The steady growth of online retail has opened up tremendous opportunity for entrepreneurs to carve their own paths by reaching a worldwide customer base. Selling your products online can be greatly rewarding or terribly frustrating (or sometimes both).
One of the critical elements of driving sales is the images used to present the products. In his course at Learn from Fiverr, Product Photography Retouching in Photoshop Kirk Nelson explores techniques for making product shots as appealing as possible.https://blog.fiverr.com/wp-content/uploads/PPR-Course_Intro-1.mp4
Let’s take a look at two very different shots for a single product and discuss why one is more successful than the other. The product is Apple Juice, and neither shot is showing the actual product package. These would be lifestyle-type images that shows the product in a more “real-world” type of situation.
The idea of a lifestyle image is to show the product in a way that is appealing and inviting in an environment that you would expect the product to be used in. Ideally, the image should be inviting the viewer to want to be in the scene being pictured. They want to be there. They want to participate in that moment. Therefore, they buy the product so they can have a similar moment of their own.
Look at these two images side by side.
Both shots show the product, apple juice, in a glass with the actual fruit nearby as a visual reference to communicate what the juice is. But one image is clearly stronger than the other. Why is that? You might easily be able to say that one is more attractive, but can you point to specific reasons why?
Let’s take a look at some of the mechanics of image creation that is giving one photo an advantage over the other.
1. Camera Angle
2. Lighting and shadows
3. Set Design and Props
4. Depth of Field
This technique is almost a cheat code for creating attractive product images. Make sure the product is in tack-sharp focus, then everything else is slightly out of focus. This is best done in-camera by using a wide aperture. But can also be accomplished in Photoshop. The effect focuses the visual attention on the product. In the image on the left, the depth of field is not apparent.
The glass is in focus, and so is the apple. That’s technically fine, but certainly not anything eye-catching. While the image on the right is using depth of field in a way that makes it difficult to NOT look at the glass filled with juice. (note, even the cut slice of apple is positioned to lead the eye inwards to the focal point, that’s not by accident!) While any one of these elements will not make one image better than another, when combined together they make a substantial difference in the overall aesthetic.
Keep this in mind the next time you are crafting an image for a product shot. Your image can be OK or it can be WOW! Want to learn more about what makes a product shot successful? Try my course Product Photography Retouching in Photoshop. Only at Learn from Fiverr.