Category: Product Photography

10 reasons to combine video content with photography for online marketing

It is no surprise that video content is becoming increasingly popular among online marketers. Easily accessible and quick to digest, videos grab a viewer’s attention immediately. They are entertaining and versatile and appeal to a wide audience, particularly social media users. 

There is an inevitable cost to creating video content in addition to your photography. However, great value stands to be gained by rolling the two out together. Each serves a different purpose and the two art forms complement each other brilliantly. Whilst videos can increase the initial grab factor, photos allow the customer to peruse products at their own pace. 

Here are 10 reasons you should combine video content with photography to optimise your online marketing. 

1. Boost memory  

Humans process images very easily, so visuals help us to remember a message more clearly than text alone. Three days after hearing a piece of information, we will only remember 10% of it. However, if there is an image linked to that information, we will remember around 65% (source). Visual content (particularly dynamic content like video) helps keep potential customers thinking about your product for longer.

2. Engage with your viewer

man scrolling through video content on smartphone

The human brain is also lazy when it comes to processing information. It is far quicker for us to digest information from a photo or video than it is to read text.  So customers are automatically engaged by video content in a way that text alone would struggle to achieve.

3. Tell a story

Storytelling allows the customer to connect with your brand on a personal level. We’ve discussed before the powerful impact of photography for charities. It connects with people, increases emotional engagement and conveys values. The storytelling nature of video content allows you to bring your brand to life on another level. You can appeal to your customers’ imagination, whether through humour, music or characters. Motivate them. Inspire them. Get them to believe in your brand.  

4. Stop the scrolling

scrolling through social media posts on a mobile phone

21st century users are accustomed to scrolling and absorbing information fast. One of the main challenges in social media is to force users to stop scrolling. To make them focus on one thing – your product – for an extended period. Videos help achieve this, since they require a few seconds longer for the message to be understood. These extra few seconds of attention make the viewer more receptive and more likely to click on a link. 

5. From introduction to conversion

Video is best suited to the first stage in the marketing process – awareness. It may not convert directly into a sale, but instead directs the customer towards more information, such as photos and text descriptions. Photos then help the customer clarify the size, colour and design of the product. They give the customer time to consider the product fully before making a purchase. Read our blog post here on how to optimise your product photography to increase conversions. 

6. Increase shares on social media

In today’s world of content sharing, video is king. With constant improvements in internet capability, uploading and sharing video content has become easy. At the click of a button, viewers can pass on content they enjoy to all of their social network. They are automatically endorsing your product to others. A popular video can spread your influence wide across many different forums with little effort from you.

7. Diversify across different social platforms 

iPhone with multiple apps for uploading video content

The internet is swamped with social platforms, all serving different purposes. What you post will depend on where you post it. A platform such as Instagram is suited to images, so photographs are often a better choice. On the other hand, Facebook’s algorithms favour video, so it is more likely to be featured on news feeds. 

8. Adapt to mobile viewing 

Viewers normally use their phones to browse social media, and video content is particularly popular on mobile. Since mobiles are carried everywhere, you can reach potential customers wherever they are. So it’s wise to consider the formatting of your videos with mobile viewers in mind. Vertical videos and images allow for more screen presence than horizontal content. 

9. Be multi-sensory 

iphone with earphones

Whilst the majority of viewers watch videos on a mute setting, sound brings a whole new dimension to video content. The combination of movement and noise is the perfect tool for catching users’ attention. As you engage both visual and auditory senses at once, you immerse the viewer in your brand. Subtitles, however, are essential so that the message is still delivered at low volume or muted settings.

10. Combine multiple elements

Videos also allow for a wide variety of content. Images, text, voice overs, graphics or links can all be incorporated into the same medium. This makes video content truly versatile and fully interactive. So you can engage your customer through beautiful visuals, whilst ensuring your message is clearly delivered through text or voiceover.

Video content and ecommerce photography

With its high engagement levels and popularity on social media, we think video content is a worthwhile supplement to your ecommerce photography. 

Plan your video content carefully to get the best out of it. Keep it simple. Make it unique. Always use subtitles or text overlay to get your message across clearly. And remember, the first few seconds are the most important, so focus on making these as compelling as possible. 

For more information about video work, please get in touch to discuss how we could help you incorporate video into your visual content.

Product photography services to make your products ‘pop’

Why are good product photography services so important?

Today’s high street is an increasingly virtual one. Customers are moving towards online shopping and the ease that it offers. But without the option of picking up and holding the product before purchase, employing product photography services is crucial to converting online sales. Would you buy a product without a photo to show you what you are buying? Or if the photos are poor quality or incomplete, what does that suggest about the product itself?

A good photo conveys the story and character of your product and branding. It shows the size, the colour, the use of the product, as well as allowing the customer to visualise owning it. 

Below are some of the types of product photography services that we offer and the purposes of each technique.

White background cut-outs

white background cut-out product photography of two wine glasses from Rowen and Wren

The aim of this shot is to focus on the product. No distractions, no shadow – just a bold image on a clean white background. The customer gains an immediate understanding of the shape, colour and design of the item. The lighting and camera lens are chosen carefully to best enhance the object, bringing out its truest colours. Once set up for your products, the whole product range can be photographed in one studio shoot. Thus you have a fast, cost effective way to showcase your whole stock range. 

After the photos are taken, white backgrounds are easy to edit out completely. You’re left with an image of your product with a pure white background. This then gives you the flexibility to photo-shop the product onto other backgrounds as desired. Or you could create a multi-image layout.

Product and packaging photography

Our product photography services also include photos of your packaging. This type of photography needs to be flawless, professional and maintain a consistency that reflects your brand. The purpose of these photos is to help contextualise individual items within the range and branding as a whole. Packaging images convey the story and character of your product. They can also be used in the wider merchandise of your company. 

Attention to detail is key, to ensure sleek, faultless results. They need to stand out and capture attention so that the brand name is memorable. 

Lifestyle product photography

If the white-background shot is the functional image, lifestyle photography brings out the heart and soul of your item. It captures how the product will be used, what its purpose is and how it interacts with other elements. It displays the product in its natural setting and enables the customer to imagine themselves owning and using it. 

With clothing, for example, customers want to picture what sort of outfit the piece might work with. For household items, the object can be placed within a room design, projecting an ideal home into the viewer’s mind. This type of shot also shows the product size in context, which is helpful for picturing it fitting into the customer’s life or home. 

Flat-lay or mannequin product photography

flatlay product photography for Nkuku by Spencer Cobby Photography

 

In-studio shots, flat-lay is a popular way to showcase products, since it is fast to set up, keeping costs low. It allows you to photograph many different items in one session and even in one shot. The camera shoots from above and items can either be alone or overlap. You could choose to showcase the full collection together, demonstrating how different products complement each other. 

Alternatively, with apparel you may prefer to give a three-dimensional element to the product, to show how the item will look when worn. Mannequins are therefore used to give clothing a more natural shape. To take this effect further, you can even edit out the mannequin, known as ghost mannequin photography. So you maintain the natural shape of the clothing whilst still keeping the focus of the shot solely on the object itself, with a pure white background.

360-degree spin photography

Since online shopping removes the opportunity for the customer to physically interact with the product, 360-degree spin is the closest alternative. Unlike a static photo, this is an interactive experience that showcases the product’s multiple angles and allows the viewer to turn the image in whichever direction they choose. The effect is produced by taking a range of photos from different angles and then amalgamating them in specialised 360-degree viewer software that displays them interactively. This technique gives a very professional edge to your marketing and can increase sales conversion rates. 

Gaining your customer’s trust

Whether online, in magazines or on billboards, images of your product need to give your customer confidence in what they are buying. Crisp, professional photographs, demonstrating all the product’s key features, can achieve this. This is why high-quality product photography services have such an impact in boosting sales, both online and offline. Make sure your photographs capture not only your customer’s attention but also their imagination.  You can browse some examples of our product photography portfolio here. And for a free consultation, do get in touch.

