We are often asked by our clients which product images are going to be the most popular in the press.
As a general rule of thumb, we find that around 70-80% of the time journalists ask us for cut-out imagery as opposed to lifestyle shots, as they are far easier for them to place on the page. Often referred to as “pack shot photography”, cut out images show your product shot from the best possible angle, in good lighting, on a plain white background which can easily be removed. By not using a background, pack shot photography gives the product image more versatility as it can be simply super imposed onto any background, without the need for excess editing.
To achieve the effect of no background, commercial photographers use what is commonly known as an infinity cove; a curved wall which has no corners or edges that tricks the eye into thinking there is no background, resulting in the product clearly standing out in the image. These type of photography is most popular in editorial features such as: ‘5 of the Best…’, ‘Get the Look’, Gift Guides and short compiled news stories.
That’s not to say that lifestyle imagery is not important. It definitely pays to have a good stock of beautifully styled imagery showing your products in situ, which are becoming more and more popular with online journalists and bloggers who are unable to photograph styled room sets in-house, and are looking for beautiful visuals to guide their content.
Don’t simply photograph your products in your showroom though, with a jumble of other unrelated products in the background or cropping into shot, vying for the limelight. The key to lifestyle imagery is that it be aspirational and narrative led. If you are going to photograph a sofa don’t just crop in on the seat with half a cushion jutting into shot; instead pull back to show it in context to the rest of the room, to help establish a lifestyle. Tableware should always be photographed with food, as if dinner is just about the be served. Vases are best propped with flowers, and beds beautifully made with linens ironed and pillows fluffed.
For advice and tips on product imagery, please don't hesitate to get in touch!