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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.

5 photography magazines to read before the end of 2019

There is something about a magazine. In a world obsessed with its data footprint, it feels almost magical to physically hold creativity in your hands. The polished covers are so often home to a world of escapism and aspiration. Therefore, it’s unsurprising that a solitary moment flicking through pages of a weekly or monthly chronicle can be enough to spark your imagination. 

To help you along, we’ve picked five of the best photography magazines to read before the end of 2019. Whether you need practical advice, editing tips or a good old fashioned dose of inspiration, there’s something for you. Take a pew, brew some coffee and hunker down with a some of the best reads in photography-based literature….

Practical Photography

 Practical Photography Magazine cover

Practical Photography Magazine

Practical Photography covers all bases. Whether you’re a professional photographer, a curious first-time snapper or simply someone about to go on a holiday with a new camera, Practical Photography is a sound bet for you. From product reviews and how-to-guides to industry advice and interviews, it’s an accessible piece of journalism that lives up to its name. If you want a magazine that does what it says on the tin, this is it. 

Coupled with a great Instagram account and some truly beautiful shots, particularly by travel photographers, it’s not all just business. Practical Photography is a magazine that appreciates the art beyond the shot just as much as it appreciates the intricacies of the technology. The result, therefore, it a well-balanced combination of art and practice. 

Digital Photographer Magazine 

Digital Photographer Magazine cover

Digital Photographer Magazine

If you want detail and expertise, look no further than Digital Photographer Magazine. The monthly journal dives in deep to give readers informative and practical content on how to learn and maximise your potential in photography. Products are tested and reviewed and features on cameras are explained. What’s more, professional photographers’ advice is peppered throughout the pieces in order to bring expert, hands-on tips to readers who might be starting out. 

This magazine also offers free digital tools to readers. From editing resources to tutorials, the digital extras work as practical perks for those who really want to fine tune their work. Therefore, Digital Photographer Magazine doesn’t stop when you turn the final page. Between the free digital content and their website, it’s a magazine that’s with you throughout the creative process. 

British Journal of Photography 

British Journal of Photography Magazine cover

British Journal of Photography

Founded in 1854, the British Journal of Photography is an iconic name in the world of magazines. Structured thematically, it hones in each month on subjects that are synonymous with photography oeuvres. 

Whether the magazine is looking at place or sport, birth or politics, it does so in a fresh and contemporary way. Particularly strong on coupling photographs with well-written articles, its features have considered some of the biggest names in the industry, most recently Tim Walker. 

Ultimately, what the BJP does well is to champion the work of up and coming artists. The result is a magazine with its finger on the pulse. A zine for the zeitgeist before society has defined its meaning. 

If you want a beautiful magazine that’s rich with creative features and photography news, the British Journal of Photography is certainly a reputable option for you. 

Digital SLR Photography Magazine 

Digital SLR Photography Magazine

Digital SLR Photography Magazine

Coupling aspirational shots with monthly features, Digital SLR Photography Magazine is your go-to name for all things SLR. This is a magazine that pays attention to the intricacies of being a good photographer achieving standardised and impressive shots. 

Their ‘location guide’ feature looks at one place each month and talks a reader through how to get the best results from that spot. Readers also praise the magazine’s analysis of kit. 

If you’re looking for reviews of the latest tools and gadgets, the expert writers at Digital SLR Photography Magazine have got you covered.  There is nothing basic or generic about their consideration of the options available to you on the market. No stone remains unturned. 

If You Leave Magazine 

If You Leave photography magazine

If You Leave Magazine

If You Leave Magazine, also known as IYL, is a thoroughly modern venture. Born from a Tumblr account, it’s made the unorthodox transition from screen to page. In an era of magazines choosing to digitalise in order to save money, IYL has taken to paper. 

The result is a minimalist, beautiful lay-out that showcases the best in young talent. While the photographs are varied and each shot is fresh, there is a common denominator. The work is bound by a dream-like, melt-in-your-mouth delicious quality. This is a magazine to soak up and savour.

If you want tips on importing and export, editing and sharpening, this isn’t for you. Instead, opt for IYL if you want a magazine that will push your creative boundaries and leave you muttering ‘I wish I’d taken that.’ 

All in all, there’s something for everyone. The key is to know exactly what you want from a photography magazine. Whether you’re an inquisitive beginner who is keen to pick up some handy tips or a seasoned professional seeking some fresh inspiration and industry know-how, between print and digital, there’s certainly something for you.

For even more inspiration and to get an idea about the services we offer, check out our portfolio page.

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 do I get started as a commercial photographer?

