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What is product photography?

Product photography Knowledge

Let us fill in your Product photography Knowledge. Product photography is a specialized branch of commercial photography which focuses on showcasing products in a way that entices potential buyers to buy. Product photography utilizes specific techniques

Product photography Knowledge: Does product photography increase conversion?

Did you know that 90% of the information that reaches the brain is visual? [1] That’s a fact. So, it doesn’t matter how sophisticated a website is. Your website visitors are engaged first by the visual elements in your site, not words. Photos are therefore a crucial part of a consumer’s decision-making process.

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When we dig deeper, having photos on your website or ads isn’t enough. Any picture can capture the attention of your website visitors better than text. It’s the quality of the photos that sets your brand apart from the rest and that’s where product photography comes in.

Here’s more on why product photography increases conversions.

1. High quality product photos represent a product’s perceived quality and value

Consumer psychology studies have shown that consumers consider images when making purchasing decisions. One such study shows that as much as 93% of consumers use images to gauge the value and quality of a product.[2] In ecommerce, high-quality product photos translate to high quality/ value products. They also enhance another important buyer touch point which is making the products more relatable.
Besides making products “appear” more valuable, product photography also makes typical everyday products cooler and more appealing. What’s more; the human brain processes images (among other visuals) 60,000-times faster than text. [3]

Cosmatic

2. Images are the “backbone” of branding

There is no better way to create a strong brand other than to use images. Most, if not all brand-related marketing efforts revolve around images. Everything about an image i.e., the subject matter, quality, color theme, saturation, ett. can be used to portray the perfect brand image. High-quality images grab attention, create trust and invite customers to interact with your products. They can also be modified to target specific audiences and create ideal perceptions.
Products born out of successful image-branding have no problem converting. The most successful luxury brands today have perfected the art of using product photography to create a perfect and consistent brand image.

Lorial

In the image – L’oreal advertising branding sample imagry

3.Professional images offer the best first impression

Product images go further than symbolize the quality of your products. They create the first impression. They act as the “window”to your eCommerce store. A great first impression (created using high-quality professional images) boosts trust and transparency resulting in maximum engagement. Consumers tend to buy more from stores or websites they trust.
A good first impression will go a long way in keeping potential customers on your website as well as prompting them to buy from you. Types of product photography Now that you already know how product photography increases conversions, we can shift our focus to the types.

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Product photography is divided into two main categories name Product-only images and in-context photos

Product-only photos:As the name suggests, this type of product photography features products only. The images are clean-cut featuring a white background. Product-only images showcase a product from a variety of angles. The photography is meant to highlight a product’s main features. Amazon is a great example of an e-commerce store that uses product-only images.
In-context photos: This type of product photography is meant to show products in use. For this reason, the photography includes a product as well as a person using it and/or the environment the product is supposed to be used in. In-context photos also known as lifestyle photos may also feature complementing products.

Example

A perfect example of an in-context photo would be a person pitching a tent. In such a case, the tent would be the product. The person in the picture would represent the person looking to buy the tent. The background would represent the best environment for pitching the tent. In-context photos describe products at a glance.

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In the image above – person pitching a tent
Product-only photos vs. in-context photos
The type of product photography you should use on your website or on your online platform listing depends on many factors ranging from the type of product you want to promote to the impression you want to create among other factors.
Product-only photos are ideal for typical product displays. They are suitable for product pages where they have been proven to offer higher conversion rates.[4] When you want your potential customers to develop stronger emotional bonds with your products, it is recommendable to use in-context photos or a mixture of both.

Colors

In-context or lifestyle photos are best-suited for blog posts, social media and emails among other marketing channels that are high up on your conversion funnel because they tell stories concisely without limiting your creative freedom. It’s also worth noting you may need more images when taking product-only photos. Contrary to popular belief, one or two product-only photos aren’t enough in a product page meant to have a high conversion rate.

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Having understood the basics, let’s move on to the actual steps of taking product photos. Product photography can be divided into 4 main steps namely; planning, photographing, production and publishing. Note: If you choose to hire a professional product photography company, you don’t have to worry about these steps. However, it’s good to familiarize yourself with the process.

Step 1: Planning

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You must think about the products you are shooting, where
you are shooting, they type/angle of shots you want, type of product
photography, budget among many other things. For instance, do you need models? Are you planning on doing the photo shoot yourself? If so, what equipment do
you need, what editing software will you use, etc.? Planning ahead will save you precious time, lower your costs and increase your chances of getting the best photos possible.

Step 2: Photographing

If you plan adequately, this step shouldn’t be a challenge.
Photographing involves; preparing your product, styling, preparing your lighting, preparing your camera, and then taking the actual pictures. A lot that goes into this step so this is a simplification of the actual process. If you are not a professional photographer, it’s not advisable to execute this step. Photographing has the most significant effect on the final images. Everything has to be right in this step from the camera settings to the lighting!

Watch

Step 3: Post Production

Once you have your high-quality product photos, you will need to enhance them for the web. Post-production involves processes like consistent background removal, size formatting, alignment, cropping, compressing, margin setting, etc. These processes make it easy for your website visitors to browse images easily in your product category pages.
Post-production also ensures you get the best images possible. The importance of this step is attested in studies. One such study shows that post-production processes such as removing the background eliminates unsightly distractions, reduces file size and boosts consistency making such processes overwhelmingly necessary (93% of the time). [5]

Step 4: Publishing

Once your images are edited, the last step is uploading them
and sharing them with the world. If you are using a user-friendly interface, this step should be easy. However, don’t forget about product descriptions, ideal image sizes and image SEO. A good product photo must be accompanied by a matching description.
You should also upload product images based on the image-size guidelines of the interface you are using. Last, but not least, your image needs an “alt text” for SEO purposes. Including “alt text” with the relevant keyword will ensure your image ranks high on Google image search results for specific keywords.

Summary

Product photography is an art. The above quick guide highlights the most important basics. However, there is more to product photography than what is discussed above. The importance of product photography to your brand is the main reason why you should leave product photography to professionals or take the time to learn.

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