Visual Communication

How Product Photography Can Help a Brand Stand Out

By Lindsay Pietroluongo - 5 min read

Retail products saturate today’s marketplace. The image is the first thing a lot of potential customers are going to come across. Unless you have the one and only product of its kind, you’ll need something to differentiate it. This is where product photography comes in.

Retailers can have the best marketing and the greatest products in their niche, but without sales, the business isn’t going to last.

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Photography plays a major role in the success of a business – it can increase engagement, improve conversion rate and, yes, drive sales. In this article, we’re going to explain how product photography can help your brand stand out from the rest.

Close-up portrait of surprised woman with hands covering mouth

Don’t Use Generic Stock Photography

Basic stock photography images that you can easily find with a simple search are being used by other sellers, too. Customers have seen those images before. By hiring a professional photographer to shoot your product photography , your customers will trust and respect your brand more. Yes, it’s more costly than downloading free or inexpensive stock photos, but it’ll go a long way to creating a visual identity and differentiating yourself from your competitors.

Cropped hand holding sweet food in plate at home

Choose the Best Lighting for the Product

While natural light is a cornerstone of photography, product photography can occur in a studio. Think about your products and how they’re used. If you’re showcasing items that are usually used outdoors, shoot everything in natural light. If you’re showing tech, you can shoot with professional artificial light in a studio. Try using a flash diffuser, which spreads the light around to make sure the lighting isn’t too harsh. Whatever type of light you choose, use just that type per image – don’t combine natural with artificial light.

Close-up view of camera

Show Multiple Views

A drawback to online shopping is that customers can’t experience the product in real life before buying it. They can’t pick it up, assess its size and weight, fiddle with it to make sure it works. Product photography is a big component of the decision-making process. It has to capture the product as truthfully as possible in order to communicate the physical nature of the product and instill trust in the customer that the product will benefit them.

Here are a few tips:

  • Represent each product fully. Get it from different angles and take extreme close-ups of details.
  • Show a sense of scale by having a model hold the product in one of the shots.
  • Take extra time to highlight features, the ones that your customers are going to benefit from the most.
  • Don’t use a filter, even if the rest of your visual identity does. When it comes to showing your products, you need to represent them as accurately as possible.
  • Every product style needs to have its own photography. If you sell something in different colors or with different features, customers are going to want to see the specific one they’re buying.
  • Close-up of filter coffee in jar on table

    Illustrate Exactly How to Use the Product

    Show how and where to use the product. When appropriate, show the environment or scenario in which your customers will use the product. Just keep in mind that a majority of your images should be on a white background in order to put the focus on the product. You can also use bokeh to blur a busier background.

    You may also want to answer a frequently asked question. Show how to do something through visuals or walk customers through a series of steps. You’ll solve a problem before a customer has to contact your support department.

    Young woman drinking ice tea in restaurant

    Cater to Mobile Audiences

    People are shopping on mobile all the time and many of them are browsing when on-the-go – during their commute, waiting on line, grabbing a few minutes during their lunch break. Product photography quickly communicates what you’re selling, which you need to do for customers who don’t have time to read through the full description. Nothing is as fast to digest as a photograph.

    Another place where mobile audiences spend a lot of time is on Instagram, which now has convenient shoppable posts. When taking product photography, think about the different platforms you’ll be using it on. A lifestyle image may best showcase the product on Instagram or Pinterest, while more traditional product photography is ideal for your website.

    Get Creative with Cinemagraphs

    Cinemagraphs are a fun, creative way to enhance your product photography. They utilize visual tricks designed to capture the viewer’s attention with a looping video element that moves. Since social media channels like Instagram and Facebook have auto-play options now, more brands are using cinemagraphs.

    Product photography shouldn’t just be high quality and thorough, it should also have branding and be recognizable as coming from your company. For professional photography services that will help with this, learn about our custom visuals.