Commercial photography is a lucrative and creative field that comprises of a plethora of different industries. Whether working in fashion or food, lifestyle or portrait, commercial photographers must master the art of producing pictures that people want to buy.

While many report the commercial industry to be a daunting and difficult one to initially crack, the established photographers working in it describe it as a rewarding sector. But, how exactly is the best way of getting started and what are the different types of commercial photography?

Take a look through our comprehensive, but not exhaustive, list of genres to begin your quest to become a commercial photographer.

Portrait

Whether it’s the perfect wedding shot or a headshot that captures the character of a professional, the art of the portrait is a powerful one. Staff portraits personalise and de-mystify a brand. Portraits of school children create memories for parents to treasure. Big names such as Annie Leibowitz, Richard Avedon and David Bailey have been commissioned to photograph the world’s stars. In turn, they’ve produced some of the most iconic portraits that have come to symbolise eras and movements.  

portrait photograph of employee against blue background

Fashion

Fashion photography is, perhaps, the most well-known niche in commercial photography. From high fashion magazines to traditional catalogues and billboards, commercial photographers work hard to sell a vision. Think fashion models, glamorous studios and beautiful sets. Fashion stills work as a window into a world so often understood as fantasy beyond the quotidian.

model on catwalk with seated audience taking photos with phone

Lifestyle

In the same way that fashion sells a vision, lifestyle photography is a tool which, when used well, can supercharge a business. Leading brands rely on lifestyle photographers to shoot lucrative advertising campaigns. It’s about striking a balance between a fly-on the wall documentary and a well-staged photoshoot. It’s about capturing every day life. We’ve written a list of dos and don’ts for anyone embarking on a career as a lifestyle photographer. 

Architectural or interior

Capturing a building in a still photograph is no mean feat, and often requires knowledge of and experience with specialist techniques and cameras. Commercial photographers who shoot architecture and interiors seek life in the static, breathing magic into bricks and mortar and translating the shapes of society into a creative picture. DSLR cameras have come into their own in architectural photography due to their detachable, tilt-shift lenses which have varying focal lengths. 

architectural photography of three impressive, tall buildings looking up from the ground

Product

In an age of ever-growing consumerism, product photography is a vital tool for any modern business. Much like with fashion and lifestyle, a well-shot photograph can transform the trajectory of a product’s success. Perfectly lit compositions put the product at the heart of the vision. Read further about the importance of product photography in the ever developing world of ecommerce. Product photography is one area Spencer Cobby specialises in, so do get in touch if you’d like to know more about the service he offers.

Food

There’s so much more to food photography than sepia-toned snaps of avocado brunches on Instagram. Colourful, dynamic shots of cocktails and artisan bakes, sushi and steaks surround us. They filter through to our supermarket shelves and cook books and influencing what we buy and eat. It’s little wonder then that some of the biggest food retailers plough millions into marketing their products. You don’t really need much to get started in food and drink photography. We’ve listed some simple, inexpensive tactics to get your on your way when it comes to snapping food and drink in this blog post. You don’t need lots of complicated equipment to begin your culinary photography journey. 

flatlay photograph pf pizza in restaurant

How do I get started as a commercial photographer?

Your unique selling point

Knowing what makes your photography style your own is a powerful thing. Having a unique selling point (USP) in your work will make you memorable and help you pack a punch in a competitive industry.

Find an opportunity to offer something that no-one else has thought of offering. It’s worth the effort to work this out. It will make you stand out from the crowd and distinguish you from those who might offer to do the same service for free. Check out this article for helpful tips on finding your USP as a photographer.

Get the right tools

Taking the time to familiarise yourself with your equipment is not to be underestimated. Knowing what works for you ultimately means you’ll produce more consistent photographs that appeal to employers. What’s more, being comfortable with the tools of the trade will help you to really hone your creative style. Professionals suggest investing in a tripod and a lightbox to compliment your camera of choice. You can read about Spencer Cobby’s camera of choice here.

Setting up a studio

Getting comfortable in a studio means you’re more likely to produce the best work, especially if you hope to work in ecommerce product photography or the competitive fashion industry. Owning your space and knowing what you can achieve in it will allow you to set up the most interesting and creative shots. Here’s a great guide on how to set up your own home photography studio. Do you want natural light or are you a flash photographer? Do you want a fixed location or mini portable studio? What photography gear will you need? Small spaces can work to your advantage – portrait and product photography particularly can take place almost anywhere. 

