types of live action recreation are also very popular topics in lifestyle imagery. From couples running in the park and children jumping rope to mountain biking or rock climbing, these shots fill every stock agency's library.

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Find more images on meditation and recreative activities from here. 

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Check some more sports and healthy living images in

Trendy Lifestyle Images Photography

Within every category, you will find traditional shots, and more modern and trendy takes that either reinvent the same traditional concepts or introduce new ones. Lifestyle images are no exception to this.

Lifestyle photos categories

  • Business
  • Family
  • Healthcare & Medical
  • Sports & Recreation

Here are some keywords you can use to find great lifestyle imagery: group, woman, hands, breakfast, relax, sunset, coffee, lifestyle stock, laughing, women, yoga, beach, sitting, food.

For a deep look into what kind of images are trending today, read our full report on the 30 photography trends for 2017 if you haven't done it yet. Here's a brief look into some of the most relevant lifestyle photo trends in the main stock agencies:

Active Lifestyle Images

This topic responds to the need for portraying a healthy living, and the inclusion of all kinds of people into active life roles, both concepts that are all the rage in our times. It can be seniors riding bicycles, women doing boxing, young men line skating to work, and similar concepts.

Liferstyle Images Sports

Copyright: criene /


Multicultural World

One of the most relevant trends in recent years is that of representing cultural and racial diversity in lifestyle images, in a way that is more in tune with our current global society. Images of people's cultural traditions and customs around the world, shots of multicultural groups of people doing different things, and similar concepts, are certainly highly sought after nowadays. Check out our top 10 agencies to buy diverse stock photos here!

Copyright: criene /


Technology Life

Ever since technology invaded our daily lives, the concept has been trending in stock photos. However, this subcategory renews itself constantly, as technology keeps moving forward and what was top notch two years ago is obsolete today. The current trend is for images depicting people of all ages and backgrounds using with modern, everyday life technology: smartphones, tablets, VR headsets, self-driving cars, drones, etc.

Copyright: nicolasberlin /


New Generations

While people of all ages are present in lifestyle images photography, the most popular ones lately are the ones representing the new generation of consumers. Not long ago this group was that of the millennials, but now we are moving forward and focusing on Generation Z, the youngsters who were born in the social media age and relate everything with technology. Photos that show Gen Z teens “doing their thing” are increasingly downloaded in every stock agency.

Copyright: criene /

Find lots of Gen X's photos in 


Use Lifestyle Images Photos And Create Trendy Designs!

Now you've learned it all about lifestyle images photography, where to find these photos and what style of them you should go for, it's time to get hands down to work.

Choose any of the stock photo agencies we recommended you and find the lifestyle stock photos that better fit your business, topic or purpose!

What subcategory of lifestyle photos will you choose? What lifestyle image agency did you decide for? Let us know in comments!

Copyright header image: criene / 

Amos Struck

I am a publisher and entrepreneur in the stock imagery field. I focus on providing knowledge and solutions for buyers, contributors and agencies, aiming at contributing to the growth and development of the industry. I am the founder and editor of Stock Photo Press, one of the largest networks of online magazines in the industry. I am the founder of Microstock Expo, the only conference dedicated to the microstock segment. I created several software solutions in stock photography like WordPress plugins. Plus I am a recurrent speaker at Photokina Official Stage, and an industry consultant at StockPhotoInsight. I am passionate about technology, marketing and visual imagery.

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