Product photography is typically one of the more transactional forms of commercial photography, usually appearing at the final stages of the marketing journey. All the hard work has been done to get the customer to purchase point so how important are the product shots used to your website or catalogue? Read on for the Photo Heads’ verdict.
It’s easy to see why product photography can often be perceived as secondary to all other forms of commercial photography. It’s the defence between a brad and a product – the brand is built around emotion, attractive imagery is used to sell the brand. By the time a customer reaches the ‘buy the product’ stage they’ve already emotionally invested in the brand so you could argue that the whole purpose of the product shot is to confirm that the customer is buying the right product before they click the buy button. A final check before making payment.
That doesn’t mean that you can just relax when it comes to product photography, believing that the hard work is behind you and all you need to do is collect the money. Your product shots should still look professional enough to support your brand, after all you don’t want to lose the customer after this sale, or worse still at this final stage – maybe this explains your cart abandonment figures!
Previous Photo Heads blog posts have discussed using an ambient background for product and eCommerce photography. I still think that this is a great way to make the shots look more interesting and continue the brand message but there might also be times when your stock needs a simple background. In this situation, you want to take a more traditional route by choosing a neutral background.
A simple white backdrop is the go to colour in this situation but try something different. I quickly put together the image above as an example of an alternative to a white backdrop. What’s nice about it is that grey isn’t as harsh as white so it softens the image. It also makes your products look different to your competitors adding another element to your branding.
You do need to be careful because you don’t want to the grey to be too strong – just a little bit of grey or maybe even a hint of something more dynamic. You’ also need to consider if grey matches your branding and how it will look on your website. Your photographer or a designer will be able to advise so make sure that you get an expert opinion first.