Develop your portfolio

Once you’ve got your camera and your distinctive style sorted, it’s time to get to work on building your portfolio. The key to commercial success is to show breadth and depth in what you’re capable of therefore. Variation is essential. A strong portfolio is the best thing to have in your arsenal as a commercial photographer so, keeping it fresh and up to date should be a priority.  

If you’re starting out in the world of portrait photography, photograph your friends’ children. You get some amazing photos for your website (with their permission, of course) and your friends get free photos of their kids to frame.

Practice your editing

The best way to produce an impressive portfolio of quality photographs is to train yourself as an expert editor. The post production side of the process is equally as important as the initial click of the button in the digital age. Familiarising yourself with Photoshop or a similar programme is a good investment of your time when it comes to brightness, saturation, contrast and vividness. Small adjustments can go a long way to making your images stand out. Just don’t forget to make the same edits to all your photos – it’s all about creating a consistent look across your work as a commercial photographer. 

Build up a good address book

With your honed and polished portfolio to hand, it’s now time to seek out clients who are willing to part with their cash for your beautiful photographs. Whether you sell the fruit of your labour via a well-marketed social media presence or you prefer a good, old fashioned phone book, the key is to establish your personal brand from day one.

What is clear is that there is no clearly defined formula for success or guaranteed trajectory in an ever-changing industry. However, there are steps you can take to establish yourself as a commercial photographer known for your quality and creative eye. Follow these steps and you’ll find what works best for you. 

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!

 

 

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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.

7 things you need to know about ecommerce photography rates

As an ecommerce merchant trading in today’s busy online marketplace, you’ll know that how you showcase your products online has never been so important. It’s simple: the better your products look on your website, the more you will sell. Your ecommerce images maximise visual appeal, showcase your products’ unique selling points, and create a sense of desire amongst consumers. Over 50% of those who buy online consider product photography to be more important than information about the product, rating and reviews.

With this in mind, outsourcing your product photography to an experienced professional is an investment worth making. Not only will a professional ecommerce photographer capture high-quality photos to transform your online store, but you’ll be able to use these images to create lots of vibrant and engaging marketing collateral too.

How much does ecommerce photography cost?

You’ve decided that investing in professional product photography for your ecommerce business is the right move. Now, you’re probably wondering how much it will cost to hire a photographer to produce these all-important product snaps. 

There’s no simple or set answer when it comes to ecommerce photography rates. Of course, fees will vary depending on the volume of images you need and usage you require, but there are some other important factors to consider too.

Let’s take a look at some of the things that affect the cost of ecommerce photography in more detail …

#1 Studio type

photography studio set up

When on the hunt for a professional product photography service, you’ll notice that there are two types of studios that could help. The type of studio you choose will affect the price you pay.

If you’re looking to use a local service, then an independent studio is a great choice. A simple internet search will highlight all the independent photographers based in your area – there may be more than you think! Often, local independent photography studios are a one-person operation, which means the photographer you’ll be working with can offer a wealth of experience across all areas of a project. You’re more likely to receive a more tailored, individual service that really takes into account the unique needs of your business too. You may be able to negotiate rates with an independent photographer.

For large-scale product photography projects, a larger full-service studio may be a better fit. Although this type of studio can usually handle larger shipments of products, you might not receive the personalised service that a local independent photographer can offer. Furthermore, you’re less likely to be able to negotiate rates.

#2 Charging structure

As you would expect, different photographers and studios charge for their services in different ways. Depending on the size of your individual project, you might prefer one charging structure to another.

Ecommerce photography rates are usually calculated by the hour or day, per product, or per image.

At Spencer Cobby Photography, fees for white background product packshots and simple lifestyle shots 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

These 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.

#3 Product type

Ecommerce photography rates can also differ depending on the type of product being photographed. This is because some types of products require more pre-shoot preparation than others. For instance, some products might require extensive cleaning or styling before photography can get underway.

Clothing and food items are good examples of products that require extensive preparation. Clothes might need ironing, folding in a certain way, or pairing with other apparel on a mannequin. Food products often need to be presented in a special way in order to make them look as edible as possible. Preparation means time. And time translates into increased fees. There may be some preparation time factored into the initial rates that you are quoted, but it is always worth checking this before a shoot takes place.

flat bread pizza with cheese and chilli topping from The Flat restaurant, Exeter by Spencer Cobby Photography

#4 Image type

Another key factor to consider is image type. Are you looking for a set of formal white-background shots? Would you like lifestyle images to showcase your products? Or is a mix of image types the best solution for you?

White-background shots are an effective way of communicating key details about your products and really highlighting any unique selling points. A set of high-quality, consistent photos like this give your ecommerce store a professional feel, helping to increase trust between you and your target audience.

