Whether you’re creating an image library for use in web or advertising material or setting up an online store, chances are that many of your potential customers are going to be introduced to your product via a photograph. You only get one chance to make an impact with your first impression, so make sure the way your products are presented are working for you. Read on to find out the fundamental basics that apply to all product photography.
Consider Hiring a Professional
Photographers are visual story tellers. When people are viewing an image of your product, they can’t touch it or examine it like they would in a shop, so you need to present images that take them on that same journey of discovery that will lead to a sale. Enlisting the services of a professional can really pay off. Full service agencies like 4040 Creative have photographers on staff so can incorporate the cost and timing into your overall project budget and schedule.
Less Is More
This applies to both the styling and the editing – detail matters, especially in online stores. People need to be able to get a sense for what the true colours and textures of the item are. They need to see the size. They want to be able to focus on the product so make sure the backdrop the photos are taken against isn’t cluttered or overpowering. Save the highly styled composite look for your branding and advertising photographs but scale it right back when it comes to what shots you’re taking to use in an online store or feature campaign.
While restraint is encouraged for some aspects of the product photography, that doesn’t mean you are limited to lying the item flat against a white backdrop. A great example is how food photographers often place the plate or dish on a textured surface like a wooden chopping board or tabletop. This emphatic, but simple principle applies to product photography as well. Think about how you can subtly apply contrast and texture without drawing the focus away from your product.
Get Up Close
Macro, or extreme close up shots are a great way to show detail and can be really emphatic when used in a print or digital advertising campaign. If you’re including them in a product gallery as part of an online shopping experience, focussing on the detailing and finishes of the item can help take potential shoppers on that experiential “touch and feel” retail experience, but it’s important to make sure you also include sufficient images of the whole product too.
Remember that these photographs could be the difference between somebody purchasing your product or continuing looking at other items. Therefore, is it extremely important to make sure that the “Photography 101” style basics – the lighting, the camera settings and the composition planning – are all part of your product photography project.
What do you think the most important things to remember for product photography are?