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TYPES OF PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY


If you’re just starting out in your business or if you’ve never worked with a professional photographer before you may not be aware that there are many layers to product photography.


(If you are a service business, you should head on over to my previous blog post where I talk specifically about types of product photography.)


Understanding all your options when it comes to photography is important to ensure you're getting the most out of your investment. But, the tough part is, you don't know what you don't know! It's pretty easy to fall into the trap of finding a photographer with the cheapest price, handing over your products, getting 20 or so images back and posting them all on social media within a month without too much thought and then bam! Once again, your content bank is empty!

So I want to keep you informed about all the different kinds of product photography so you have confidence in making the right choice for the style and in turn getting the best result possible to put your business on the path to success.

STOCK

No doubt you are thinking about the traditional term for “stock images” referring to content created by a professional photographer available for use royalty free for commercial purposes - but when I say “stock” I am actually referring to your stock - the hero of your business, without which you would not have a business, your products.

WHAT IS IT? /

Photos using any or all of your products and packaging, styled using only light and colour. It sounds simple I know, but often simple is best. Trust me, it's amazing how some beautiful colours, perfectly positioned light and some creative flare can make your products look a million bucks!

WHY IS IT BENEFICIAL? /

This type of photography really cements your brand to your audience. While your brand is so much bigger than your logo and the products you sell, this clean and uncluttered style of product photography is the perfect way to push your brand colours and highlight the smaller details on your packaging that is usually not seen in styled or lifestyle shots.

BONUS POINTS! /

Ask any social media expert and they will tell you that a consistent Instagram aesthetic is a critical part of your social media strategy, and stock product shots are one of the easiest ways to achieve this. Scattering imagery of your brand colours and product packaging throughout your feed in a mix with lifestyle shots will help to create a cohesive overall look given each of the images will feature the same style of photography, the same colours and the same branding.


Stock Product Photography

E-STORE

In order to keep your business alive, you need to sell things (business 101) so when your customers are at that critical point in their buying journey, where they are on your website looking at a product in your shop, you need to ensure there are no barriers for them to click that "add to cart" button.

WHAT IS IT? /

Photos of your products on an infinite white background to use on your online shop.

WHY IS IT BENEFICIAL? /

This is the part in a customers journey where they are parting with their hard earned cash, it's an action for them that requires a tangible commitment and with so many other brands out there fighting for the same dollars, it's important to make this part of the process seamless!

Having sharp images of your products without any distraction ensures that people are paying attention to the product itself and it shows that you aren't hiding anything. People can have trust in the product because they can fully see it.

BONUS POINTS! /

If you get a graphic designer (or if you have the skills yourself) you can get the products deep etched and re-purpose them with text and graphics to create more content.


E-store online shop product photography


LIFESTYLE

You know when you’re scrolling through Instagram and you come across that photo! That photo that makes your fingers instantly stop scrolling and you think to yourself, "I want that to be my life, I want to be in that picture!" that is the result of this kind of photography.

WHAT IS IT? /

Photos shot on location, often at a beautifully styled home or the beach, this style of photo shows the product in use in it's normal environment, often with a model.

WHY IS IT BENEFICIAL? /

The shots are often wider and paint a better picture about the lifestyle of a person who would want and use your product, with more detail and props in each shot. Lifestyle photos creates aspirations, and aspirations leads to emotions, which often, leads to purchase.

BONUS POINTS! /

Team up with complimentary brands to feature their products in your styled shoot in return for the content. This has two benefits - 1. you have more props/products to style with your products and 2. sending the content to the other brands (and requesting they tag you and the photographer of course) is going to further your reach. Not only does your own audience get to see your beautiful new images but also the audiences of like brands with similar target market to you, win-win!





STYLED

The hardest to define, the most broad kind of product photography. Sometimes aspirational, sometimes practical. Sometimes in studio format, sometimes in situ.

WHAT IS IT? /

Styled photography are photos of your products styled with complimentary props and products. Sometimes styled aspirationally, sometimes more practically, they are tighter shots with a simple background.

WHY IS IT BENEFICIAL? /

It's a more affordable option than having to hire a location or pay model fees for full lifestyle photos, but still gives you a varied mix of beautiful and in situ imagery you can use across social, website or marketing collateral.

BONUS POINTS! /

Let your creativity run wild with these photos, anything is possible!



STORYTELLING

Storytelling is most definitely one of the most powerful ways to communicate and nowadays, we are really lucky that we don’t need to draw on walls and carve in stone, social media makes it incredibly easy to tell stories.

WHAT IS IT? /

Behind the scenes photos of the brand, meeting the makers, showing how the product is made, sharing a life in the day of the business - purposefully stitched together to tell a story.

WHY IS IT BENEFICIAL? /

It presents a holistic picture of your business - sure people know what your brand is and what you sell but sharing the business from the inside, closes the loop.

BONUS POINTS! /

Telling the more personal stories behind the brand help people to connect on a more personal level, and personal connection is where the gold is! This creates lifelong fans and a hot prospect for purchase.



So there you have it! When you're considering hiring a professional photographer, think about what your business is currently lacking and start there. Is there no personality in your brand? Lack of conversions after customers hit your shop? Minimal following and engagement? Cluttered imagery that doesn't allow your product to shine through? What ever it is, identify your problem and choose a photography style to best solve it.

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