Good Use of Photography

3-5-09 The guy who hired me to do this is a smart man, and not just because he hired me.



The image to the left is from a shoot from this week for a company called Kiss Hooks. As you can see, they sell purse hooks. I will post more of the images later as I process them. For the shoot I looked around at several of his competitors websites. It was amazing how bad the photography was.

While it is true that many of the websites have a section with some good photography, it was all the same photography, because they got it from the manufacturer for the catalog part of their site (which they probably actually did not get license from the photographer to display- it would probably shock you how many people assume that just because they hired the photographer to do the shoot it means that they get to distribute the images to whomever they wish to use for whatever they wish). The thing about the photography from the manufacturer is that it is rather non-descriptive, you don't get to see the product in action. That is where all the other photography I saw came in. All the websites seemed to have some sort of photography that showed what the product looked like in action, but, in some cases, the photography was more about the boobs in the picture than the purse hook, which wasn't even in focus. Or, in many cases, the photography was just plain cheesy and did not make the product look high-end in real life.

This is why the person I shot for is a smart. You have to remember when you are selling a product that people know that its easy to make something look good by itself when it is against a white background with strobes all around it to make it pretty. If you then show images of the product in lifestyle situations and they are dull, cheesy, and out of focus, people think that that is what your product really looks like in real life. The person I shot for will have a website that looks professional through and through. This will lead to people taking him more seriously (not to mention that higher-end websites and higher-end looking products lead to higher-end customers) and this means people will be more inclined to trust him, which means they will most likely buy from him as opposed to his competitors.

I don't know why people don't think about this. Maybe its because they think it will be too expensive to hire a photographer to do it right. That is false reasoning though. It is far more expensive to lose face. If your business is solely or mostly only on a website or in a catalog than your photography is the only thing people will have to see who you are and what you are about in real life.

Also, I will never forget what this one photographer said who I used to work for who specialized in product photography and had a big studio in Orange County. He had this client who was always trying to undercut on her photography, but she had a very expensive product. She sold baby furniture to the rich and famous. She had stiff competition for these clients and fought hard to get them. The photography she needed was expensive, but the furniture she sold was expensive too. If just one person looked at the good photography in her ad or catalog or website and decided to become a customer from it, than the cost of the photography was covered and would have paid for itself. If you own a business, this really is something you really should think about.

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