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FAQ about product photography & product images

What is product photography?

Product photography is a branch of commercial photography and aims to present products as well as their details and features in an attractive, convincing and authentic way. It is a crucial factor in product presentation, both offline and online. Good product photos not only convey the function and advantages of a product to potential customers. They also convey a brand or company message, have a positive effect on the perception of the brand/company and ultimately promote sales.

What are the different types of product photography?

There are two main types of product images: product-only and lifestyle photos.
Product-only photos, also called clean-cut photos, only show the product. Normally on a white background and from all relevant angles. Their base are often clippings. Such product-only photos are meant to provide potential buyers with as much information about the product as possible without any distraction.
Lifestyle photos or in-context photos show the products in a suitable context. For example, how the product is used, the product in a suitable environment and/or alongside complementary products. The presentation could be with a real model, in a studio or at an outside location, with various other objects or products. In-context photos help potential customers to visualise the product in their own life. Furthermore, the image motif, the style, the composition etc. convey a certain image, support the brand identity, raise expectations and influence the perception of the product and the brand as a whole.

Of course there are also other options to present products. The type of presentation depends, among other things, on the product itself, the overall presentation (e.g. the brand), the requirements (e.g. of an online shop), and time and budget. Clothing can be presented, for example, as flat lay or using the ghost model technique. 360 degree photos, videos, zoom functions, scale shots, packshots, etc. are useful extras as well.

Why are product photos so important?

Visual content is incredibly important. Images are indispensable for the promotion and sale of products. Especially (but not only) in online business. In e-commerce there is no way to touch and try products. Potential buyers have to rely on the information provided as text and images.
People want to know exactly what they are buying. Product photos are an integral part of the decision-making process and must give consumers what they are looking for, at a glance. The better the product images can satisfy this need, the more likely they are to make a purchase. The less likely they are to return a product they bought.

Why should you invest in high-quality product images?

Because your product is worth it. Product images should always be of the highest quality. It does not matter whether it is an advertisement in a magazine or an image for an online shop.
High-quality product images

– attract attention and are the first thing potential buyers will see and want to see.

– present a product with all its features, details and functions in the best light.

– are essential overcome competition and for building a brand image.

– generate more sales with fewer returns.

– can be used in various marketing channels.

Where can you use your product images?

Use your product images to inform, advertise and sell across multiple marketing channels, online and offline. Depending on the channel, one or the other product photo type is more suitable. Lifestyle photos for example are perfect for use in social media, websites, advertising, newsletters, etc. While product-only photos are mostly used in online shops and marketplaces or in informative print products such as brochures, together with one or two lifestyle photos. When composing, product clippings are also used to create additional product images, for example.

What should you pay attention to regarding your product images?

Amount & Variety: Provide enough pictures to show the product with all relevant details. We recommend: Main shot from front or at 45-degree angle. Close-ups to illustrate details, textures and quality. Shots from various angles (front, back, diagonal, side, bottom, top, inside). Additional shots of special features, modifications or packaging as well as lifestyle photos that show the product in a real-life context.

Size: Large, high quality, high resolution images are most effective for sales. They show all the details and enable the zoom function on most e-commerce marketplaces. For online and mobile use, optimised images are necessary. Small file size, correct cropping, file format and compression are important to ensure fast loading times.

Background: Neutral and monochrome background colours are ideal, easy to use on different platforms and saves time and costs in post-processing. A plain white background usually fits best, lets the product stand out, looks professional and is required at most marketplaces.

Consistency: Consistency creates a professional overall impression and trust. This applies to angles, alignments, margins, backgrounds, shadows, style.

Props & Accessories: The focus is on the products. Use props and accessories only to support the product, for example to illustrate its function or size.

Marketplace Guidelines: To prevent images or products from being rejected, always follow the guidelines for product images at marketplaces.

For more details, see our guide to convincing product images and the basics for online presence.

What if your products or images are not perfect?

No problem, we fix it for you! Professional digital image editing and retouching is an integral part of product photography today to get high-quality, consistent, and great product images. We will handle all the time-consuming post-processing for you.

Image enhancement and image retouching: Includes, among other things, correction exposure and white balance. Adjustment of brightness, contrast and tone. Image sharpening and perspective corrections. Align products and crop images to size. Removal of dust, scratches, stains, creases, reflections and disruptive elements.

Colour correction & recolour: This includes presenting products with  accurate colours. Removing colour casts, matching images, as well as adjusting hue, contrast and saturation. Colour masks for recolour individual image areas and presenting the same product with one photo in various colour and design variants.

Clippings & Alpha maskings: Precise cut outs of products and people with high-quality clippings and alpha maskings, even for complex images. Ideal for further processing, e.g. composing, and perfect product presentation.

Ghost model: Effective presentation of clothing, with a perfect fit as if worn by an invisible person.

Shadow effects: Natural shadows, drop shadows or reflection shadows (mirror effect) give images depth and make products look more realistic and appealing.

Beauty retouch: Adjust skin tones and optimising skin, eyes, teeth and hair. Emphasize attractive details, balancing asymmetries, changing proportions and adding digital make-up as well as natural image retouch.

Extras such as 360-degree-images, CGI images and modelling, layout design and much more.

 

We put your products in the spotlight. With professional image editing for product photos of the highest quality.
For more information, samples and detailed prices download our e-commerce & product images portfolio.

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