All businesses who selling products would benefit from professional photographs – yet it’s amazing how often a business owner will not make that investment.
They might even buy a little kit themselves to take those images without appreciating that quality of image often affects quality of sales – and quantity.
You will only notice this when you consistently showcase products with fantastic and inspiring images.
Some products are, of course, harder to photograph than others.
The main purpose of the product photography is to capture the viewer’s attention and motivate them to buy your product, compared to that of your competitor. Good photography can make a big difference.
Product photographers use specific techniques to make products look as attractive as possible.
Professional photographers know how to make decisions about the background that will show off your product to its best and be able to visually separate the object from the background.
Professional photographers know how to aim the viewers’ eyes towards what you, the seller, wants them to see and therefore feel. Their understanding of focal depth helps this, keeping the most important things in focus, and letting other things disappear into the background.
Professional photographers know which details are important to capture, and which are worth focusing on.
Lighting is a vital aspect to get right in this context, because if the product has its own sparkle, or shine, it can create all types of difficulty in terms of glare, lighting in the room or space in which photography is taking place. Lighting has to be controlled and managed.
Props are another thing that photographers know how to use well, and sparingly. Less is always best.
Trying to take your own photos for your website, on your mobile phone, or even with a camera is much harder than you might think, and in the long run, it is well worth paying for a professional photographer, especially if you want your website and marketing materials to look amazing, rather than adequate.
This is particularly true if you class your products as luxury or high end in your sector. You have to make it look worth the money, worth the price tag and set the expectation – through the images – that this is a quality product and then the price tag is no surprise, it’s expected.
Here are just ten product-based businesses which often take professional photography seriously, they see it as an investment in the look and feel of their brand.
- Arts and crafts; Photographing paintings is difficult, because you have to make sure the light is constant across the whole painting, and that colours are not changed during the editing process. There are similar issues with other crafts too. Photos are often required for online galleries, or for catalogues or brochures.
- Cars & motorcycles: With the number of shiny surfaces from metal and glass, plus the variety of angles, it is important to take images from a good position. Cars and motorcycle images create a lifestyle and dream that people want, so the images have to match the brand of the vehicle.
- Fashion: clothes need to be displayed well, both on and off people and the colour needs to be true to life when seen on websites. The viewer has to be able to imagine themselves wearing that outfit based on the product imagery. Professional photography capturing clothes, worn well by people who know how to pose makes a huge difference to how good the clothes look. Professional photographers may also know, or have links to models, if the business owner does not.
- Footwear: has similar needs to fashion, and like fashion may often require the photoshoot to be outdoors.
- Architects; lifestyle photography showing how we live has become incredibly popular, so for architects, professional photography is a must to show their work at its best. The same for business or other types of architecture. Capturing the different angles, and sizes of a space can be very challenging – a professional photographer will be ready for this and will come up with ideas. Some will recce the space first before taking any professional images.
- Food: when doing a food photoshoot, the food can be sitting around a long time, during which, it loses some of its initial mouth-watering appearance. Photographers have tricks to aid them, such as heating cotton wool balls, and placing them out of sight behind the dishes, give the impression of hot food. They can talk to the chef about which dishes to display the food in, how to present them and how to use little tricks and tips to keep that food looking wonderful.
- Drink: photographing liquids in interesting ways often means understanding how to use shutter speeds. To capture a drop of water, or the splash of an ice-cube as it enters liquid is difficult to capture without that understanding. Lighting too, plays an important part – being able to capture cool, condensation on the side of a can, bottle or glass for example.
- Jewellery: jewellery is one of the hardest products to photograph, mainly because it has many different shiny surfaces, and with cut diamonds and other precious stones, different facets that can capture the light and produce glare when it isn’t required! Also, some jewellery can be very tiny, which makes capturing details (also considering the previous issues), a huge challenge. The kit needed for this is often very high end, often using more than one macro lens and any kind of sound or movement nearby can affect the result.
- Cosmetics: Again, because often, some cosmetic products are small, you need to consider elevating the item. The packaging that the cosmetics themselves are in, are often surfaces that show up every little finger print, plus they are often black and shiny. Therefore, when handling any of the products for a photoshoot, the set-up has to be done with care, and you are faced with similar problems to those with jewellery.
- Electronics: these products are often ‘cutting edge’, and therefore need to be displayed in interesting, clean, unusual ways. Knowing which angle to capture is important and occasionally these items are very large so you need an expert eye to pick up on features as well as on the item in its entirety.
If you need product photography, I have my own studio in which to take fantastic images, or I can even come to you.
Do get in touch for a discussion. Call: 01672 519101 or use the contact form or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org