7 Do’s and Don’ts of Product Photos
You can have an amazing product, but if your photography is not on point, you could lose the sale.
roduct photography is such an important role in your business because it’s the first thing a customer sees before they decide to buy your product.
Having a plan in place with a clear message is half the battle. You can have an amazing product, but if your photography is not on point, you could lose the sale.
Consider what elements to use in your photo that can enhance the story or even make someone interested in wanting to buy your product. Once you know the story you’d like to tell, consider these 7 do’s and don’ts of product photos.
Know Your Style
Do decide what style you’re going for. Plan your visuals out in advance. Are you using a lighter theme or a darker theme? Does it fit the type of product you’re trying to sell? Who is your ideal customer? Part of knowing your style is understanding the audience you’re trying to reach and understanding their customer journey. Keep your brand in mind and stay consistent across the board.
Don’t forget that the colors you use don’t have to be monochrome in every photo. Complimentary colors are great too! As a business owner, you probably have several brand colors that fit your theme, use them to your advantage, and have them strategically placed throughout your photo. As long as you have a plan in place and you’ve thought it out in advance, you should be good to go.
Invest in Props
Do invest in props that fit your brand colors. They’re a great addition to compliment your product and the visual story you’re trying to tell. Props create a more authentic feel and give your ideal customer a better idea of how your product can be used. A good prop can add a lot of value to the photo if used properly. However, I have a rule! If you can’t use the prop for more than 3-5 shoots, don’t buy it.
Don’t pick up props from home if they don’t fit your brand style. Whether you’re trying to be thrifty or not, your homestyle may not match your business style so it’s important to keep both separate. The props you use should be specifically tailored to your business. I talk more about investing in props in my blog post here.
Do make sure your photo is clear. Having too many props, textures, and a busy background can make it hard to figure out what to focus on and can take the attention away from the main subject, your product. Remember your product should be at the forefront of any photo. Less is more, so keep the props to a minimum.
Don’t forget that the props have to make sense of the product. The same goes for the setup. You can limit distractions but if your props don’t add value to the story, then remove them from the photo. Each prop should support the storyline, so use them wisely.
Make the Photo Realistic
Do make your photos realistic. Part of visual storytelling is making your product and your business more relatable to your ideal audience. When your audience feels like they can connect with you, your message, and your brand, they are more likely to convert into paying customers. Make your photos realistic by incorporating props. Set them up as you would find them in a natural environment. Bonus if you can use natural sunlight as well.
Don’t forget how you’re using your images. If there website-specific, then you want fewer or no props in most spots. That’s to make your product and options clear and visible to the buyer. Most storefronts channel this vibe and that alone increases conversions. No one wants to be confused or unable to locate what they are there for. If your images are for banners, page headers or blogs, your set up will be more in-depth to provoke action and emotion needed to pull in your ideal audience. So, keep the platform your using the photos for in mind.
Add the Human Element
Do think of how you might use your products personally. How would you like to see your products used? Think of different scenarios you would find your product in and showcase that in your product photography.
Don’t forget to add a human element to make a true connection. People relate to other people, especially in a photo. Utilize the human element to create emotion through your photos. Set the scene of the story you’re trying to tell – capture your models using your products to show your ideal audience how they can use it in their daily life.
Have Matching Colors
Do have some matching colors throughout your photo and on your product. Keep consistent across the board. This creates brand recognition among your ideal audience.
Don’t match all of your props to your product because this will keep your product from standing out. Remember, less is more. Use matching colors to showcase your brand and your product, but don’t overdo it.
Know Your Camera
Do know your camera first. Practice using your camera on other things before you attempt to take professional product photos. Understand how to use different settings in different situations. Once you become more familiar, you can adjust accordingly during the photo-taking process.
Don’t assume a DSLR will fix your lighting and clarity issues alone. Know how and when to use a shallow depth of field and deep depth of field. Understand the difference between manual and automatic mode. It also helps when you understand how to use your camera in different lighting as well.
Product photography isn’t something to take lightly. There is a lot that goes on behind-the-scenes and it’s essential to understand how to make each element work in your favor. If you’re still stuck and not sure how to tell your product’s story visually, let me know and I’d love to help. Did you know that you can ship your products to your favorite photographer? Let’s set up a consultation call and get you on the right path. You can also connect with me on Instagram!
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