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In the cutthroat world of ecommerce, grabbing customer attention is crucial. One effective way to make your product images stand out is by using dramatic, eye-catching backdrops. Instead of placing your items against boring white backgrounds, put them in bold, beautiful settings that capture interest.
Urban cityscapes, for example, add an edgy, modern vibe to product photos. Images of sleek highrises and bustling streets portray your brand as hip and contemporary. For a product like headphones or a smartwatch, this type of dynamic backdrop helps establish a youthful, energetic aesthetic.
Likewise, placing products in nature can create a peaceful, rustic mood. Photograph your wares against lush forests, rolling hills, or crashing waves to give off an earthy, outdoorsy feel. This works nicely for promoting hiking gear, natural beauty products, reusable water bottles, and other eco-friendly items.
Don't be afraid to get creative and use unexpected backdrops too. Photographing a fancy handbag on an elegant marble staircase, for instance, exudes luxury. Showcasing a cozy blanket on a cabin porch conveys warmth and comfort. Even something as simple as a field of colorful tulips can make your products pop.
When selecting backgrounds, consider your target demographic and what environments they would find visually striking. Are you selling baby products to millennial moms? Try a whimsical scene with balloons or confetti. Marketing pet toys? An outdoor setting with a cute pup would be ideal.
While getting access to picturesque locations can have costs, many affordable options exist. Scouting your local community reveals gems like graffiti murals, rustic barns, and scenic parks. Public domain sites offer high-quality images to superimpose items on. Backdrop banners provide reusable, customizable scenes.
Potential customers want to envision how a product will look and function in their own lives. This is why showcasing items in real-world settings is such an effective product photography strategy. Placing your wares in relatable environments helps shoppers picture themselves using the product, spurring that all-important emotional connection.
For example, photographing a workout top on a model doing yoga positions demonstrates the clothing in action. We imagine how the flexible, sweat-wicking fabric would feel and perform during our own fitness routines. The model grounds the product in a real-world workout setting we can relate to.
Similarly, shooting a cutting board on a kitchen counter surrounded by chopped veggies portrays how it might look in our own homes. We can visualize prepping meals on that brightly colored board. The authentic kitchen backdrop makes the scene feel familiar.
Even if you don't use models, you can evoke real-world contexts. A backpack placed on a trail overlooking a misty mountain range, a phone case next to a cup of coffee at a trendy cafe, a baby blanket draped over a crib. Images like these create a lifestyle narrative around the product.
When selecting real-world environments, think about the moments and places your target audience would use the item. Would they take that water bottle to yoga class or on a hiking trip? Bring the laptop case to a bustling coffeeshop or library? Envision scenes reflecting those real-world moments.
Also consider diversity and representation when showcasing products. Feature a variety of models and settings so different demographics see themselves reflected in your images. This creates a welcoming, inclusive vibe while still portraying products in relatable real-world contexts.
While professional photo shoots provide the highest quality real-world scenes, many budget-friendly options exist too. Scout local cafes or parks for photogenic backdrops. Use your own home to capture authentic kitchen or living room settings. Source diverse free stock photos showing real people and places.
Ecommerce product photos don't have to be boring or predictable. One way to make your images stand out is by using fun, unexpected compositions. Getting creative with unique angles, perspectives, and arrangements adds visual intrigue while showcasing your products in an exciting new light.
When shooting from conventional front-facing or straight-on angles, items can appear flat and one-dimensional. Pictures lack movement or perspective needed to bring products to life. Mixing in shots from creative vantage points adds depth and vitality.
For example, capture your product from above to demonstrate an overhead point of view customers don't usually see. Shooting a backpack from high above shows the bag's compartments and organizational components. Looking down on a pair of sneakers highlights the intricate tread details. Dramatic bird's eye perspectives make products pop in an unexpected way.
Tilted angles are another simple yet eye-catching technique. Subtly angling the camera creates a dynamic sense of motion and energy. Say you're photographing a vase of flowers. Shifting the vase at a gentle diagonal makes the photo instantly more captivating than shooting it straight on.
Incorporating negative space also livens up product shots. Intentionally framing your subject off-center with lots of empty space around it helps draw the viewer's eye. The visual breathing room makes the product the clear focal point. Negative space works nicely for minimalist or modern aesthetics.
Playing with reflections adds artistic flair too. Capturing a wine bottle's mirror image in a glossy table or the glint of light on a watch face brings products to life in an artful way. Reflections tell a visual story while accentuating beautiful details.
Getting models to interact with products also showcases fun, unexpected angles. A woman looking into a compact mirror demonstrates the makeup product from her point of view. A man glancing down at the screen of a phone highlights the gadget's interface.
Incorporating playful props and arrangements keeps product photos feeling fresh. Group similar items together in an asymmetrical display. Toss sunglasses on a beach towel or stack decorative pillows in a cozy reading nook. Let products be part of a creative lifestyle scene.
