As a product photographer, it is your job to tell a particular story and convey a message, as well as highlighting every aspect of a product that a customer wishes to see. This will involve an array of photographs being taken, from different angles, lighting and settings. The reason for using different settings is that you cannot maximise the potential of a product or brand image, through one single style and by creating a blend, you will ultimately increase conversion rates for your e-commerce clients.
You will want to mix and match the types of photographs taken, particularly when working in clothing photography and there are four main types that you will need to get to grips with, in order to provide the best service.
These shots will form the core of your portfolio as a product photographer, as they offer a more standardised, clean product photo, minimising potential distractions for customers. Traditionally, these would be created with solid backgrounds or simply white, highlighting any textures and details of your products, as well as the depth. If we take clothing photography as an example, you may choose to fold the clothes down for a more uniform and plain set of photos, hang them on a mannequin or employ a model to help customers imagine what the clothes look like on themselves.
Using lifestyle photos are a fantastic way of building a story, as well as engaging with the customer, as it allows you to connect with them emotionally. This can be in the form of an everyday situation that they can relate to, such as walking down the street or spending time with family, or more inspirational styles, as seen on Instagram and Pinterest. If you can get a customer to imagine your product as part of their own lifestyle, then it is much more likely they will go from browsing to purchasing.
An added extra with this style is the ability to add complementary products and turn a single transaction into multiple products. If they can see some shoes in the shot that goes great with the trousers, then they may well click onto this product too.
The type of photographs that every product photographer will be used to – the close-up macro photos that really highlight the detail, the textures and even the labels on a product. This is important to customers as they want to get a realistic idea of how big a product is, how it would fit in a room and equally whether there are any patterns or designs that aren’t clear from the standard studio or lifestyle shots.
This option also means that should a customer zoom in on a product photo, the quality will not be compromised. The last thing you want to happen when a customer takes an interest in the product.
Particularly useful in clothing photography, grouping together products, such as the same item but in different colours, is a fantastic way of sharing a range of products to customers and allowing them to compare without having to click through multiple products or pages. From here, they can then pick the ones they like the most and focus in on the detailed photos of their chosen product. Group photographs are a great comparison tool.