Product Photos – How Different Images Play Different Roles

Banner image showing corkscrew with wine bottle and full glasses

When considering what product photos you need it is wise to establish first of all what the purpose of the images will be. Some types of image are more suited to advertising or banner image Others will work better as part of an online shop listing. In this post we are going to take one product – a corkscrew set – and look at various different ways of presenting it. Let’s start with a packshot on white and take things from there.

Packshot on white of corkscrew set
Product Photos - how different images play different roles - corkscrew - sample -6

Packshots are some of the most common product photos. They are designed to show the product in a straightforward way with no distractions. You should be able to see what you are going to get if you make the purchase. As many E-Commerce sites are based around shops designed on a white background, packshots are often on white. But, what if you want a different feel to your website shop? Perhaps you feel that white backgrounds have become so common that they risk making high end products look cheap.

One alternative is to choose a different colour background. In this instance we have gone for blacks and greys. This is because we tend to associate these colours with sophistication, high end, etc. It is well worth looking at colour theory when choosing a background to help have the desired effect.

Bottle stopper from corkscrew set monochrome close up
Artistic angle monochrome shot of a corkscrew
Close up product shot of corkscrew

As our product is purely black and grey tones, it makes sense to knock out any hints of colour reflecting from the surroundings to create purely monochrome images. This emphasises the machine-like quality of the product. We can choose different angles including close up images to bring out the feel of a piece of engineering.

Close up abstract shot of corkscrew product
Monochrome product photo of a mechanical corkscrew opened up

For some purposes, however, that type of product photography may be too abstract. So, another option is to show the product in use. This might be useful to have on any literature included with the product so that it is clear how to operate it. Images communicate more effectively internationally without having to resort to multiple translations of text.

Product Photos - how different images play different roles - corkscrew - sample -8
Hands operating corkscrew on a bottle of wine
Close up of a cork being removed

Lifestyle images are another important genre for product photos. Their aim is to help you picture yourself using the product. So, we use images that produce associations with the product. In this example, we have added a wine bottle, removed cork and glasses. These all illustrate the context of use for the corkscrew. They also invite us to enter into the moment and open our own bottle with the device.

Corkscrew set with wine bottle and cork removed
Corkscrew set lifestyle product photo still life scene
Lifestyle product image of a corkscrew with a bottle of red wine and 2 empty glasses

Our next example is 360 product photography. Complex items may not come across as well as we would like from just a single photo. Rather than having a large number of photos taken from different angles, a 360 image enables us to see the whole object in a compact way. You might like to play with the interactive 360 view below.

Corkscrew on black background

Making the browsing experience more interactive is a good step towards assisting the customer in making their purchase. Even if you don’t go for the full interactive experience, think about displaying an automatically rotating image such as the one below. Movement helps draw the eye and keep people engaged for longer.

That is just a small selection of what we could do with this product to show it off to potential customers. Product photos don’t have to stop at packshot photography. They can tell stories, engage the customer and communicate a mood. If you need help with this, please get in touch using the button below.

Images & text © Joe Lenton, January 2020

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