All the equipment you need for a product photography set-up

In a world where people buy with their eyes – whether that is in person or in an electronic market place – it’s vital that your commercial images work hard to sell your product. However, the best photographs often come at a cost and for a new product line or a start-up business, the price of product photography can be a hidden and daunting one. 

What if I have a small budget?

Starting out on your journey as a product photographer doesn’t have to cost the earth, though. It is possible to get all the equipment you need for a product photography set-up without breaking the bank. What’s more, there’s no reason why you can’t produce the highest quality photographs on a small budget. 

The key to success is to be as creative in the planning of your photoshoot as you are in the execution. A few tricks along the way can make the biggest difference. We’ve collated some insider-information to help you on your journey… 

Which camera for product photography?

Regardless of budget, a good camera should be achievable for anyone who needs one. For those who are looking to invest in a professional level piece of equipment, award-winning Exeter-based photographer Spencer Cobby champions the Nikon D850 dSLR for its sharpness and built-in stabilization. 

There are, of course, other options and the important thing is to work out what’s best for you. For more information on how to find the best camera for product photography, all the details you need are here

What about smartphone cameras?

For those who don’t have the necessary budget or desire to invest in a more expensive camera, there are some excellent options available. Smart phones take clean, stylish photographs and are not to be underestimated when it comes to their quality. The two smartphone cameras vying for first position are the Google Pixel 3 and the Huawei P30 Pro

Hire or borrow

Alternatively, why not see if you can hire a camera for your DIY product photography shoot? Either from an online source, or by collaborating with another small business. Someone you know might be willing to lend you the camera you need. Or why not pool your resources? A skill exchange is a great option for creatives. If you can offer a service to another business, you might be able to capitalise on one of theirs and in turn, save yourself a lot of hassle and money. 

Get steady – get a tripod

As is the case with any type of photography, consistency is a key component of a quality photograph. Stabilisation tools, therefore, are vital and the obvious solution is a tripod. 

However, if your DIY photoshoot is low cost and you don’t have a tripod to hand, there are other ways to achieve the steady, smooth look. Shopping trollies and book shelves are just two optional hacks that have been suggested online. Ultimately, the idea is to achieve the same quality in each photograph you take. 

Lighting options

Natural light

Your product photography needs to be clear and bright in order to be as attractive and as effective as possible. Consider natural light first – ensure you have access to a large window. Firstly, it’s free but secondly, it can achieve beautiful, delicate results. Using it to your advantage means you can stay away from the extra cost of professional lighting. Planning, however, is essential in order to make the best use of the natural light before you lose it. 

Fill light and backdrops

As with any DIY projects, a willingness to experiment is key. Getting crafty and creative offers an alternative way of achieving the goals you have in mind but on a smaller budget.  

If your shoot demands extra lighting, why not experiment with home-made alternatives? Crisp, clean backdrops are essential for product shoots. If you’re not in a professional photography studio for your work, then a roll of white paper is a simple and cheap alternative.

White paper or white sheeting is regularly cited as life-saving additions for product photographers. Make sure you have a table for the paper or sheet to ‘sweep’ over and some clamps or tape to secure it still. 

Some photography blogs provide guides on how to build a set on a budget. If you still feel like you need professional lights, why not see if you can borrow or rent some? 

Editing software

Image editing is vitally important for product photography. It helps enhance and improve the image in line with e-commerce standards. Editing can be used to remove imperfections like dust specks and scratches. It can adjust the geometry of the photograph using cropping or rotating. The brightness, colour and contrast of an image can also be altered, to present the product in the best way possible. 

Editing software, while essential, isn’t always accessible to everyone. If you’re looking to invest in a subscription to an editing software package, many companies offer free trial periods beforehand. Making the most of what’s available for free before you buy is a great way of guaranteeing that you spend money on a product that will add value to your business. 

Alternatively, experimenting with free apps on your smartphone is a great way of achieving creative and cheap results. Among the best rated online are VSCO, Snapseed and Adobe Photoshop Express. 

If you’re looking for more advice on how to get started with product photography, take a look at this article. Or if you’d like a free consultation, please do get in touch, to find out what services we could offer you. 

The beginner’s guide to ecommerce photography

What is ecommerce photography?

Ecommerce photography is a skill not to be underestimated. The mathematics of it are simple: the better the product images are on your website, the more appealing you are to a customer. A well-shot, detailed photograph can supercharge the success of a product in an instant. 

Why is it important?

Consumer trends show an increasing desire to shop online out of convenience and speed. With more brands and businesses choosing the internet as their main place of business, it’s vital that your web space is as aesthetically pleasing as possible. Ultimately, your website is your shop window and as we all know, first impressions are paramount. 

But, where to start? We’ve compiled a list of some of the basic things to know about ecommerce photography. Follow these guidelines to begin your journey as an ecommerce photographer.

The ecommerce photography basics

  • Picking your tools

As we’ve stressed before, knowing what camera works for you is the first step in achieving a beautiful shot. Without feeling comfortable with your kit, the process of the shoot and the results will be clumsy. Similarly, understanding exactly what your camera can do means you can unlock its full potential.  

As technology develops at a rapid pace, there are options for everyone on every kind of budget. As a seasoned and experienced ecommerce photographer, Spencer Cobby recommends the Nikon D850 which is a dSLR camera. We’ve written a guide to the best cameras for product photography here.

Don’t forget to think about lightboxes and sweeps. You’ll reap the rewards with beautiful, blemish-free photographs against a perfectly white background. 

Tripods are also invaluable. Having a good quality one for your camera or phone will standardise your shots, meaning they’ll look consistently good throughout. Creativity is so important when it comes to photography but if you want to produce effective ecommerce photography, consistency really is key. 

  • Asking the right questions

Once you’ve chosen your best tools to work with, it’s time to start asking questions. What do you want your shoot to achieve? What product are you selling on your website? How do you envisage the final result? Taking time to brainstorm beforehand is critical because by reflecting on what you ultimately want to achieve, you will find the style of your work. You’ll also carve out a to-do list of things that will help you to be organised on the day of the shoot. 

With a style in mind for the website, it’s important to stick with it. A consistent, harmonious commercial site is a powerful marketing tool. 

  • Get inspired

Of course, choosing your style depends on the product you are selling. There are a million different ways to sell something so, it’s a good idea to understand how your competition do it. Taking time to study the market means you can then identify what does and does not work. 

Some products work better in context i.e. situated in the location a consumer is likely to place or use them. Others, however, work well against a simple white backdrop. Having an idea of what you like in other people’s work is the best way to help refine the style of your ecommerce photography. 

Why not take a look at our top 12 inspiring ecommerce sites that boast incredible product photography? One of our favourites is a Shopify store, Studio Neat. Have a look at this image of their wood dock for charging Apple devices.

  • Go big on the detail

Once you’re happy with the style of your work, it’s time to get creative with detail. Celebrating the small details of a photograph or a product can add personality and really highlight the unique selling point of your work. 

Photographing a product from as many angles as possible will go a long way to make up for the lack of physical contact a customer would have in-store. Include as many colour and size options as possible too – don’t leave a potential customer guessing. Online consumers need to be able to virtually experience a product as fully as possible. One of our favourite e-commerce stores is Colville Leather, an expert in showcasing every angle of his beautifully handcrafted leather accessories. 

It takes effort to communicate the product in its entirety, but it demonstrates dedication to user-experience and makes the purchase process quicker. Photographs against a plain, white backdrop are good for demonstrating shapes and sizes of a product. 

Products placed in a styled shot help the customer imagine the product in the context of their own life. Remember, ecommerce photography is often used to sell a lifestyle.

  • Edit, edit, edit

You’ve completed the planning and shooting phases of your project which now means it’s time to edit. A good editing process will mean you achieve the best results possible. 

