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Understanding Product Photos for Ads and Social Use: Holiday 2015 Run-up

Understanding Product Photos for Ads and Social Use: Holiday 2015 Run-up daily-golden-nugget-1351-82
This is Part 3 of a multi-day Daily Golden Nugget series packed with tactics to help you in your 2015 holiday marketing. The series started with the overview of 2015 holiday marketing strategies. Today I'm specifically covering the topic of...

Photography: When More is Not Just More

A professional photographer has a keen eye for photo composition and a vision of how photos could be used in advertising. Planning a photo shoot takes time. You also need to deal with the challenges of lighting and proper focus for every item you shoot.

To maximize the impact of your photo shoots, you should concentrate all your artistic photos to include only the products you'll use in your ads. You'll need photos of every item you sell on a simple white background for an online catalog, but those in your ads will need a lot more.

You can systematize the process of shooting your white background photos to speed that process along, even creating an assembly line of sorts. With a photo box setup at your store, you can have one employee in charge of selecting the items to shoot, the next employee in charge of removing and replacing tags, another who cleans the jewelry, and then the photographer. I was once able to photograph about 250 products in a single day with that exact team helping.

On the other hand, the staging of photos for use in ads is a lot harder. You have to plan how the entire campaign will look and create the artistic vision on film. Photos need to draw focus on the jewelry while also generating interest from afar. I'm talking about photos with models, next to your gift boxes, and in conjunction with this season's fashions.

Quite often you, your photographer, and your marketing agent will have a vision of the photos needed to turn an ad idea into reality. A full day photo shoot might yield a single photo for the perfect ad, but that's not enough for this world of social media and peeks behind the scenes. Don't let yourself get caught in a trap where you find yourself wishing for one extra not-so-perfect photo to use in one of your digital campaigns.

It's easy to capture the behind the scenes shots of a photo shoot; simply have an extra person there with another camera, or even a smartphone. Have them snap away all day at the entire process.

Creative Photos for Social Media

While writing this Nugget I was able to quickly find this interesting photo in my Instagram feed:

Understanding Product Photos for Ads and Social Use: Holiday 2015 Run-up 1351-instagram-wardrobe-photo-66

This is a model photo showing how to accessorize a suit with different men's jewelry. You can stage similar fashion matching photos by simply laying the wardrobe out on a table or floor alongside the jewelry.

This next photo is an attempt to match a few accessory items to jewelry. I'm glad I found this one because they botched it up; take a look:

Understanding Product Photos for Ads and Social Use: Holiday 2015 Run-up 1351-instagram-accessory-photo-14

Here's what I quickly see is wrong with this photo:
  • The jewelry is too small
  • They tried to include too many points of interest
  • Price tags are still on the items
  • The accessories shown in the photo do not show action, they are just... sitting there
  • The photo shows several jewelry items hanging on a tree, but I can't tell if they are single earrings or pendants

I would expect almost everyone to make each of the above mistakes with their first few photos, so I'm glad I found this example to talk about. Many Instagram photos are taken to illustrate a specific and unusual point of view. Many of those vantage points are looking straight down. Always make sure your subject matter is visible from whatever direction you are shooting.

Editorial Photos

In one of the previous Nuggets for this 2015 Run-up, I gave you a few photo examples of what Sundance did during a previous holiday season. Take a quick look at those photos here and notice how the photos sent in their emails brought focus to the product, yet they also allowed for ad copy to be written next to the jewelry. This type of photography is referred to as an editorial photo, similar to shots of models in fashion magazines as part of a photo essay.

Here's a quick photo I took in my own PhotoCubics Flashbox. This is what the photo looked like before I did any editing work to it:

Understanding Product Photos for Ads and Social Use: Holiday 2015 Run-up 1351-casuso-raw-editorial-68

With a little work, the black background of that image could be increased and PhotoShopped to a more even color. That ring could be moved to the left to increase the editorial area on the right. This is how it would look:

Understanding Product Photos for Ads and Social Use: Holiday 2015 Run-up 1351-casuso-editorial-24

The above photo would be good for an email, a print ad, or any place you want to include a message with the item.

On the website, you'd want to provide a large, clear photo of the item like this one:

Understanding Product Photos for Ads and Social Use: Holiday 2015 Run-up 1351-casuso-on-white-58

While both of those photos have specific uses, you'll also want a few other random photos from different angles to show the jewelry. Here's an example of the same ring shot on a black mirror surface:

Understanding Product Photos for Ads and Social Use: Holiday 2015 Run-up 1351-casuso-on-black-5

Photo Conclusions

Simply stated, don't be afraid to take several random creative photos of the products you will heavily promote this year. You don't want to have a shortage of creative photos when the need arises for a different shot.

Every jewelry photo helps to tell the story of that single item. Don't simply reuse the same single photo; add life to the story with photos of how the jewelry can be worn, how to match it with clothing and other accessories, and make sure to show ever angle and detail of the item. Unless they visit the store to see the product in person, photos from different angles are the only way they can see the entirety of details.

AT: 09/28/2015 06:54:49 AM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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