So, you’ve spent a long time perfecting and testing out the new product you’ve developed. You are ready to blast it on social media and anywhere else you can manage to place your advertisement. You take out your point and shoot to snap a few great shots of your product, and you are absolutely positive that your product makes for a jaw-dropping magazine ad. You have tons of stock, and your shipping packages and labels are ready to go. But lo and behold, weeks or months later, nothing is selling, despite your best efforts to advertise and promote yourself and your product. What gives?
The reality is, you could have a great product to offer whether it’s to a small niche of people or to a broader customer base. But if your product photography is not up to par with photos of today’s best-selling products of your kind, you won’t be drawing in many new customers. There’s something about excellent product photography that makes the product look trustworthy and valuable.
Here are the top 4 reasons why your product photography isn’t selling your product (and could even be devaluing it)!
Cluttered and/or inappropriate backgrounds, your product arranged sloppily next to “related items,” awkward placement of product on models, and the like are all huge hindrances to the product looking good enough to buy. Think of the last advertisement for a food item at a restaurant that made your mouth water. Maybe it was a huge, juicy burger with all the toppings stacked high, and the freshest bun you’ve ever seen. Now think about if that burger had the toppings falling out, mustard running down the sides, and it was haphazardly placed next to a random bunch of lettuce on a plate from the 70’s. Would you still be craving that burger from this restaurant? Didn’t think so. Your background should be simple but related to your product. Your product should also be styled appropriately and professionally. It needs to look thought out!
Unappealing or inappropriate packaging
If you’re showing the packaging of your product in your photography, remember that the presentation of your product in its packaging is just as important as the product itself. Imagine if Apple sold its iPhones in plain brown cardboard boxes instead of the clear plastic packages inside of those sleek white boxes. What if Beats headphones were sold in clear Ziploc bags? Would you actually believe you were buying Beats, or a knockoff from the black market? If your packaging is, well, ugly, you should highly consider putting in some more time to make it appealing, or hire a professional to do so.
If your product is poorly lit with awkward shadows in the background, has glare from an on-camera flash, or is either too dark or too light, this can negatively affect how appealing your product actually looks. In addition to lighting being bad, it can also be inappropriate. Noting Apple as an example again, imagine if their lighting was low-key instead of high-key. Would you still get the same fresh and clean, streamlined, sleek feel from their devices?
Poor post processing
Most images need some help coming out of the camera to make them stand out. If no time is spent retouching, the appearance of your product will really suffer. Making use of tools like Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom can make your images go from “meh” to outstanding. All digital images need some form of sharpening, and nearly all images can significantly benefit from color balancing and changing vibrance and saturation to enhance the appeal of your product that already exists. Finally, remember that inexperience in these editing programs can lead to some very bad amateur retouching that can make your product look like a laughing stock. If you don’t know how to remove the product from the background and place it on a new one in Photoshop, hiring a professional is an absolute necessity.
If you have a great product, but lack experience in product photography, you are strongly encouraged to hire a professional photographer who can also make your images pop once they’re on a computer screen ready to be placed in an ad. Your sales will soar, and the investment you put into the photography will surely pay for itself! If you need any inspiration, check out some of our past product photography in our portfolio.