Proper lighting can make or break product photos. Harsh, uneven, or unflattering illumination leaves items looking flat and dull. By using professional lighting techniques, however, you can truly make products pop off the page. Photographers rely on controlled lighting to create crisp, vibrant images that highlight an item's best features. Whether you invest in lighting gear or simply leverage natural light, keep these tips in mind for luminous product shots with visual impact.
First, diffuse any direct light sources pointed at products. Direct undiffused lighting creates overly bright hot spots and dark shadows"not very appealing. Softening the light using shoot-through umbrellas or diffusion sheets creates a flattering even glow across products. Notice how the water bottle image with diffused light has a smooth, consistent brightness versus the harsh unevenness of undiffused light.
Also, use reflectors to bounce light onto any surfaces in shadow. Reflectors placed strategically around products lift dark areas into soft illumination. You can buy affordable foldable reflector discs or even use something as simple as a large piece of white foamcore. The extra fill light opens up detail in product shadows.
Don't underestimate the beauty of natural light from a window or open shade. When shooting products, turn the subject slightly away from the light source to avoid overexposure while still capturing delicate side lighting. Natural daylight at sunrise or sunset creates an especially warm, glowing ambiance.
For artificial lighting, experiment with positioning multiple off-camera light sources around your shot. Placing one light above to mimic sunlight and reflectors below fills in shadows evenly. A bright key light paired with a subtler rim or backlight adds dimension.
When lighting products like jewelry, glassware, or glossy ceramic, use highlights to make finishes sparkle. Position a light deliberately to create specular highlights"the bright spots that glint off reflective surfaces. As photographer Timothy Hogan notes, "Specular highlights give a 3D quality and brilliance."
Also consider color temperature when lighting products. Cool blue-hued light conveys a modern high-tech feeling, while warm yellowish light feels cozy and traditional. Select bulbs that complement the mood you want to achieve.
The pros at Pixelz emphasize the impact of proper lighting: "Lighting plays a pivotal role in product photography. Using controlled studio lighting gives...the ability to clearly showcase the product's features, colors, textures, and other intricate details."
Lifestyle photography that depicts products being used in real-world contexts is an extremely effective ecommerce strategy for boosting sales. Unlike sterile studio shots on white backdrops, lifestyle images create an aspirational narrative that gets shoppers connecting with products on an emotional level. When customers can envision themselves integrating an item into their daily lives, they become much more compelled to purchase it.
Retail marketing expert Carmen Hill explains how the storytelling quality of lifestyle shots fuels desire: "Lifestyle photography captures your product"s value and uses an artful composition to tell the brand"s story. This builds an emotional connection between the product and customer."
For example, a photo of hiking boots being worn while trekking through a pine forest helps the shopper imagine traversing that picturesque landscape themselves. A laptop being used at a trendy coffee shop creates a vision of working remotely from hip new locales.
Home goods brand Parachute emphasizes this social proof angle in their lifestyle photography. Co-founder Ariel Kaye notes: "Seeing spaces that have been created with our products makes them feel more attainable, and it gives customers a closer look at how the textures and colors work in a real room."
To leverage lifestyle photography's sales-boosting power, focus on depicting target demographics actually engaging with products in aspirational yet relatable settings. For a makeup brand, that might be young models applying lipstick at fun parties or on a glamorous night out. For a line of desk accessories, feature remote workers using the products in home offices and trendy cafes.
When casting models for lifestyle shoots, prioritize diversity, inclusion and representation. As writer Kiri Masters advises: "Lifestyle imagery should feel welcoming to all shoppers by reflecting the full diversity of potential customers using your products in daily life."
While professional photoshoots can be costly, many affordable options exist too. Source a diverse range of free stock lifestyle images. Get creative using products in your own home or office. For locally-focused small businesses, photograph community members interacting with products around town.
In the age of Instagram, Pinterest, and other highly visual platforms, product photos have become about much more than showcasing an item's physical details. Savvy brands now use imagery to tell a captivating story that speaks to customers on an emotional level. When product photos create a compelling narrative, they forge powerful connections between brands and consumers.
Outdoor outfitter REI is one company utilizing storytelling product photography to great effect. As REI's Visual Content Lead Ryan Heffernan explained to Shopify: "We like to think of ourselves as storytellers first. Our images evoke the emotion of the outdoors. We focus on the lifestyle and empowerment those products enable."
For example, REI's product shots for tents don't just display features like vestibules or rainfly fabric. The images show a family laughing around a campfire near their tent, conveying nostalgia for childhood camping trips. A close-up of hands lighting a camp stove exudes a sense of independence and self-reliance.
These narrative product images spark customers' imagination and get them daydreaming about the experiences REI products could facilitate. As entrepreneur Francesco Tortora notes: "Through storytelling, brands don't just sell commodities anymore, but share values, strengthen identity, and make customers feel like they are part of something bigger."