You’ll need to retouch your shots, making adjustments to the contrast and brightness, saturation and vividness, a little at a time. 

 

As we’ve already said, consistency is key so, during the edit, focus on getting rid of any of the blemishes that might otherwise tarnish your photography as a whole. Make sure that whatever edits you make, apply them to every shot. 

There are no hard and fast rules to being successful in this industry. But keep researching and honing your creative efforts and skills and you’ll find out what works best for you.

To find out more about the ecommerce photography services that we offer, please get in touch. Or take a look at our website for some examples of our work. 

How to find the best camera for product photography

From Instagram feeds and Facebook walls to traditional brochures and billboards, product photography is a lucrative and dynamic business. A well-shot, detailed photograph can transform the appeal of a product by selling a vision. It is no secret that customers buy with their eyes so, the right picture is vital if you want to make the right impression. For start-up businesses trading on Etsy or budding foodies sharing their delicious plates on blogs, the right camera can make a world of difference to their brand awareness. Therefore, taking the time to find the best camera for product photography is a worthwhile investment of your time. 

How do I find the best camera for product photography?

Decide what you want your camera to do for you

With a plethora of different cameras at your fingertips, it’s easy to get lost in the sea of options. So, before you commit to the wrong product for you, it’s best to take some time to do your homework, experiment with your options and understand exactly what you need from your camera.

The dSLR

A digital single-lens reflex camera (dSLR) is the perfect camera for well-seasoned photographers taking product shots for print. In contrast to a traditional point-and-shoot digital camera, a dSLR allows the image to be displayed on an optical viewfinder as the light from the lens reflects on a mirror. Ultimately, it allows photographers to better frame pictures before taking the shot.

a dslr camera with extra lens laid on a white table

DSLR cameras also have digital interchangeable lenses which produce high definition shots of the best quality. For a high fashion, luxury brand, such a camera would be a wise investment. The variety of shots and the detail a dSLR can capture are seen as the two main advantages. Industry favourites include the Nikon D7200 and the Canon EOS 5D Mark IV.

However, for self-shooting business people with little experience in photography, it might be argued that the dSLR functions are too complicated to be truly appreciated and therefore, are not properly used. People regularly report that the number of settings are simply overwhelming.  What is more, these cameras are not cheap, so you need to be certain before committing.

The Smartphone

With some of the best photography technology built-in to our mobile phones, an excellent product photograph is only a click away. Everyone now has access to the best quality in their pockets.

smartphone used for food photography

While there is no denying that a traditional camera will always be better, smartphone cameras are a perfectly suitable and impressive alternative, particularly for small businesses on a budget or individuals who are uncertain about what camera to buy.

An iPhone Xs is the perfect option for those wishing to use their product photography on digital platforms. The Samsung Galaxy Note9 and the Google Pixel 3 XL also ranks highly among industry experts as good options.

Shrinking your photographs down for Instagram grids or Facebook walls hides any of the visual issues that could occur from using a smartphone. Plus, with some of the best editing apps available on the app store, being able to snap your shots and edit them on your phone arguably streamlines the whole process.

The Mirrorless

A mirrorless camera is a sound alternative for people who want more than a smartphone but less than a dSLR. The advantages are obvious. The camera tends to be lighter, smaller and more portable than a dSLR without jeopardising the perks. Pictures taken on a mirrorless camera are generally as sharp and as detailed in their resolution.

Despite the fact that the cameras are newer to the industry and have fewer lens options, the technology is developing quickly. Features such as tilting LCD screens are incorporated to take shots on an angle. You can record video on a lot of them and fast autofocus is included to track moving subjects. The result is a style of camera that is light and very suitable for a dynamic photoshoot. Favourites include the Sony Alpha A7R III with an impressive 42.4 MP resolution.

mirrorless camera

For many, however, the expensive price of these cameras cannot be justified when smartphones can produce product shots that can compete just as well. Similarly, photographers also report difficulties shooting with mirrorless cameras in low lighting.

The Point-and-Shoot

While a point-and-shoot camera is not seen as the photographer’s camera of choice for industry standard product photography, they do come with a handful of perks. Their size, weight and price make them a great option for new business exploring and experimenting with their marketing strategy.

Point-and-shoot have fixed lenses meaning the faff and stress of adjusting your lenses accordingly is instantly eradicated. Instead, you have a solid camera with a good depth of field that makes shots look generally smart.

point and shoot camera

For those looking for the best quality in the industry, a point-and-shoot might be too limited. Aperture and shutter speed are tougher to control in manual mode. Shooting in the dark is seldom a valid option either.

What camera does Spencer Cobby use for product photography?

Award-winning Exeter-based photographer, Spencer Cobby, remains faithful to his Nikon D850 for product photography projects. For Cobby, it’s all about the dSLR.

Nikon d850 for product photography

“It’s hard to beat,” he says. He pairs the Nikon with the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 lens. He says the lens’ sharpness and built-in stabilization tool that makes it perfect for his work.

If you’re looking for further advice on how to get started with product photography, take a look at our article on how to get started with product photography. Still need more advice? Then head over to the Pixpa Blog to read their very good article on commercial photography. Or if you’d like a free consultation to find out what services we could offer you and your business, get in touch.

Spencer Cobby – your Exeter commercial photographer

On the lookout for a commercial photographer in Exeter? With over 20 years of experience in the photography industry, Spencer Cobby brings a unique blend of creativity, attention to detail and unrelenting passion to each and every project. His local Exeter studio is more than equipped to accommodate a range of commercial photography projects, all within easy reach of the M5.

Here, we’re delving into Spencer’s diverse background in photography, before exploring the range of commercial photography services he provides.

Over two decades of photography experience

After obtaining a first-class photography degree, Spencer worked as a studio photographer in London for many years. His work spanned across several different areas, including the fashion, advertising and motor industries. Spencer has also worked for Canon UK, led an underwater photography course in the Red Sea and travelled the world as a portrait photographer on board cruise ships!

This myriad of experiences has equipped Spencer with a wealth of expertise in the photography industry. Thanks to his extensive and varied knowledge of various photography styles, he is able to deliver an exceptional service to a diverse range of clients.

Whether you require formal cut-out product shots for your ecommerce store, professional business headshots, or even fun publicity snaps of a local event, Spencer has the experience to deliver outstanding results in a professional and friendly manner.

Let’s take a closer look at the different commercial photography services that Spencer can provide.

Product photography

Are you a South West business looking to launch a new product or overhaul your existing marketing collateral? Spencer can create slick product photographs that speak to your target audience and showcase what your brand has to offer. He understands just how important professional product images are for a brand, and is able to use this knowledge to create photos that are optimised to increase conversions.

Under the umbrella of product photography, there are several specific services that Spencer specialises in. Let’s take a look at these in more detail.

White background product packshots

Formal white background cut-outs are an extremely popular way of shooting products for an ecommerce site or printed catalogue. They are a simple yet professional way of showcasing your products and all their unique selling points. Spencer creates a perfect white background, which helps to focus the customer’s gaze on the product itself and accentuate every key detail.

Studio fees for our white background product packshots are based on either an hourly, half-day or full-day rate. We can also shoot on location. Check out our price guide for more details.

Lifestyle product photography

Lifestyle product photography is all about bringing your products to life. These all-important images showcase your products in real-life scenarios. They are a great way to connect with customers’ emotions, as they offer consumers a tangible lifestyle to aspire to. This is a must for arousing interest and increasing sales.

Spencer can work with your team to find the right models and locations to bring another dimension to your products. From building simple lifestyle sets, to styling larger location shoots, he loves putting his creativity to the test and creating truly engaging lifestyle photos.

The cost per image for simple studio lifestyle shots is the same as our white background cut-out rates listed above. There is a charge for creating any set backdrops, which is dependent on the complexity of your requirements. Shoots on location require a bespoke quotation – get in touch to find out more. 