Lifestyle images showcase your products in real-life scenarios, often with models who resemble the target audience. As well as telling the story of your brand, these types of product photographs are an effective way of connecting with customers’ emotions and creating a compelling sense of desire. They offer consumers a tangible lifestyle idea to aspire to – a must for arousing interest and increasing sales.

Think about these options in advance. Which image type will work best for your business? Lifestyle images require sets and props, so come with an increased price tag. The cost will depend on many factors, including location, models and sets – more on this next.

#5 Set construction

If your lifestyle images require a set to be built, this is going to significantly change the photography rates.

Sets can range from simple backdrops with a few relevant props, to full room settings with extensive detail. Depending on the complexity of the set, they can be time-consuming to design and build. The photography process can also take much longer when a set is involved.

product photography shoot for Nkuku by Spencer Cobby Photography

Photography rates for lifestyle set images will depend on set design, materials needed and props required. Here at Spencer Cobby Photography, we love to get creative, and can produce your chosen backdrop before we begin shooting. This comes at an additional fee. We can accommodate small tweaks to your set at no extra charge, which means each image we produce for you is unique. For more significant changes, there may be additional setup charges.

#6 Location hire

You may need to hire a location for your product photography shoot, which can impact the photography rates you pay. Getting out of the studio tends to open up much more room for creativity. It offers the chance to capture more distinctive images that will engage customers and really reflect what your brand is about.

woman photographing product in a large white room

The cost of hiring a location can vary greatly depending on your needs. As such, most professional photographers will need to provide a bespoke quotation when it comes to a location-based shoot.

When budgeting for this type of shoot, think about how long you will need your location for, if any special equipment is required, and how you will transport your products there.

#7 Post-production options

Remember to take into account the cost of editing when budgeting for your product photography project. The editing process is where images really come to life, so it shouldn’t be overlooked.

Here at Spencer Cobby Photography, we provide basic digital editing as standard. This includes clean-up and colour adjustment on all images. Each photograph, whether captured in the studio or on location, is carefully edited to specification. We also offer advanced editing options to our clients, including cut-outs and clipping paths. This service comes at an additional cost, which is dependent on specific needs and image volume.

Spencer Cobby ecommerce photography

With this knowledge of ecommerce photography rates under your belt, we hope you’ll be able to make an informed decision when it comes to hiring the right product photographer for you.

Professional ecommerce photography is one of the many services we offer here at Spencer Cobby Photography. Thanks to our extensive experience in the industry, we can create high-quality product images that connect with your customers and ultimately help increase sales. Whether you require formal cut-out shots or more relaxed lifestyle images, our local Exeter studio is more than equipped to accommodate your needs.

If you’d like to find out more about our ecommerce photography rates or perhaps discuss a bespoke quotation, please do get in touch. We love connecting with ambitious brands looking to optimise their online stores with high-quality product photography.

You can explore some of our recent ecommerce photography work over on our website – check out some examples here.

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

white background product photography from South West Spencer Cobby Photography

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.

product photography from Spencer Cobby Photography for Let's Go Baby showing a woman carrying a baby in a red wrap

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.

a screen shot from Colville Leather's website demonstrating multiple angle product photography shots of one leather wallet
                                                                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.

Website photography trends for 2019

As highly visual beings, us humans are drawn to the imagery in a website before anything else. This means website photography has to be top notch. It needs to tell the story of the brand. It needs to showcase products or services. It needs to create an emotional connection with consumers. Great website photography can be the difference between someone choosing to invest in your brand, or turning to the competition instead.

In order to ensure your website has a positive, lasting impact on visitors, keeping up with the latest website photography trends is a great place to start. Tailoring the style and content of your imagery to appeal to current trends will enable you to maintain a stylish, relevant website that resonates more strongly with consumers.

To help you, we’ve rounded up five website photography trends to embrace in 2019…

Candid photography

image showing website photography by Spencer Cobby Photography for WaterBumps, showing four pregnant women swimming in a pool together

 

Brand authenticity is key for consumers, especially when they’re looking for a product or service to invest in. You need to create a sense of trust between you and your audience. This will help foster positive brand-consumer relationships, and in turn drive conversions on your website.

One way you can help to demonstrate your authenticity is by including candid photographs on your website. This type of photography style is now favoured over forced portrait photography with its often impossible postures and insincere emotions. Consumers want to relate to the people and scenes pictured on your site. You can make this happen by featuring emotive images that feel natural and genuine.