The rise of user-generated content has opened new storytelling avenues too. Outdoors brand OM Goods cleverly sources customer photos for their product galleries. A well-loved axe in front of a log cabin, a cook set used on scenic backpacking treks; these shots authentically showcase products enriching people's lives.
Home goods brand Parachute also curates customer photos like bedding enjoyment during relaxing morning routines. Founder Ariel Kaye told Apartment Therapy: "User-generated content helps bring the community into the brand. It gives a voice to the customer and adds diversity."
While professional shoots remain ideal for hero product images, brands shouldn't underestimate the storytelling power of real customer photos. As digital marketer Alicia Collins notes: "User-generated content creates a sense of community and establishes customers as co-storytellers of the brand narrative."
Product photos taken from conventional, straightforward angles tend to blend into the background. Items shot head-on or from the most common vantage points appear flat and one-dimensional online. To make your product images pop, incorporate fresh unexpected perspectives and angles. Unique viewpoints add visual intrigue while showcasing your wares in an exciting new light.
When shooting from the standard front view or straight overhead, products lack the dimension and sense of motion needed to grab attention. Adding in shots from creative or obscure vantage points adds depth and vitality to your product photography. For example, capture your product from above to demonstrate an overhead point of view customers don"t usually see. Shooting a backpack from high above reveals organizational components and compartments shoppers want to inspect up close. Looking down on a pair of sneakers highlights intricate tread details lost in a traditional side profile shot. Dramatic bird"s eye perspectives make products pop in an unexpected way.
Tilted camera angles are another simple yet eye-catching technique. Subtly angling the camera creates a dynamic sense of motion and energy. Say you"re photographing a printed fabric item like a pillow. Shifting the pillow at a gentle diagonal makes the organic print and textures instantly more captivating than shooting straight on. The same goes for apparel"a shirt or dress photographed on a mannequin pops more when shot on a slant rather than head on.
Incorporating negative space also livens up product shots. Intentionally framing your subject off-center with lots of empty space around it helps draw the viewer"s eye. The visual breathing room makes the product the clear focal point. Negative space works nicely for minimalist or modern aesthetics. A bold red lipstick centered on an all-white background lets the vibrant color take center stage. A modern watch shifted to the edge of the frame stands out beautifully against the open space.
Creative reflections add artistic flair too. Capturing a mirror image of a product in a glossy tabletop or shiny surface brings visual intrigue. The reflections tell a subtle visual story while accentuating beautiful details. A perfume bottle artfully reflected in a vanity table exudes vintage glamour. Specular highlights glinting off a jewelry piece add luxurious texture. Reflections showcase products in a delicate, intimate light.
Getting models to interact with products from interesting angles also brings fresh perspective. A woman adjusting her blowout while looking down into a lighted makeup mirror demonstrates the product"s features and lighting effects from the user"s POV. A man glancing down at the screen of a phone highlights the slick interface design.
Ecommerce marketers know that high-quality product photography is essential for conveying details, attracting attention, and prompting sales online. Yet for small businesses and startups, hiring a professional photographer or renting a studio space can be prohibitively expensive. The good news is that budding entrepreneurs can get creative and capture compelling product images without breaking the bank.
Scouting your own environment for photogenic backdrops is one budget-friendly technique. Keep an eye out for interesting architectural features, rustic textures, and natural beauty in your local community that could serve as unique photographic settings. Abandoned buildings can provide gritty urban scenes, while a nearby park may offer lush greenery. Seek out colorful murals, graffiti walls, salvaged wood, and other local finds to incorporate visual interest for free.
Getting crafty with DIY reflectors and lighting also avoids lighting rental costs. Professional photographers suggest using foam core boards, tin foil, white umbrellas, and other household materials to bounce and diffuse light onto products. Natural lighting from a window or open shade works beautifully too. Turn products slightly away from the light source to avoid overexposure while still capturing delicate side lighting.
Sourcing affordable props from thrift stores and dollar shops adds stylistic flair at low cost. Vintage books, patterned fabrics, and timeworn objects create texture and convey brand personality for mere dollars. Repurposing everyday items in playful ways also works. Stack mason jars or pile on embroidered pillows to display products in an artful, lifestyle context.
Take advantage of sites like Unsplash that offer an extensive library of free high-quality stock photos. These images provide beautiful environmental backdrops or lifestyle settings to digitally superimpose products into. Likewise, recruiting friends as amateur models avoids casting fees while adding authenticity with user-generated content.
Many ecommerce entrepreneurs swear by using their own homes as DIY photo studios, turning kitchens, bedrooms, and backyards into product shoot locations. Photograph that new decor item on your own bookshelves or linens atop your existing bedspread to mimic real-world contexts. Working with available natural light keeps things easy and affordable.