Take a look at some of the following lifestyle product shots Spencer took with artisan homeware brand, Nkuku.

lifestyle product photography of Nkuku woven baskets by Spencer Cobby Photography

lifestyle product photography of Nkuku metal locker shelves by Spencer Cobby Photographu

Packshots and lifestyle product photography

A packshot is an image of a product in its packaging and labelling. It’s an important stimulus to sales, helping to trigger in-store product recognition. Professionally produced packshots help to increase your credibility within the market, therefore enhancing your competitive advantage. These can be combined with lifestyle product photos to develop lasting connections with your target audience.

Product and packaging

Spencer is trusted by clients to shoot pristine, consistent images that are good enough quality to represent their brands across the web and in glossy magazine spreads or brochures. He exercises meticulous care and attention to showcase your packaging at its best.

sofa on an Nkuku brochure, shot by Spencer Cobby Photography

Food and drink

Spencer has worked with a wealth of outstanding local food and drink producers on a range of tasty product photography projects. A well-executed food or drink snap will instantly attract attention and leave the audience craving more, and Spencer knows all the tricks of the trade to create mouth-watering food and drink photography.

Not only do high-quality food and drink images inspire your customers’ appetites, they convey your business as a reputable establishment with a passion for excellence and commitment to detail – two must-haves for a food and drink retailer! Here’s an example from a shoot with a local restaurant, The Flat. 

flat-lay photograph of food from The Flat restaurant, Exeter

Clothing

From start-up boutiques to established highstreet names, Spencer has worked with a wide range of clothing brands over the years. He provides both studio and location clothing photography, and knows how to present clothes products in the most stylish yet practical ways.

Website photography

As highly visual beings, us humans are drawn to the imagery on a website before anything else. It is therefore key for your website photography to make a positive, lasting impression. It needs to tell the story of your business. It needs to sell your products, services and staff in a way that reflects your core values. This will help to raise brand awareness, whilst evoking an emotional connection with your audience.

Using his knowledge of the industry and the way it responds to cultural changes, Spencer is always aware of the latest website photography trends. Working together with you, he will endeavour to tailor the style and content of your photography to appeal to current trends, whilst ensuring it speaks to your target market.

Commercial photography

Commercial photography is all about creating images to help promote and sell products and services. As a business, you need a rich reserve of images to create a consistent visual identity and demonstrate your core values. These photos can be featured in adverts, brochures, leaflets and menus, to name just a few of their uses.

Thanks to his many years of experience, Spencer has the skills to create commercial photographs that inspire emotions and encourage purchases. By making an effort to gain a real understanding of your brand and its underlying values, he can produce photos that represent your business in a clear, imaginative and professional manner.

People and lifestyle

Whilst stock photos can be a tempting solution when it comes to your marketing collateral, we are huge advocates of creating your own commercial photographs featuring your very own staff members. This is a great way of humanising your brand and helping potential customers get to know your business. We know from research that the presence of human photos on a website landing page can boost conversion rates through increasing trust. Having your real team featured in the images will only make this stronger.

If you’re looking to bring a creative, personal touch to your business’ marketing images, then Spencer is ideally suited to help make this a reality. These relaxed and friendly lifestyle shots that we produced for Devon Partnership NHS Trust recruitment are a great example of a successful local commercial photography project.

lifestyle portrait shot of a senior staff nurse with Devon Partnership NHS Trust

Business headshots

Professional business headshots are a highly versatile marketing tool. Not only do they present a company and its employees in a professional manner, but they provide an important personal touch. They can be used on an ‘About Us’ webpage, LinkedIn profiles, or within printed marketing collateral to help foster strong connections with customers and positive relationships for sales.

To find out more about what a corporate headshot project with Spencer involves, check out this article, where we went behind-the-scenes at a shoot with local ecommerce experts, Swanky Agency. Swanky wanted simple, high-quality, white-background headshots to complement the crisp, modern look of their revamped website. At the same time, it was important that their staff headshots conveyed the fun and friendly personalities of their team. The team were delighted with the results – super-swanky business headshots perfect for showcasing their enthusiastic team members.

headshot photography of Swanky Agency's Office Manager by Spencer Cobby Photography

Industrial

It’s not always easy thinking of creative ways to produce industrial photography for marketing use. Whatever industry you’re in though, Spencer will find engaging ways to document your business. He can snap locations, products, machinery and people, turning everyday activities into compelling images that get noticed.

Take a look at these images we shot of real All Clean staff cleaning air ducts at a clients’ premises. The photographs bring the service to life, clearly communicating to potential customers what they can expect from All Clean’s offering. The focus of the image is on the work being done by the staff, with a clean and humanised end-result. Who would have thought photographs of air ducts being cleaned could be so engaging!

Event photography

Passionate about helping people capture lasting memories of special events, Spencer also specialises in event photography across Exeter, Devon and the wider South West region. From family fundraisers to charity fun-runs, military parades to award ceremonies, he can create high-quality photographic mementos of your events.

As part of this event photography service, we can provide a range of high-resolution, ready-to-use images in as little as 24 hours. There’s even the option of on-site printing with our state-of-the-art thermal imaging printers!

Photographing royalty

In September 2018, Spencer was honoured to photograph Her Royal Highness the Princess Royal at a very special event at Devon Carers in Exminster. HRH, who is President of the Carers Trust, was in Devon to officially open the new Devon Carers Service. Such an important milestone event deserves the finest quality photographs to match, and we were privileged to be involved in documenting such a momentous occasion for Devon Carers. 

We’re always interested in hearing about local events in and around Exeter, so please do get in touch if you’re organising an event and would like a free initial photography consultation.

Underwater photography

The allure of underwater photography is hard to resist, and Spencer is certainly no stranger to the magic of capturing images beneath the water. With six years of experience as an underwater photographer behind him, he combines technical skill and the latest technology to produce stunning images in range of environments.

Check out this recent interview with Spencer, where we dived into his background in underwater photography and found out what he loves most about snapping away under the water!

Water Babies photographer

Water Babies is a swimming school for babies and toddlers, birthed in the South West of England. Alongside swimming lessons, they offer underwater photoshoots that capture spectacular images for families to treasure forever. Spencer has been working with them as a contracted Underwater Children’s Photographer since 2013.

Working in an underwater studio, his photography his carefully interwoven into children’s normal swimming lessons. As you can imagine, taking photos of babies and toddlers underwater isn’t easy, so there’s a team of people involved. ‘Dipographers’ swim the children in front of the camera at just the right moment. It’s Spencer’s job to capture that special shot over three submersions. All this whilst trying to hold his breath, lower his heart rate and keep hold of the equipment!

Underwater portraits

Spencer also caters for swim cools, schools and other swimming clubs. During swimming lessons, children can come in groups of 4-6 for three sets of action shots and one underwater portrait. As long as the children are happy swimming in front of the camera, Spencer is happy to snap away!

&nbsp

Get in touch

Please feel free to contact Spencer if you’d like to find out more about any of the services he can provide as your Exeter commercial photographer.

Product photography for your South West business

Are you a South West business looking to boost your market presence with some slick new product photography? With the power to make or break your brand, getting your product photography right is simply essential. Product images play a key role throughout the purchasing funnel. They showcase your products, build trust, raise brand awareness and help to distinguish your business from the competition. Armed with an understanding of your audience and marketplace, you’ll need to go about carefully curating a set of product shots that will appeal to consumers and reflect those all important brand values.

Spencer Cobby’s product photography

That’s where we come in. Professional product photography is one of the many services we offer here at Spencer Cobby Photography. We specialise in crafting vibrant, high-quality images that tell the story of your brand and showcase the key features of your products. Thanks to our extensive knowledge of the industry, we can create amazing product images that connect with your customers and increase conversions. Whether you require formal cut-out shots or more relaxed lifestyle images, our local Exeter studio is more than equipped to accommodate your needs. We offer a range of packages for South West businesses, all within easy reach of the M5.

