As you may have noticed, I am returning to the world of blogging based on advice from the fantastic No Plastic Sleeves book by Larry Volk and Danielle Currier. I am going to work on providing new content weekly with some tips for working with your photographer and the benefits of high quality photography for your Fashion business.
Today in the studio we are working on new product photos for Von Sorella's SS 18 Collection so I thought it would be a great time to discuss product photography for online sales and how you can use it to increase sales. Although I do not share ecommerce product photos through my portfolio or any of my social media often, it is my bread and butter on a daily basis. The photos are not terribly exciting or unique but provide a technical challenge as a photographer and are very necessary in the business of fashion. High quality product photographs are what your customers will be using to decide on whether or not to buy your product. The cost for this type of work is generally low and can find your business a large boost in sales if presented correctly in a complete Ecommerce portal on your website. I often share with my clients a story from when I worked for a nationwide "boutique" that continues to be in business today, regardless of the downturn of the retail industry. We decided to make a change to the way we photographed dresses and added an additional product photo to the line up. It significantly changed the sales of that particular family of business and was rather eye opening on how effective it was. For more on this, check out this wonderful article from Marketing Profs. My favorite quote from the article is "Good photos will get people into your e-commerce store; excellent photos will get people buying your products."
The most important aspect of photographing product to be used for sales is consistency. Decisions need to be made both by the client and photographer from the beginning about image size, styling standards and lighting direction. Very often people do not notice these differences but when you look at the landing page and see all the products side by side, you notice these things. My job as a photographer at that point is to provide a consistent product photo for each item that clearly shows the customer what they are purchasing. It is always a good idea to look at high end boutiques, fashion labels, and retailers to see how they do things. Many of these ideas can be translated to your business and are generally considered "best practices" within the industry. One of my favorite retailers to look at is Gucci. The consistency in photography and styling showcases their product extremely well and is very pleasing to the eye.
As you can see in the behind the scene image, for this particular product I chose to hang it from a c stand and edit out the returns and hanger in post. I do not always take this approach but it was decided upon based on the product I was shooting. I know from experience that shooting dresses laid down flat isn't the best solution as the folds and draping does not translate well and is difficult to style in a natural manner. In this case hanging it better simulates the silhouette of the product and is overall more efficient.
This portion of Fashion Business is often overlooked but is critical in the success of an online sales portal and should be thought out just as much as any other portion of your business.