When it comes to staff headshots for instance, try more relaxed shots that capture your staff with genuine smiles. Not only does this represent your team as friendly and approachable, but it follows the trend for candid photography that’s set to become increasingly popular with consumers this year. For lifestyle shots, capture your models naturally interacting with everyday situations. This will help consumers connect with your products, creating a sense of desire. 

Drone shots

image of a DJI Phantom 3 drone in the air

The use of drones is transforming the photography industry. These high-flying cameras enable photographers to capture unique aerial viewpoints, with some truly stunning results. For visual brands, high quality drone imagery can give you an edge over your competitors. Not only will you be able to offer a unique view to your audience, but you’re portraying yourself as a creative, adventurous and innovative brand. Impactful drone shots will evoke an emotional connection with potential customers, one that they’re likely to talk about with others. Depending on your brand and its offering, drone photography could be the creative tool you didn’t even know you were missing this year.

The ability of drones to produce innovative and affordable aerial photographs has caused quite the stir in the tourism industry in particular. What better way to show the beauty of a travel destination than by a breathtaking aerial shot? Travel marketers can showcase a unique view of a resort, its amenities and surroundings, creating beautiful visual content for their websites.

In 2019, commercial adoption of drones is set to rise rapidly. Expect to see drones disrupting traditional photography in more and more industries. What do you think – could drone shots work for your website?

It goes without saying that flying a drone comes with great responsibility. Always make sure you are aware of legal regulations before you plan a shoot. It’s suggested that you check with your local air safety authorities for area-specific regulations.

Nostalgia

2019 is predicted to be the year of the comebacks, with the re-emergence of retro cameras and old-school photography styles. In homage to this trend, more and more websites will use old photographs to create new meaning. Photographers and designers will draw on inspiration from the past and combine with modern techniques to create distinctive sites that command attention.

image of a collection of retro cameras

90s inspired websites will be all the rage, with palettes, patterns, fonts and photos that are reminiscent of that iconic decade. Expect to see lots of nostalgic collages used across sites this year, embracing the archetypal styles of the 90s, with a modern twist. This trend will combine the homemade aesthetic of layered magazine cut-and-paste collages with a digital vibe to add a contemporary edge. A statement collage is a great idea for making a strong visual impact on your website’s homepage.

Also part of this nostalgic flashback trend is the comeback of 80s opulence within website photography. Shutterstock have reported a resurgence in image searches for ‘chain print’, ‘leopard print’ and ‘peacock’, suggesting a nod towards the extravagant textures that defined the 80s era.

Creative provocation

The internet is a bustling hive of competition, with thousands of brands battling for the attention of the same consumers. Having a website that stands out from the crowd has never been more important. Increasingly, it’s only the brands who provoke and stimulate with their visual content who are managing to successfully capture the public’s attention.

Brave, bold and daring visuals are set to become more prominent in 2019. By taking a more unconventional approach to photography, brands can give themselves an edge over their competitors. The key to embracing this trend is to feature memorable website photography that inspires conversation and provokes thought. Dramatic images with loud messages are set to become more popular as brands fight to stay relevant.

Environmental awareness

Consumers are demanding increasing transparency from retailers. They want to know where products have come from, how they are made and how the environment is affected in the process. As conscious consumerism continues to rise, shoppers will back brands who are actively supporting environmental causes.

A major visual trend for 2019 will see businesses using their website photography to raise awareness of environmental issues. As a brand, you can use imagery to give visibility to global concerns and help provoke change. You can communicate your brand’s environmental stance too, using website photography to tell your story. As they say, a picture speaks a thousand words. With this in mind, you can harness the power of vivid imagery to really connect with your audience, earn their custom and cultivate trust.

Embrace these trends to create a successful website

Armed with these five website photography trends, you can ensure your brand stands out from the crowd this year. By reflecting cultural and technological trends through your website’s photography, you demonstrate that you are a current, responsive brand that can provide a positive, trusted experience.

Spencer Cobby website photography

We have worked with a vast range of brands to help make their websites shine. With our unique vision and attention to detail, we can transform your site with photography that sells your products, services and your staff. Our extensive knowledge of the industry means we are always aware of the latest trends and technologies and know how to apply these to serve our clients’ needs. From product packshots on a white screen, to outdoor lifestyle shots and staff portraits, we offer a full range of website photography services.

Feel free to contact us if you have any questions about how we can help transform your website. We love to hear from passionate brands looking to improve their online presence through powerful photography!

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Spencer Cobby Commercial Photography
13 Broadway, Exeter, Devon, United KingdomEX2 9LU

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