White background product packshots

Formal cut-out photography is an extremely popular way of shooting products for an ecommerce website or printed catalogue. These types of projects form the basis of much of our work here at Spencer Cobby Photography.

White background cut-outs are a simple way of exhibiting your products whilst achieving a slick, professional look. We guarantee crisp edges and clear shots of the highest quality, in order to convey every key detail and unique feature of your products. We create a perfect white background, which helps to focus the customer’s gaze on the product itself and really bring your offering to life.

Price guide

Studio fees for our white background product packshots are based on either an hourly, half-day or full-day rate:

 

Per hour – 1-4 images depending on brief – £95

Half day (4 hours) – 1-20 images depending on brief – £270

Full day (8 hours) – 1-40 images depending on brief – £425

 

Prices include studio time, photographer, basic digital clean-up and colour correction. These rates are used only as a guide, and are negotiable subject to volume and usage.

Newey & Bloomer white background product photography

Check out our work with Newey & Bloomer for just one example of our professional white background photography service. After a day and a half of meticulous attention to detail and carefully considered lighting decisions, we reached the desired results: beautiful high-res images that retain each kettle’s stylish details whilst avoiding the reflections of our equipment! 

 

Lifestyle sets

Lifestyle images showcase your products in real-life scenarios, with people who resemble the target audience. The set-up can be anything from a simple wooden backdrop with relevant props, to a full kitchen setting with models demonstrating your items. These types of product photographs are an effective way of connecting with customers’ emotions and appealing to their desire for a particular way of life. They offer consumers a tangible lifestyle idea to aspire to – a must for arousing interest and increasing sales.

Lifestyle product photographs also communicate information about your brand to consumers. From the backdrop you choose, to the props you use, and the lighting decisions you make, all these elements come together to the story of your business.

Price guide

The cost per image for simple studio lifestyle shots is the same as our white background cut-out rates listed above. There is a charge for creating your chosen backdrop, which is dependent on the complexity of the set and props required. We can vary each set slightly, altering props and tweaking arrangements without further charge, so that every image is unique. For more significant changes, there may be additional setup charges.

Nkuku lifestyle sets

lifestyle photography for Nkuku kitchen product range

We’ve recently been working with South West-based home and lifestyle brand, Nkuku, on a number of exciting commercial photography projects. This is a great example of where we have photographed products in a lifestyle set. First of all, the Nkuku team created a kitchen environment with lots of their current products positioned inside. We then photographed numerous elements of the same kitchen scene, creating a body of product images from just one set.

Location hire

Some lifestyle shots require a location hire, which is something we are able to accommodate. We can bring top-of-the-range lighting and backdrops to use on-site, subject to your needs. Getting out of the studio opens up much more room for creativity. Shooting on location can be a great way of capturing engaging, emotive images that really reflect your brand’s values.

For more information about our location-based product photography services or a bespoke quotation, please do get in touch.

Editing options

editing on an iMac for product photography shoot with Nkuku

When it comes to product photography, there’s no room for error. To give your ecommerce site a truly professional finish, we provide basic digital editing as standard with all our product photography packages. We will provide a digital clean-up and colour adjustment on all images, whether captured in the studio or on location. Every photograph is edited to specification and delivered ready-for-use as a full resolution digital image.

Cut-outs and clipping paths can also be supplied if required, although these come at an additional cost. Contact our friendly team if you’re looking for further details about our advanced editing options.

Turnaround times

We understand how important turnaround speed is to our clients, so we make this a priority on all of our projects. Of course, turnaround times are based on the volume of photography and editing, but generally we always aim to edit and deliver final product images within seven working days. Quicker turnaround times are possible for an additional charge.

Throughout the duration of each project, we strive to keep in touch with clients and provide regular progress updates. We pride ourselves on keeping all parties informed and providing an honest, transparent service.

Find out more

To find out more about the services we can offer a South West business like you, take a look at the dedicated product photography page on our website.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about our product photography services. We love connecting with passionate brands wanting to transform their web presence with powerful photography!

Increase conversions by optimising your product photography images

The importance of product photography is not to be underestimated. Your product images play a key role in a consumer’s experience on your site. They showcase your products, create a sense of desire, build trust and distinguish your brand from the competition.

But they also have a critical role before a shopper even reaches your site. Well-optimised product photography images help improve your site’s organic search engine rankings. Ultimately, your images can influence conversions throughout the entire purchasing funnel.

If you’re eager to harness the power of product photography to improve your ecommerce success, we hope you’ll find these eight top tips helpful. Here’s how you can increase conversions by optimising your product photography images …

Show your products in use

Including people and context in your product photos is a key tactic for increasing engagement and conversions. Lifestyle shots show your products being used by people who resemble the target audience. This is a clever way of connecting with consumers’ emotions and creating a sense of desire. You’re selling a way of life and offering the audience a tangible lifestyle ideal to aspire to. If a customer can easily see the benefits of a product and imagine it in their own life, they are more likely to convert their interest into a sale. This is much easier to achieve with lifestyle product photography, especially when shot on location.

Show smiling faces

Studies have shown that photos of smiling customers can increase conversions. One study in particular found that conversions shot up by over 100% when they replaced a text-heavy product page with a large image of a smiling customer and a graphic of the product’s features!

Take heed though – whilst smiles are good for conversions, there’s always a danger of your images appearing forced or fake. Rigid, staged lifestyle shots with insincere emotions can be off-putting for consumers. They want to relate to the people and scenes pictured on your website. Opt for a more candid photography style (a major photography trend for 2019!), by capturing your models naturally interacting with your products in everyday situations. Try to capture genuine smiles that reach the eyes. Not only will this establish authenticity and trust, it will create a sense of desire and drive conversions.

Spencer Cobby's lifestyle product photography for Eyewear Accessories depicting a woman wearing anti-allergy glasses whilst looking at her phone

Include multiple angles

Another way of increasing conversions through your product photography is by showcasing your products from a variety of angles. As an online retailer, you need to provide consumers with a strong visual representation of your products to make up for the lack of physical interaction. Be sure to include close-ups of important features, as well as photos of different colour and size options. Presenting multiple product angles and options helps your customers build up a strong mental image of a product. As a result, you’re increasing the likelihood of a customer converting.

                                                                Image: www.colvilleleather.co.uk

This also helps to boost conversions by developing trust between retailer and consumer. It demonstrates that you understand a customer’s need for strong visuals and detailed product information before they commit to a purchase. This portrays you as a helpful, trustworthy brand, thus increasing customer satisfaction and boosting conversions.

Shed the unnecessary kilobytes

Once you’ve got a collection of high-quality product photography images that connect with your target audience and help strengthen your brand, it’s time to optimise them for your website.

Uploading full size images to your ecommerce site could add considerable load time to your web page. We know that this is a sure fire way to annoy consumers, reduce engagement and diminish trust. It’s also a huge factor in low conversion and retention rates. In fact, according to recent research, every one second delay in load times can decrease conversion rates by 7%!

Fear not though. You can use a technique called ‘minifying’ to optimise your product images and speed up your online store. This reduces the size of an image by sacrificing a minimum of the quality. The change is usually hardly visible with the naked eye. There are plenty of free minifying apps that will compress your images for you.

Name product images correctly

You can also optimise your product photography images by taking the time to name them correctly. Be informative and clear, describing what is in the photo as best you can. Include as many relevant keywords as possible to help boost your search rankings. A useful tip is to use hyphens to separate words in your file names, as this improves readability by algorithms.

Edit image alt text behind the scenes

A conversion tactic that’s often neglected is to optimise the alt text of your product photography images. If you’ve not come across alt text before, this is primarily used for accessibility purposes. It is the text that will be read aloud by screen readers to users who have difficulty navigating websites in a conventional way. It ensures that all users can appreciate and benefit from the content on your site.

