What Makes Product Photography So Tricky

When it comes to product advertising, photography is without a doubt what makes or breaks your ad. Photos of your product should grab the attention of the viewer and make them eager to find out more.

When it comes to product advertising, photography is without a doubt what makes or breaks your ad. Photos of your product should grab the attention of the viewer and make them eager to find out more. The image should stick in the viewer’s brain so that the customer continues to think about the product as their day goes on. But what makes commercial photography so tricky?

Taking a pretty photo of your product is rarely enough to create a lasting impact on the customer. In fact, it can be fairly tricky getting the perfect shot. Here are some of the reasons why commercial photography can be tough — and some tips on getting the most out of your product photos!

What Makes Commercial Photography So Tricky: The Product Needs to Shine

liquor product photography

In any commercial photography, the product should always stand out. This doesn’t always mean that the photo should have the product front and center — it does mean that the viewer should be drawn to the object when they look at the photo. 

What Makes Commercial Photography So Tricky: Commercial Product Photos Can Be a Little “Samey”

champagne

If you aren’t careful, product photos can start to look pretty dull. It’s important to make sure you and your photographer don’t fall into commercial photography cliches. While a plain white background can make your product pop, think about ways you can dress your image background to set a mood and create a more unusual image. 

You Need to Focus on What Will Inspire Your Target Audience

Who is most likely to enjoy your products? Think about what photos will make them tick. Not all commercial photography is the same because not all audiences are the same. Make your audience the focus and work from there. 

Check out our product photography at Morton Visuals to find out how we can make your products stand out. 

Choosing a Style for Your Product Photos: Catalogue Shot vs Hero Shot

Selling products online can be trickier than many small business owners realize. Marketing your products starts with professional photography makes them want to learn more about your brand.

Selling products online can be trickier than many small business owners realize. Marketing your products starts with professional photography that draws in new customers and makes them want to learn more about your brand. It’s important that you and your photographer make detailed decisions about what type of product photos will show off your products in their best light. Let’s discuss the catalogue shot vs the hero shot.

The Catalogue Shot

product photo of watch

Why to use the catalogue shot? If you want your products to shine and you think a model might be more of a distraction.

While the hero shot includes a person interacting with your product, the catalogue shot contains no people — just your product! This is most often done on a clean white background, allowing for catalog or web page “knockouts” to remove the background.

Why choose the catalogue shot:

  • Shows your product off in a more minimalist light. In some cases, this type of shot can draw attention to the product. If the product is small or slightly uninteresting to look at, a model might become a distraction.
  • Leaves everything to the user’s imagination. With no models in the shot, the customer will be able to imagine the product in their own home, being used by them.
  • To give your product photography a unique, exciting look. Some modern brands choose to forgo the model. This makes their product photos really pop.

The Hero Shot 

bar cocktail product photography

The so-called “hero shot” usually consists of your product being used by a model, or being presented in a stylized manner. This means showing the product in an appropriate environment, such as a lipstick on a vanity or a tool on a workbench. Lighting is usually much more complex, and customized to highlight the key features of the product.

Why chose the hero shot:

  • Shows how your product is used. If your product does something it can help to show it in action. For example, a razor, an electric fan, a hair dryer, etc.
  • Can show customers what they could be if they bought your product. Makeup, skincare, and clothing photography often includes models. This shows customers what they could look like if they chose this product.
  • This type of photo tends to look much more interesting!

When to use the hero shot? If your product comes to life when it’s in use, show it off by including a model in your photo or by using customized lighting to highlight its features. See examples of how Morton Visuals’ product photography highlights products in our portfolio.