You've created a product that you are proud of, and now it's time to market it to the world. But first photographs! Without professionally taken product photography, your products won't shine in front of customers.
Commercial product photography is a specialised field that involves creating compelling images of products for advertising, marketing, and promotional purposes.
Yes, the skill of the photographer, equipment, and lighting are crucial aspects of product photography. But one often underestimated element is the location where the photography takes place.
Location can significantly impact the final results and the effectiveness of your product photography. In this article, we'll explore why location matters in commercial product photography and how it can influence the quality and success of your marketing efforts.
Context and Brand Storytelling
One of the primary reasons why location matters in commercial product photography is the context it provides. The choice of location can help convey the brand's story and connect the product with a particular lifestyle or environment.
For example, let's say you're photographing outdoor camping gear. Shooting products in a wilderness setting can create a sense of adventure and authenticity that resonates with your target audience.
This might take a bit more effort than just shooting it in a studio, but it's well worth it.
You will be able to give your target audience the exact feeling they will have when purchasing and utilising your products. And that's how you win.
Target Audience Alignment
Location can be a powerful tool for aligning your product with your target audience's interests and aspirations. Consider the preferences and lifestyles of your customers.
Are they urban dwellers, outdoor enthusiasts, or fashion-forward individuals? Selecting a location that reflects the interests and values of your target audience can make your product more relatable and appealing to them.
If this isn't something you are aware of, then it's time to do some research. Conduct surveys, both online and offline, and figure out what your target audience is all about.
Do not assume! It's always better to spend the time to do this research beforehand and find complete alignment when doing your website photography. No need to edit perfection, as they say.
If you can tug at your audience's heartstrings, you are 90% there. That's why location matters.
By choosing the right location, you can evoke emotions that complement your product's message. For example, a serene beach setting can convey relaxation and tranquillity, making it suitable for products like skincare or beachwear.
Conversely, an urban backdrop might evoke a sense of energy and sophistication, ideal for fashion or technology products. The emotional appeal created by the location can be a persuasive factor in driving consumer interest and purchase decisions.
You can also use product photography to change public opinion about your products. For example, you might feel like your products are becoming known as throwaway items to be used and then discarded. Even though they are high-quality, people aren't seeing them that way.
That's where you can start planning a photoshoot where you portray your products in a more luxurious, high-end fashion. It might be slow going, but it's definitely going to start moving the public's mind in the right direction.
Enhancing Product Features
The right location can enhance the features and benefits of your product. If you're photographing a fitness product, a gym setting can highlight its functionality and purpose.
A well-chosen location can also showcase the product's size, texture, and colour in a way that a plain studio backdrop cannot.
It's much easier to do a photo studio rental. But you are not going to get the same impact as when you go out into the world and do real-life commercial product photography.
The thing is that you don't have to find all these amazing photoshoot locationsyourself either. You can hire a company to do that for you. All you need to do is come up with a great product.
The location allows for diverse storytelling opportunities. You can change the narrative by selecting different locations for various product lines or marketing campaigns.
This versatility enables your brand to stay fresh and adaptable, catering to different customer segments and seasonal promotions.
You might notice that your target audience doesn't just fall into one bucket. There might be folks from the young professional team interested in your product, but also older women in their 50s who are revamping their style.
That's why location photography can be such a boon. You can use it to create photographs that suit every aspect of your target audience, no matter where they come from or what they do.
Authenticity and Trustworthiness
The modern consumer is smarter than you think. They are savvy and don't want to be lied to or marketed to.
They are increasingly drawn to authentic and relatable content. Using authentic locations in your product photography can convey a sense of transparency and trustworthiness. Authenticity helps customers connect with your brand on a personal level, fostering trust and loyalty.
If you are going to do a photo shoot in a studio, make sure that you do it well. Any obvious mistakes or issues with editing and your target audience will be down your throat asking for answers.
Not only that, but you might become the laughing stock of the internet for putting out poorly edited photographs. That isn't the kind of publicity anyone in business wants.
SEO and Online Visibility
Online presence is essential for commercial product photography. Using location-specific keywords in your image descriptions, alt text, and captions can improve your product's visibility in search engine results.
Location-based tagging can also attract local customers looking for products available in their area.
While shooting on location can be effective, it's essential to consider budget constraints. Sometimes, using studio settings, seamless backdrops, or green screens can provide a cost-effective alternative.
Advanced editing and post-processing techniques can then be used to add context and backgrounds that align with your brand and message. Take note that this additional editing might be costly and you will need to add it to your budget.
But also realise that many budget-friendly photoshoot locations aren't taken full advantage of by commercial vendors. It could be as simple as a beautiful Instagrammable cafe or a park that's located in a university.
You don't have to go to the ends of the Earth to find the best photoshoot locations. They could be just around the corner from your office in many cases.
And if it's a cafe that your office frequents regularly, then they might even be happy to let you shoot your photographs there for free! You never know unless you ask.
In a competitive market, distinguishing your brand is essential. Creative and well-thought-out location choices can give you a competitive edge.
They help your product photography stand out, making a lasting impression on potential customers.
Is everyone in your field taking the same old stock photos and placing them on their website or in their ads? Then a commercial photoshoot done on location can dazzle the crowd in an instant.
Consistency and Brand Recognition
Consistency in location choices can contribute to brand recognition. Over time, customers may associate specific locations with your brand, helping you establish a strong brand identity. This consistency can be especially effective for businesses with multiple product lines or franchises.
For example, when you look at marketing photographs from Apple, you can always tell that they are going to be minimalist, white, and filled with pops of colour. This has kind of become their signature way of taking photographs.
You can start thinking about what you want your audience to think of when they see your photographs, even 20 years from now. Brand colours should be incorporated into your photographs as much as possible. Stick to one colour theme for one commercial product photoshoot.
Legal and Ethical Considerations
When selecting a location for product photography, it's crucial to consider legal and ethical aspects. Ensure you have the necessary permits and permissions if you're shooting in public places or on private property.
Respect the environment and local regulations to maintain a positive brand image. Even if you aren't sure, your commercial photographer should be aware of the bylaws and legalities of the location chosen.
Always make sure to ask for permission well in advance and get it in writing, if possible. This way the location can't go back on their word down the road, or say that they changed their mind.
Commercial Product Photography-Be Daring and Think Outside the Studio Box
From now onwards, you should always think of photoshoot locations around your area, when doing commercial product photography.
If you don't have time to scout these locations yourself, then we are here to help. We are a leading location agency in London, UK. You can browse our location library or we can send someone out to scout locations for you.
Contact Locations Direct if you are ready to amp up your product photography using outstanding locations. We tailor the process to your needs.