Powerful product photography is a non-negotiable for any product-driven business or brand that sells physical items in 2022. You need to get your product imagery right, check out these 10 different types of product photography you should incorporate into your campaigns, website, or social media.
As more businesses shift to online markets and away from brick-and-mortar set-ups, customers rely heavily on photography to understand what they’re buying. Nearly half of online shoppers say that large, high-quality product images are more important than product information, descriptions, or reviews.
But, the power of photography isn’t limited to your product pages. Great product imagery can be a game-changer for your advertising campaigns too. If you’re a brand operating in the product space, you can incorporate several different types of product photography into your campaigns to convey what your business has to offer.
Why is product Photography so important?
Most buyers consider quality imagery as the vital factor for an online sale. Product photography affects all KPIs for product-based businesses: CTR, CPC, average order value, ROI, customer LTV, etc.
Underestimate the power of professional product photography, and you may be unable to even get users into your shopping funnel in the first place. Let alone move them down it. Make product photography a priority in your digital strategy from the get-go, and it’ll pay dividends in the future.
We elaborate more on the importance of product photography in eCommerce here.
10 Types of Product Photography for Your Next Campaign
Contrary to popular belief, there is more than one way to do campaign product photography. The most popular photography styles for campaigns include:
1. Studio product shot
Typically, most brands start here. In the modern shopping wall, where billions of products are sold online, there’s a need for compelling, clean product photography – which may be the most crucial part of online retail. Products are photographed against a clean background, with only shadow or reflection.
Stripping out everything else in your imagery and focusing on the product creates a more versatile image you can use for multiple things and can also help elevate the perceived value of your products and your brand as a whole.
And yes, they can be used for campaigns. Studio shots are a great place to start for campaigns because you may already have the images at your disposal. Backgrounds can be easily removed to offer photography that can be manipulated as needed.
2. Product packshot photography
Product packshots go one step further. A packshot is an image of a product that includes the packaging or labeling of the product. It helps to communicate the brand voice.
Consumers no longer scan the shelves of their local stores. Instead, customers shop via their social media feeds, modern media and entertainment solutions, or online marketplaces. Packshot photography gives brands that extra opportunity to stand out in the crowd.
Great packaging creates expectations, and if executed well, it can increase the brand’s perceived value. A lot of consumers’ purchasing decisions are influenced by the packaging design. With that in mind, think of packshot photography as the first impression for potential customers.
3. Infographic product shots
These have risen in popularity thanks to marketplaces such as Amazon. In such a competitive marketplace, getting your Amazon product photography right is vital.
Infographic product shots are a combination of photography and explanatory annotations. They allow customers to understand the fundamental elements of a product without needing to comb through the rest of a listing.
These can be great tools, especially on marketplace platforms such as Amazon, Etsy, or eBay, but only if designed in an accessible and inclusive way. If executed poorly, infographic product shots can do more harm than good.
4. Lifestyle product photography
Lifestyle product photography is where brands can easily bring campaigns to life. It has the power to narrate a story: what the brand is about, what it means to consumers, and why the visitor should care about it.
Conventional product photography shows a product against a neutral background. Lifestyle photography is based on the principle of “show, don’t tell”. It enables brands to show their products in action: the kind of person who uses a product, the problems it solves, or how it fits into everyday life.
Authenticity and transparency are fundamental for brand success in 2022. They help customers in deciding which brands they like and support. Lifestyle photography helps by allowing potential customers to identify themselves with your brand or service.
5. The ‘service as a product’ shot
It’s important to consider what a product is in the modern landscape. While it’s easy to think of it as socks, pots, pans, or a fridge freezer, it also includes software and services. Your physiotherapy sessions? Product. IVR software? Product.
Software as a service and service as a product are more widespread than ever. Not having a tangible product doesn’t get you out of product photography. It’s arguably even more important to sell the story with great photography.
Similarly to lifestyle photography, service-as-a-product shots often focus on situational shots that can speak to a potential customer’s pain point(s).
6. Flat lay photography
Flat lay photography is a style of photography that is prolific across eCommerce advertising. It’s easy to do and one can use it across campaigns, brand site banners, and product shots.
It works as a multi-faceted approach to product photography and one that is worth its weight in gold. It is more effective for some products than others. Retro phone cases? Bingo. PBX on cloud VOIP system? Probably not so much.
7. UGC Photography
A relatively new priority on the list for campaign photography is user-generated content. The great news is that you don’t personally have to lift a finger for it. This is frequently used on product pages to increase brand trust and authenticity. For instance, watch brand CLUSE saw a 19% increase in conversions when they added a user-generated content gallery to their site.
This photography also offers great opportunities for marketing campaigns. People have lost trust. In a world where data leaks, monitoring calls, and untrustworthy business owners have become commonplace, consumers don’t trust brands. But, people trust other people. Most consumers trust images taken from peers over brand-created images.
8. Scale photography
Scale photography is often used by ecommerce businesses to give context to the size of your product in real life.In its simplest form, your product is placed next to an object with a universally recognized size.
Beauty brands often use this photography for their products. Buyers can often overlook the dimensions of a facial moisturizer on a product page, but it’s hard to ignore the moisturizer placed side-by-side with a coconut. If it looks bigger, it’s probably not fit for your carry-on bag.
For campaign photography, this can be more impactful than expecting consumers to visit the product page. You sell a giant teddy bear? Let’s place it next to a car and see how giant it really is.
9. 360-degree photography
360-degree images are a necessity for many products, especially those that benefit from giving users a closer look.
Consider user behavior when shopping in a store: if looking at lipsticks, it’s unlikely a shopper will take in a 360 view of the product. Instead, they’ll try out the color on a tester, and if happy with the packaging, it goes in the basket. However, if shopping for a handbag, a training shoe, or a diamond ring, you can almost guarantee they’ll rotate the item in full (a good few times).
Without the ability to truly inspect the design up close, it’ll be hard to make the sale. Use 360-degree imagery with premium products, such as jewelry, bags, and belts — this is differentiating in the premium segment.
10. Close-up photography
This type of product photography is typically used to highlight the details of a product. Whether it is your logo, decorations, or your packaging – this works great to showcase important or eye-catching aspects of your products.
Alternatively, you can use close-up photography for infographics, title backgrounds, etc. These photos also work great on social media.
Product photography is a must
Good, clean, and effective product photography is critical to almost all brands in 2022. However, it’s not a one-size-fits-all approach. Each brand and campaign will require an approach that best showcases the product.
It might be flat-lay photography or 360-degree imagery, but regardless, it needs to be high quality. Consumers expect to be able to get a feel for a product without ever having to pick it up. Get your campaign photography right, and you’re halfway there.
If you liked to read about different product photography types, make sure to check out our other insightful articles on product photography and take a look at these product photography ideas you should try!
Tanhaz Kamaly – Partnership Executive, UK, Dialpad UK
Tanhaz Kamaly is a Partnership Executive at Dialpad, enterprise VoIP solutions and business communications platform that turns conversations into the best opportunities, both for businesses and clients. He is well-versed and passionate about helping companies work in constantly evolving contexts, anywhere, anytime. Tanhaz has also written for other domains such as Track-POD and Cybersecurity Insiders. Check out his LinkedIn profile.