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Product Photography - Taking Great Images for your Brochure

Posted by Catherine Conway on

A picture is worth a thousand words.

Selling to shops is really competitive so when it comes to promoting you products, photography is key. You have put so much time and effort into designing your products having poor quality imagery promoting your products makes no sense at all.

The quality of your images and therefore the quality of your brochure as a whole is likely to influence your sales, so take time to carefully plan your shoots creating the best images you possibly can.

“This is where everything changed for me …. I invested in good quality photography” The Owlery

The Owlery on a photoshoot

Obviously the best option is to hire a professional product photographer but as a company that specialises in working with small businesses we understand that this is not always possible, we understand that sometimes the finances are not always in place to make this possible !

If your budget is on the tiny side then maybe taking your own images is the best way to go for now.  Here are our top tips for getting the best images for your product brochure.

High Resolution = High Quality

High quality images are essential. When taking photos make sure your camera settings are at the highest possible resolution to avoid pixelated and blurry images which will make your brochure seem unprofessional and where possible use a tripod.  When printing images it is important to use high resolution images, these should be made smaller when uploading to your website or for email purposes.

Simple Images versus Lifestyle Shots

It's great to have a mixture photographic imagery.  Lifestyle imagery to show the customer what the product looks like in a real setting and simple imagery to show the product in detail.

Simple images – White Backgrounds

When you set up your shoot make sure that there's nothing in the background that could distract from the product. If you're taking the photos yourself set up your product against a white wall or even a white sheet of paper or card and the images will look clean and professional.

When it comes to displaying the images in your brochure it often looks best to have the bulk of your product images displayed as simple images (on a white background), this helps to focuses the attention onto the product being sold eliminating distractions.  Using a white box is a simple way to achieve this.

(Photograph from Too Wordy)

Lifestyle shots

Although the ultimate goal of any product image is to sell the product, it's a good idea to include some images of the product in ‘action’.  When showing your product you aren't just selling a product, you are also selling a lifestyle.

Lifestyle shots, just means showing the product in its intended environment such as a framed picture on display. It can also mean showing the product being used by actual people; jewellery or clothing for example being worn by a model.

(Photograph from She Sells Sea Shells)

When planning your lifestyle shots make sure that the photos are serving a purpose. You could be demonstrating how the product should be used or worn, giving the customer a better idea of the product's size or even focusing on a certain feature.

Make sure your lifestyle shots are in focus, appropriate and in keeping with your brand. Customers are more likely to remember your photos over anything else.  

Natural Lighting

Don’t feel pressured to hire out professional lighting, make use natural lighting as artificial lighting and too much flash can affect the colour of your photos and even create some unwanted reflections which will be a pain to edit out later.  If you're taking your product photos indoors then make sure your product is positioned near a window or another source of natural light and then play around taking pictures throughout the day to find the best kind of lighting for you.  Once you have found your optimum location take a note so you can use a similar set up again and therefore keeping your brand image consistent.

“When you have a product based business photography is one of the most important areas to invest in. ” Victoria Eggs

Experiment with different angles

Customers rely on product photography to ensure that they're getting what they pay for. Experiment with different angles to find an image which shows your product in its best light while still being an accurate representation.

Take some close up pictures of your product to showcase any small details. Customers are unlikely to consider purchasing a product that they can't examine closely.

Kate Sproston

(Photograph from Kate Sproston Design)

Practice, practice, practice

When it comes to taking photos of your products please don't rush!  Check out what your competitors are doing and how they stage their photos.  Look at the things you like and things you don’t and make a note so that you can try out your own versions.

Taking your time will mean taking better photos! Take lots of different photos and study them so you can recognise the ones that you like and the ones that you don't like.  You will soon develop your own style practice really does make perfect.

Tick this off as yet another skill you have mastered as a small business owner !!


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  • There’s absolutely no substitute for investing in a professional photographer to ensure that your product is displayed in the best light and context. A professional will have the best lenses, camera bodies, lighting equipment and most importantly a creative eye. Often photographers are expensive but this will be the best money that you spend.

    Mark Battista on

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