How to take Great Product Photos: When Pictures really do say 1,000 Words

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You've spent time creating the concept. You’ve got the investment. You've researched the market. Invested in R&D to make sure you get the design just right. You've overcome all kinds of hurdles during production. Your design team have got the box art spot on. It’s time to go to market!

With so much competition for people’s attention, advertising is increasingly difficult. Eye-catching photos can really help to set you apart, and as part of your campaign you're going to need plenty of them! So what should you consider when deciding the photographic direction of your wonderful new product?

As it happens, I've jotted some thoughts below:

1. Audience. First of all you need to decide your target market, your key demographics. As the old saying goes, you can't please everyone, or indeed market to everyone unless you have a limitless budget (now that would be something!) So narrow down who you want to target and brief your photographer on your goals. Are you looking to attract youthful customers? Is your product more likely to take off with the female audience more so than the male?

Together you can discuss different concepts that will really speak to your audience.

A shot designed to appeal to a young, fun-loving demographic

A shot designed to appeal to a young, fun-loving demographic

2. Style. Now you know how you want to pitch your product, you need to consider the variety of images you'll need. There are three main areas to think about:

  • Lifestyle. It’s often a great idea to show members of your target audience using and enjoying your product in context. This could work for a wide range of items, such as clothing, accessories or food and drink. Your product may well appeal more to an audience if they see their peers using it.

  • Stylised. Quite often a luxury item such as perfume is stylised because it's difficult to show the product in action in an advert. So you'll often see the bottle in some sort of lavish, eye-catching setting. This type of photography is all about evoking the spirit of a product and tends to be more artistic than lifestyle imagery.

  • Catalogue. A clean white background with your product standing front and centre, as you would expect to see in a catalogue. Simple and ideal for eCommerce.

For a fully fledged campaign it may well be the case that you need a combination of all three of the above image types.

A stylised product shot associating perfume with diamonds

A stylised product shot associating perfume with diamonds

3. Message. Finally, you need to decide on the message you want your image to convey. How does your product feel to use? What textures may complement the image of your product? Do you want convey affordability or luxury? Rustic and earthy or clean and refreshing?

Products need to have character to get people excited about them. In an ideal world, individuals need to see themselves using your product, and feel that in some way, it will have a positive impact on them. Will other people perceive them differently if they have your product? Will it make their lives easier? Are you speaking to their core values or beliefs?

There are several roads to explore here depending on the character you want the product to take on.

A classic catalogue style shot, clean and simple

A classic catalogue style shot, clean and simple

There you have it - some key considerations as to how to best present your product to the market. If you can tick off the above boxes you'll be on to a winner!

Product photography can be one of the most creative and challenging fields of photography. When you get it right though, it's also perhaps the most rewarding.

If you have any need for product photography and would like to chat through some ideas, just drop me a line and I'll be happy to help!


To find out more about my photography and how I can help you, please contact me on either info@thomaslowephotography.com, call 07305 808 716 or visit my website www.thomaslowephotography.com.