Happy New Year!
It’s good to be back. I’m looking forward to sharing more in 2024 and learning about how I can help with photography and creativity!
I enjoyed reading blogs back in the 2010s era. They felt like a more slow-paced alternative to Instagram, which always feels like a bit of a rush. I love that there is so much inspiration, tips and resources to be found on Instagram, but I do miss a platform that allows time to ponder and really reflect. I felt the need for a new perspective, or perhaps a nostalgic one, where stand-alone creative works and contemplative thoughts don’t get buried in an algorithm. And that’s where blogging comes in. It’s a goal of mine this year to share in this format, to allow more space to reflect and create!
For the first post to start off the blog, I’ll be sharing a quick overview of planning product photography for your brand and products.
But first, here are some quick snaps I took from over the last few months of 2023! 📸
Now, onto the post! I hope you enjoy it. 😊
Product Photography Success: A Quick Guide to Planning, Concept Development and Creative Briefs.
Planning your product photography – it all starts with a question!
Effective product photography plays a pivotal role in showcasing your brand. Maybe you have some new products in the pipeline to launch or maybe it’s time to promote some old favourites. Perhaps you’re looking over the marketing calendar for the year, recognizing areas where you’re thinking, “I need some images to share my brand and products!”
The first step to an effective photograph of your product is to ask the question,
“What do I want to communicate about my product and brand?“
The answer might be as straightforward as, “I want to show customers what my products look like.”
In the world of digital e-commerce, this is a very important first step, especially for newly launching brands. A classic, e-commerce image provides an accurate visual description of your product, especially if the customer can’t see it in person before purchasing.
And maybe the answer is more nuanced:
“I want to show how high-quality my products are!”
“I want customers to see the benefit of using my products and how much it can help them!”
“I really want customers to know what makes our products different!
Asking this question and preparing an answer will get you the most out of utilizing a product photography service that is truly effective for your brand or, it will help to guide you along your own DIY product photography journey! It’s this understanding of your underlying need for product photography that will help to set the foundation for your images.
Establishing a concept & choosing your product photography type.
Concept development is a critical part of planning your product photography. It defines the visual story you would like to share about your brand and products through product imagery and will also help to quickly establish what types of product photography services you need. With time spent on this step, you’ll be set-up to accomplish your brand vision!
So, you’ve asked yourself, “What do I want to communicate about my product and brand?” You’ve established your product photography needs.
Perhaps you’re launching a new brand and your answer was something like, “I want to introduce customers to my brand, accurately display my products online so customers know what they’re purchasing, and I want to convey to potential customers what makes my products so special!”
From this answer, a developing concept for your product photography will start to emerge as a natural progression of defining the initial need you have for product images. There are different types of product photography that serve different purposes. The goals you have established for your product photography will require certain types of imagery to achieve the correct results and to match your intended purpose of your images, as closely as possible. From first understanding your product photography needs, you’ll be able to match up your need with the particular product photography to type that will best help, for example, to meet the visual goals of a newly launching product-based business. If you would like to learn more about the various product photography types, you can find my Services & Packages Guide on my website, which goes into this in greater detail.
After determining which types of product photography will be best suited to the task, the concept planning and establishment of the creative brief itself can begin! This will clearly outline and establish the look, feel and the overall purpose of your images, preventing them from appearing haphazard, incohesive, inaccurately representing your products or falling short of driving home your brand message.
Chances are you’re naturally creative and that’s because you’re human! Creativity is an innate human gift. And yes AI edges ever-closer on the horizon, seeking to claim this prized possession. However, you know your brand, your message, your story better than any other! So that’s what you will draw on for this next stage. Your why behind the inspiration for your brand and products.
The Product Photography Creative Brief
Defining a creative brief will take your underlying needs for product photography and combine them with your why – that is, your product story!
Even if you are doing this solo without enlisting the help of a professional product photographer, don’t skip this step and continue on, preparing a brief as a guide to keep you on track as you create images for your business. First, think of three words that describe the look and feel of what you would like your product imagery to have. It might be something like “dreamy, natural, pastel”. With platforms like Pinterest and Instagram, start to begin searching for photos with the look and feel that best represents your intended image goals, brand visual representation and the intention behind your products. Pin or save ideas that align with this. The purpose here is not to replicate exactly the look and feel of what you discover you are drawn to, but rather to come to a better understanding of the elements and images that repeatedly feel uniquely like you!
These become the visual building blocks that help to point you in the direction of your visual brand identity. Maybe you’re drawn to certain aesthetics – nostalgic film, stark shadows, bright tones or moody imagery. Maybe you like clean, simple photos that have space to breathe or in contrast, you prefer richly styled scenes with lots of story-telling props and elements. Perhaps you want to feature people in your imagery, to showcase a more lifestyle approach to your products in use. Don’t overthink it – just save those images that stick with you.
When working with a professional photographer, it is helpful to also make notes for them as to what you don’t like or what to avoid. This further strengthens the opposite, helping to more solidly build powerful pictures that work as you intend them to! Also, at this point, ask yourself where the images will be used. Socials, website, e-mail marketing? These all require different approaches to composition and image planning, which you can factor in when producing your photographs.
The bookmarked imagery that you gather in this step will become your reference images to draw inspiration from when you begin to plan out your images. They will help to develop what will be known as your product photography creative brief, the essential strategy you need to successfully produce your images and achieve your brand goals.
When working with a product photographer, we go to great lengths to establish with you the underpinning look, feel and message that you want to communicate, so that the purpose for your images (whether it be launching a new product, sharing a new promotion, refreshing a website. etc.) is aligned seamlessly with your overall brand story and continues to reinforce a cohesive visual presence. This will leave your customers with a product and brand to remember!
At the end of this guide, you should have established the following:
What is the main purpose for needing product photography for my brand? What types of product photography do I require? What message would I like to communicate about my products? What look and feel do I want the imagery to have? Where will I be using the images?
Whether working with a professional photographer or going solo, a well-defined creative brief is a very important part of the product photography planning process, before even picking up a camera. You invest so much energy, time, passion, resources and creativity into producing your products, so don’t neglect to remember how important effective imagery is in sharing your products with the world. If you need guidance on planning your product photography project, reach out and I’ll be glad to chat ideas with you!
Have a lovely weekend,