This alt text also has a key role in your site’s search engine optimisation (SEO). Google looks to your images’ alt text to understand what they contain. With this in mind, you should include details in your alt text that will appeal to people searching for your products. You could include the product description, as this will help search engines understand exactly what is on your page. Try to include your main keyword and your company name too. Optimising your alt text increases your chances of being ranked higher. Increased visibility in turn lends itself to increased conversions.

For a guide to writing good alt text, check out this useful Moz guide.

Invest in A/B testing for the best results

As with any changes you make on your online store, changing and improving your product images is part of an ongoing learning cycle. There is lots of value in A/B testing any changes you make.

If you’re not familiar with A/B testing, it is a key component of any optimisation campaign. It compares two variations of a webpage to determine which one performs better for a given conversion goal. This type of testing allows brands to make carefully considered changes to their websites and then collect data on the impact on users’ behaviour. A/B testing can be used to answer one-off questions, or to continually improve a goal over time through several iterations. The key is to tweak small things with your product photography images, observe, record, then tweak again.

A/B testing graphic explaining how to create more conversions                                                                   Image: www.jeffbullas.com

There are lots of useful tools you can use to evaluate your testing data – why not check out Google Optimise to get started.

Consistency is key

When it comes to your online collection pages, consistency is key. Whether you choose plain and simple white background shots or more dynamic lifestyle shots, pick one photo style and stick with it. This style should fit with your products and your overall brand.

Having a unified set of product images all the same size, taken at the same angle, with the same background, gives your store a slick, professional look. This strengthens your reputation as a trustworthy retailer and encourages shoppers to progress through the purchase funnel.

Consistency is also important for conversions because it assists your customers with their buying decisions. It makes it easier for shoppers to compare products at a glance, as they can easily spot any different features and unique selling points.

Consistency doesn’t mean sacrificing variety or creativity. You can showcase other styles of photos on rollover, and include all those important angles on your individual product pages.

Spencer Cobby product photography services

Here at Spencer Cobby Photography, we specialise in crafting amazing images that accentuate the quality, purpose and key features of your products. We understand how important product images are for a brand. Our extensive knowledge of the industry means that we are able to create high-quality images that maximise visual appeal whilst attracting customers and increasing conversions. We’ve worked with a vast range of brands on white-background cut-out shots, lifestyle images and more. Our professional product photography services are carefully tailored to suit the individual needs of our clients.

To find out more about the services we offer, visit the dedicated product photography page on our site.

Feel free to get in touch if you have any questions about our product photography services. We love connecting with passionate brands wanting to transform their web presence with powerful photography! And if you’re just getting started with product photography and want some more useful tips, take a look at this handy article on our blog.

12 inspiring ecommerce sites with amazing product photography

Product photography is a crucial element of any ecommerce site. First off, product photos attract the right customers to your site. They provide consumers with much-needed information about the product, making up for that lack of physical shopping experience. Good product photography also manages to convey your brand values and create a sense of desire amongst consumers. So, it goes without saying that product photography can make or break your ecommerce business! 

If you’re seeking some inspiration for your own product photos, here are 12 inspiring ecommerce sites using amazing product photography … 

Bang and Olufsen

image ofBeolab90 Ultimate loudspeakers

Just a quick glance at Bang & Olufsen’s product photography, and it’s clear this is a brand who are passionate about style, quality and innovation. The full-screen images they use on their website draw attention to the tiny finishing details that give Bang & Olufsen products that next level of quality. These consistently immaculate product shots portray the company as one that can deliver elegant, high-quality products. Perfect for driving sales. Plus, users can easily switch between colours on the main product photos. Perfect for curious customers who want to explore all of their options before making a purchase. 

Little Sparrow Tea

Image from Little Sparrow Tea showing dried rose buds

This Shopify store is a great example of how product photography can be used to attract and inform consumers. The close-up shots of each Little Sparrow Tea product bring you as close to an in-person shopping experience as possible – in fact, you can almost taste your brew as you shop! The consistent use of white-background shots creates a clean, professional look, and helps draw attention to the products themselves. 

Mulberry

Mulberry’s product photographs consider all the key angles and shots required to make up for consumers’ lack of physical interaction with their handbags. These clear, crisp photos show off the outside and inside of each product, with close-ups of buckles and fastenings, and even contextual product photos that show the items being worn or carried as well. This demonstrates to customers that Mulberry understand their need for strong visuals, especially with such high-ticket items, which is ideal for increasing customer satisfaction.  

Hard Graft

 

Perfectly capturing the essence of the Hard Graft brand, this collection of product photos is simply stunning. The consistent brown and grey colour scheme presents a unified, professional image of the brand, whilst the mix of angles helps show off every inch of the products to consumers. The quirky, creative photos appeal directly to the target market, and are sure to leave a lasting impression on those who visit Hard Graft’s ecommerce site.   

Colville Leather

image of Colville Leather's handmade leather oak tanned belt

Another Shopify store with beautiful product photography is Colville Leather. This fellow Devonshire business know exactly how to show off their wide range of leather accessories. Stunning close-up shots emphasise the beautiful detailing Colville are known for, exhibiting the high level of craftsmanship poured into every product. The backgrounds and colours used for their product photos complement the hues of their leather accessories, whilst conveying the brand’s passion for nature and the outdoors.  

Fitbit

Slick, stylish and simple, Fitbit’s product photography reflects the brand’s passion for sleek, high-quality fitness technology. The polished white-background shots help create a modern, professional ecommerce site, whilst the lifestyle shots help generate a sense of desire amongst consumers. You also have the option to view products in different colours, helping you make an informed buying decision. 

Ethno Tek

image showingUnique Travel Backpack | Raja 46 Liter Backpack

 

Ethno Tek have got their product photography just right. Each product is photographed from a range of angles, showing off useful features and hidden compartments. Their bags have been shot with typical carry items packed inside, giving consumers an idea of how they can be used. Plus, by hovering over the main product photo, site users can see additional colour options. Not only do the product photos make up for the lack of physical interaction between consumer and product, they also tie in with Ethno Tek’s culture of adventure. The aspirational lifestyle photos sell a fun, colourful and active lifestyle, giving consumers something to strive for. 

Yield

Another ecommerce site that’s sure to inspire you is that of Florida-based lifestyle brand Yield. Their product photography is subtle and stylish, mirroring their collection of elegant yet functional lifestyle products. They have made clever use of simple white background shots to focus consumers’ attention on the beautiful pastel colours of their products. The soft shadows in each photograph are just right – enough to give depth to the images without overpowering them. 

ETQ Amsterdam

 

 

ETQ Amsterdam are a brand driven by detail, minimalist refinement and quality. This is immediately evident in their product photography, which has been expertly produced to reflect their design philosophy. The minimalistic white background shots mean that no attention is drawn away from the products themselves, whilst the monochromatic colour scheme ties in perfectly with the essence of ETQ. 

Studio Neat

The products take centre stage on Studio Neat’s Shopify store, with high-quality cut-out shots providing a crisp, professional look. These slick white background shots are accompanied by useful contextual photographs that show the products next to everyday items to provide a sense of scale. There are also lifestyle images of the products being used in a number of settings, which not only demonstrates the versatility of the items on sale, but serves as a way of connecting with target consumers. We really admire how Studio Neat’s passion for solving problems with simple, innovative solutions is reflected in their product photography. The simple, stylish shots signify to consumers that it’s all about the products with Studio Neat.  

Land Rover

Land Rover make use of some seriously stunning product photography on their ecommerce site. The high calibre of imagery represents the company’s rich heritage of excellence and quality. Land Rover are selling a way of life with the photos of their vehicles. The beautiful lifestyle images connect with consumers’ emotions, giving them an exclusive lifestyle to aspire to. 

