Sell the Whole Story
- With photography, determine the method that best suits the product you're shooting. Spend the amount of money that correlates with the product's projected profit. Obviously, some items don't need elaborate, heavily propped photography if a quick silhouetted shot will suffice. Give each product the attention it deserves.
- Remember, the product always should be the hero. The model and the background can enhance the visual, but they also detract attention and hurt sales. If ancillary items are too intriguing, the eye won't settle on the product.
Case in point: A catalog was selling a matching holiday cup and plate set. Similar sets in the catalog performed well, but this particular combination was heavily propped with beautifully decorated cookies and extraneous detail. The image may have been vibrant, but the performance was dull.
The lesson: Let the reader see as much of the product as possible, even if you have to crop tighter to eliminate that eye-catching background. The product must be the spotlight in every shot.
- Sometimes it takes more than one picture to tell a product's story accurately and completely. If the primary reason your product is unique can't be captured in one photograph, present a second shot that tells the rest of the story. Try shots that show the product in-use, before and after, close-up and at different angles, or whatever works best to bring attention to the benefits that aren't always evident at first glance.
- If photography can't get the point across, "shout" the benefits in another way. Add attention-getters such as captions, word violators, endorsements and call-outs to convey the message.
Case in point: In a catalog that sells form-flattering swimsuits, models always make the product look good. So the catalog creatives filled in the gaps with an arrow pointing to the model's stomach and added a call-out that said, "Flattens Tummy!" Another said, "Lengthens Waist" while yet another touted, "Increases Bust."