A person’s lifestyle is a unique mix of interests, opinions and behaviours that reflects the values and preferences of the individual. It includes the choices of work and leisure time, how a person spends money and what products and services he or she uses. A lifestyle also involves the relationships a person has with other people.
A common definition of lifestyle is a set of choices and habits that lead to good health and well-being. These choices and habits are usually related to diet, exercise and other aspects of an individual’s life. Some research shows that healthy lifestyles are associated with fewer mental health problems and lower body mass indexes. The concept of lifestyle has become widely used in the medical world but it is still a very complicated and controversial topic.
The term was originally used in psychology by Alfred Adler, who viewed it as a defence mechanism: the pattern of behaviour adopted at an early age to disguise physical weaknesses or inferiorities. This interpretation was taken up by UK doctors, who began to look at ways in which an individual’s patterns of living and working might be a cause rather than a symptom of illness.
Over the years, the idea of lifestyle has been adapted and reworked. It became a fashionable concept, adopted by youth movements and promoted by advertising agencies as a way to define an individual’s personality. It was also used in sociology, with scholars investigating the ways in which people choose and develop their particular styles of living.
A more recent approach to the idea of lifestyle has been to analyse it at three different levels. At the global level, it has been seen as intertwined with a world consumer class and at the structural level with a nation. At the individual level, it has been analysed as a style of personality and at the internal level as part of an identity system.
For example, some researchers argue that a person’s lifestyle might be a factor in the development of depression. Others say that a person’s unhealthy lifestyle might contribute to the development of heart disease.
Another important aspect of lifestyle is the environment in which a person lives. This can include his or her house, office and car. Photographers who specialize in lifestyle photography often try to capture these elements as well as the people in them. Getting the right lighting and angle is essential to create the most compelling photos. Photographers should not be afraid to make a mess while capturing a lifestyle; a spilled glass of juice or a messy child can add to the character of an image. The photographer should also be sure to take a few close-ups of the individuals or group in the scene. This is particularly important if the photograph will be displayed as art or a poster. This will help viewers to identify with the subjects of the photo and will make them more likely to buy the product or service being advertised.