Tattly

image of a woman's arm displaying a Tattly temporary tattoo

Last, but not certainly not least, we have Tattly, creators of fun and arty temporary tattoos. The mix of product and lifestyle photography on their Shopify site is perfect for providing consumers with an informed shopping experience. The white background shots help show off the bold tattoo designs, whilst the contextual photos of the tattoos being worn are useful for potential buyers to see before making a purchase. 

Hopefully our round-up of these 12 ecommerce sites using amazing product photography has left you feeling suitably inspired! Remember that as well as providing consumers with useful visual information, your product photos can tell the story of your brand and create a sense of longing amongst potential customers. They speak volumes about your company, so you can’t afford to get them wrong. 

If you’d like to know more about why your ecommerce business needs product photography, check out our blog post. And to find out more about the product photography services we offer, visit our website. Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about how product photography can help your ecommerce site.

10 tips to get started with product photography for your ecommerce website

There’s no disputing the power of product photography for your ecommerce website. The better your products look online, the more you will sell. Good product photography enhances visual appeal, attracts the right customers and increases conversions. As ambassadors for your business, it’s crucial your product photos are of the best quality.   

If you’re just starting out with product photography, the pressure to create the perfect photos may be a little daunting. Fear not though, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve rounded up our top 10 tips to get you started with product photos for your ecommerce site. From planning your shoot, to choosing the right equipment, we’ve got you covered …  

Choose a style and stick with it

Consistency is key when it comes to your product photos. Make sure you have a clear idea of the style you want to achieve before you start snapping. It’s always useful to explore the market and take inspiration from other players in your industry. Will you go with plain and simple white background photos, or more dynamic lifestyle shots in real-life settings? The style you choose should fit your products and your overall brand. Once you’ve decided on a style, you can source any necessary props or equipment. 

Always create a product photography shot list 

Once you’ve chosen a style for your product photographs, it’s time to get organised. Plan a shot list that clearly outlines which products are in the photo, what type of shot it is and which props are included, along with any other important details. Planning a shot list will act as a reminder for the equipment you still need to source, as well as helping to keep your shoot on track. 

Use a camera you are confident with

If you’re just starting out with product photography, the best camera to use is the one you have regular access to and are confident using. You don’t always need to invest in an expensive camera to create beautiful photos, so don’t worry if you are starting off using a smartphone. Newer smartphones boast a whole array of features to help optimise your shots. The most important thing is that you are confident and familiar with the camera and its various functions.   

Shoot from a tripod

We’ve touched on the importance of consistency when it comes to product photography for your ecommerce site, and this next tip will help you achieve just that. To standardise your photos, we’d recommend shooting from a tripod. Whether you choose a traditional, extendable tripod stand, or a more modern, flexible tripod, this handy piece of equipment will become an invaluable sidekick on your product photography shoots. You can also attach smartphones to most modern tripods if you’re not using a camera. 

Use a sweep for white background shots

If you choose to shoot white background product photos, know that it’s not as simple as taking a photo of your product against a white wall. Your camera will pick up the tiniest of blemishes on a wall, so it is important to use a sweep: a large, bendable sheet of white paper. Your product sits on one end, whilst the other end curves up to form a white wall behind the product. In your photos, the sweep’s curve is invisible, producing a perfect white background free of corners, edges and blemishes.

Get the lighting right

Lighting can make or break a product photo. It could ultimately be the difference between conversion into a sale or swift dismissal by an online shopper. 

Natural light will be your simplest and most inexpensive choice for your product shoot. This soft lighting works best if the product is being shot outside, if it is being shot with a person, or if you are trying to emphasise the product’s surroundings.  

It’s worth considering if artificial light might be better suited to your product and overall aim. This harder light is perfect for products with intricate details that need to be highlighted to impress an online customer. The trick with artificial lighting is to experiment with different options to see which ones yield the best results.  

Be on shadow-watch

The last thing you want is for your product’s shadow to ruin your image. A top tip to avoid a shadow is to use a flash diffuser. Simply place a white plastic bag over your flash, which will result in smaller, softer shadows, whilst still giving your shot much-needed depth.  

Another way to soften harsh shadows is to position a bounce or reflector card opposite your main light source. This will counter the hard light from the camera flash that’s facing towards the front of your product.  

Shoot from a variety of angles

As an online retailer, you need to provide a strong visual representation of your products to make up for the lack of physical interaction consumers have with them. Your product photos need to show each item from a variety of angles, with close-ups of any important or unique features. Help your customers build up a strong mental image of the product in question – don’t leave them guessing when it comes to different size and colour options.   

Have a look at some examples of 360° product photography, which is particularly popular amongst ecommerce retailers. Photos of a product are taken from every single angle and then transferred to software that converts the images into a 360° view motion graphic.  

Providing multiple angles and options with your product photography demonstrates to your customers that you are committed to improving their experience on your website and making their buying decision as easy as possible, which can only be a good thing. 

Edit your shots for the best results

You’ve got a selection of shots that you’re happy with … what next? It’s time for editing. This is where your vision really comes to life. To give your ecommerce website a truly professional touch, you should re-touch your shots. Choose the best images from your camera and have a play around with them in a photo editing programme. As well as resizing them and removing any unwanted blemishes, you might want to edit the contrast, brightness, vividness and saturation. Make small adjustments at a time until your images ‘pop’. And remember, whatever edits you apply to one photo, you should apply to them all, as it’s all about achieving a consistent look.  

Add equally detailed product descriptions 

You want your customers to be able to make an informed and easy buying decision whilst on your ecommerce site. To complement your clear and detailed product photos, you should provide an equally comprehensive product description. This will reduce the likelihood of customer questions and demonstrate to consumers that you understand their need for extensive product information. This will increase customer satisfaction and encourage customers to return to your website again.  

Hopefully these 10 tips will have you well on the way to creating some sales-boosting product photographs for your ecommerce website. As we have shown, there are lots of simple tactics that will go a long way in your quest for the best product shots.  

If you have any handy product photography tips of your own, share them with us on social media or in the comments below!  

To find out more about the product photography services we offer, and to see some recent examples of our work for some instant inspiration, visit our website.

Q&A with Spencer Cobby on product photography basics

Product photography can be intimidating for beginners. There’s a whole plethora of terms to get your head around before you start snapping, and plenty of decisions to make about which camera settings to use. Whether you’re new to the world of product photography and eager to master the basics, or you’re simply curious about the techniques used by professional product photographers, you’re in the right place. Here we present a Q&A with our very own Spencer Cobby on the basics of product photography …

What camera do you typically use?

Spencer Cobby Photography using the Nikon D850 camera for product photography

I use a Nikon D850 for my product photography projects.

Do you use the same lens for all your product photography work?

The lens I use varies depending on the subject of my photos. For images that require sharp, accurate edges, I use a 50mm f1.4 Nikon lens. This produces very little distortion on edges, so any lines are straight and sharp. Any little distortions are fixed when editing in Capture One and Photoshop.

For white background shots with a close focused subject, I use a different lens. I find that a 105mm f2.8 Nikon works best for these types of photographs. I also use this lens for many of the lifestyle projects I work on, as a popular trend is to have your subject slightly in focus whilst the background is blurred, and this lens helps me achieve this look.

What is your favourite lens to use?

image of the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 lens

 

For me, the Nikon D850 camera paired with the Nikon 24-70mm f2.8 is hard to beat. This lens is very sharp and has in-lens stabilisation, making it really useful for almost all the work I do.

What’s your go-to aperture when photographing products?

Again, my choice of aperture depends on what I am photographing and what the final image is going to be used for. Aperture can affect many different variables of an image, so it’s important to understand what size aperture is going to work for your shot. A large aperture lets more light in through the lens and therefore reduces the focus, whereas a small aperture keeps more of the image sharp.

When producing white background images, it’s important that the product looks sharp all over. So, I use a smaller aperture, usually f8, to help keep the entire product crisp and in focus. I then use the program Helicon Focus to further enhance the sharpness.

Here’s a breakdown of the process I follow to produce sharp product photos:

  1. First off, I photograph the focus segments.
  2. My camera is linked to my iMac, which means the images are instantly displayed on a larger screen. I use a program called Capture Oneto view and edit RAW files.
  3. I export the files into Helicon Focus.
  4. The Focus Stack function is really useful – it allows me to combine anywhere between five and 25 in-focus image segments to form a focus map of the overall image.
  5. I export the focus map back to Capture One.
  6. Don’t forget to the check the focus is correct!
  7. Then, it’s time for any edits to be made, such as colour correcting, removing artefacts etc.
  8. The resulting image is sharp from front to back, perfect for product photos.

Do you use the same aperture for lifestyle product photography?

Just like with white background product shots, the aperture I use depends on the subject of the lifestyle product image. I usually start at f8 and then adjust accordingly.

What ISO do you use?

ISO can have a dramatic effect on an image, so again it’s important to find the right value for the particular project you’re working on. For product photography, ideally you want to use the lowest ISO possible, as a high ISO can reduce the amount of detail in an image. When it comes to white background shots, I typically use ISO 64 on the Nikon D850. This creates little to no digital noise, which is great for producing highly accurate product photos.

For other shots, I tend to start at ISO 400. Increasing the ISO can sometimes produce a grainy image, so I balance it with aperture and shutter speed to get a suitable overall exposure. The Nikon D850 has a really useful Auto ISO function, so when work is pressured and time is tight, I use this.

What types of lighting do you use for product photography?

image of Bowens Gemini flash heads Spencer Cobby Photography uses

I use Bowens Gemini Flash Heads whilst working in the studio. For white background shots, I use 4-6 strobe lights. Often, I use flash lighting on location too, specifically my Bowen Gemini Travelpak kits. Flash lights don’t get too hot and are often more practical to work with than other types of lighting because of this. There is less risk of burning yourself or setting things on fire due to the heat from the bulbs!

From time to time, I might need to hire HMI lights. HMI stands for Hydrargyrum Medium-Arc Iodide. These use an arc lamp to produce light instead of an incandescent bulb. They are useful for daylight shooting, and very popular with film and TV production companies.

Occasionally I need to hire in Tungsten lamps as well. These artificial light sources emit heat and produce a warm reddish colour.

It all depends on the lighting required for that particular shot, and the overall look I am trying to achieve for my client.

What camera settings do you use most frequently?

If I look through all of the metadata from the photographs I have taken over the years, I would say that I use aperture f8, shutter speed 1/125th of a second, with the camera set to Auto ISO most often. Usually it is a case of trial and error until I find exactly what I’m after. I start at this aperture and shutter speed, and then see how I get on.

We hope you’ve found this insight into Spencer’s go-to product photography settings useful. If you’re eager to get to grips with some more photography basics, check out our glossary. It covers some key photography expressions to help you tackle tricky technical jargon. And to find out more about some of the different types of photography we specialise in, take a look around our website.

Why does product photography play a vital role in marketing?

There’s no denying the importance of product photography in for a business. Product images are your ambassadors. They represent your brand across a range of marketing channels, both on- and offline. They provide information, engender trust and create desire. Quality product photography is a key driver of store engagement, conversion and retention, and overall customer lifetime value. Product images are critical to consumers’ purchasing decisions, and therefore critical to your success.

Here we will explore the power of product photography in more detail and consider why it plays such a vital role in marketing.

Product photography influences consumers’ first impressions

50 milliseconds are all it takes to form a first impression. Your product photos will form the basis of consumers’ all-important initial judgements, making them extremely important within marketing. Crisp and consistent product images will immediately persuade potential customers to stick around. These sorts of visuals act as windows into your business. 

Image: www.spencercobby.co.uk

First-rate product photos convey information about product quality, as well as communicating the spirit of a brand. On the other hand, poor product photos will instantly deter consumers. You won’t get a second chance to make a first impression, so make those first 50 milliseconds count.

Product photography separates your business from the competition

Image: www.spencercobby.co.uk

With consumers heading to the internet en masse in search of cheaper deals, competition between businesses has never been stronger. Compelling product photography is one of the easiest ways to set your business aside from other similar retailers.

The quality of the photography used to showcase your products can increase their perceived value. In turn, this distinguishes your products from those of a competitor. This is particularly important if you are selling items at a similar price point. Poor-quality product photography straightaway diminishes perceived value and drives buyers to other sellers. With one glance, consumers can decide whether they’d like to buy from you, or take their custom elsewhere. This illustrates just how important product photography is for your marketing campaigns.

Product photography builds trust

Once your product photos have grabbed and maintained attention, they nurture potential customers along their decision-making journey. Product images build trust at each stage of the purchasing process. That trust is then transformed into higher conversion and retention rates.

Your product images start to engender trust from first sight – whether that is on social media, on a flyer or in a brochure. Slick, quality product photos instantly present a professional image of your business. When potential customers move through to your website, product photos continue to do the talking.

The presence of professionally-shot, multi-angle product images cultivates a positive relationship with consumers. It demonstrates that you are a reliable company with quality products, who understands a customer’s need for strong and informative visuals. In fact, product photography simultaneously caters to the needs of the buyer and seller alike. It draws consumers in with appealing styling, whilst portraying products accurately and realistically.

Product photography also plays a vital role in post-sales marketing. By including high-quality, appealing images in targeted emails and postal advertising, you can remind customers of the trust they have in your brand and entice them back to your purchasing platform.

Product photography caters for the modern mobile audience

image showing hand holding a mobile phone

More consumers than ever now make purchases on a mobile device. We are a generation glued to our smartphones and tablets, and shopping is no exception. It is therefore essential to create a shopping experience that appeals to your mobile-based customers. You have a limited amount of time to capture their attention and imagination. This is where good product photography becomes so vital.

It’s difficult to command attention with written content, so your product images need to do the talking. 360-degree product photography is wonderfully compatible with mobile shopping platforms. Be sure to show the quality and versatility of your products with vibrant, attractive, multi-angle shots that offer a detailed 360-degree view. This will help to persuade visitors to click through and find out more about your products.

The growing use of mobile devices has also emphasised the need for content that can be easily perceived from a smaller screen. Bright and readable product visuals are perfect for this.

Product photography aligns with the latest web design trends

In 2017, 37% of marketers said visual marketing was the most important form of content for their business. Visual content is undoubtedly one of the most important aspects of web design, and of marketing in general. Images and video are taking over the internet. This trend is only going to accelerate. Not only do consumers prefer to look at appealing imagery over large chunks of copy, but they’re also able to process visual content much more efficiently.

If consumers are hard-wired to process images before text, then it makes sense that your product photographs need to be of the highest quality. It is the most efficient way to give your audience information. Tell them the story of your products, your brand and your values without bombarding them with paragraphs of text.

As well as aligning with the latest web design trend for visual content, product photography can be tailored to suit the photo and design trends of the moment. Product images can easily be shot and edited to incorporate the latest design crazes, especially with the simple editing tools that now come as part of social media packages. For instance, this year is being dominated by pastel shades, street photography and unfiltered images. 

Make or break your business

The critical role that product photography plays in marketing cannot be disputed. Your product photos inform and engage consumers across a range of marketing channels, at all touchpoints in the buying process. Effectively commanding the attention of busy mobile consumers, strong product photography helps to sell your products and your brand. Ultimately, it has the power to make or break your business.

Visit our website to find out about the product photography services we offer. And please do contact us if you have any questions about how product photography can help your business.

Privacy Settings
We use cookies to enhance your experience while using our website. If you are using our Services via a browser you can restrict, block or remove cookies through your web browser settings. We also use content and scripts from third parties that may use tracking technologies. You can selectively provide your consent below to allow such third party embeds. For complete information about the cookies we use, data we collect and how we process them, please check our Privacy Policy
Youtube
Consent to display content from Youtube
Vimeo
Consent to display content from Vimeo
Google Maps
Consent to display content from Google