November 22, 2023

Shutter Success: The Art of Authenticity in Ecommerce Photography

Shutter Success The Art of Authenticity - Ecommerce Photography

Photography for ecommerce: Mastering the Basics

With a majority of shopping transactions migrating online, a brand’s visual narrative becomes its primary method of engaging and enticing customers. Ecommerce photography is an absolute essential for success. According to Adobe, 63% of shoppers said that “high-quality product photos” are “very important when deciding whether or not to buy a product online, whilst it’s thought that 22% of returns occur “because the Product Looks Different in Person”.

Ultimately, whether you’re a Manchester based apparel wholesaler, or an electronics omnichannel retailer, a compelling photograph isn’t simply a two-dimensional representation; it’s a catalyst for emotion, interaction, and action.

So, how best can your ecommerce business get the most out of photography? How can we elevate your brand, products and social media through this important medium?

Let’s find out:

Ecommerce Photography: Constructing Identity

At its core, brand photography is about narrative. It’s the backdrop against which every product is set, the ethos that permeates every transaction, and the essence that lingers after every interaction. While product photos speak about what is being offered, brand photography communicates why.

A sustainable clothing brand, for instance, won’t just showcase well-draped apparel. Through their imagery, they might transport viewers to cotton fields, introduce them to artisans, or capture the tranquillity of nature – driving home the brand’s commitment to sustainability and ethical production.

Emotion is the currency of brand photography. It’s about evoking feelings—be it the warmth of nostalgia, the thrill of adventure, or the comfort of community. And often, these feelings are summoned not through posed shots, but candid captures. It could be a spontaneous laugh shared between colleagues, a designer lost in thought, or the sun setting over a workshop. It’s these ‘in-between’ moments that often tell the most authentic brand stories.

Elevating your brand through photography, CSP’s top tips:

1. Understand Your Brand’s Core Values

Before you snap a single photo, it’s essential to define your brand’s values. Are you about luxury, sustainability, innovation, or simplicity? Your photographs should consistently echo these values.

2. Use Consistent Lighting and Backdrops

Choose lighting and backgrounds that align with your brand’s tone. A luxury brand might opt for dramatic lighting and darker backgrounds, while a sustainable brand could lean towards natural light and earthy backdrops.

3. Prioritise Authenticity

Avoid overly staged shots. Candid moments, whether of your team, your process, or your customers, can provide a more genuine glimpse into your brand’s world.

Product Photography: Elevating Offerings

Where brand photography evokes ethos, product photography emphasises detail. It’s a close-up on craftsmanship, a spotlight on design, and a guide to utility. And while clarity is paramount, creativity is not to be overlooked.

Dynamic angles can offer fresh perspectives. A wristwatch might be photographed not just on a wrist, but also placed next to an antique compass, emphasising heritage and timelessness. A gourmet tea brand might not only showcase packed tea leaves but also capture the swirl of tea being poured, steam rising, invoking sensory experiences.

Backgrounds, too, play a role. While many opt for neutral backgrounds to highlight products, strategic placements can accentuate value propositions. A camping gear product might be set against misty mountains, reinforcing its durability in extreme conditions.

Textures deserve attention as well. The sheen of satin, the ruggedness of handcrafted leather, or the gloss of a ceramic vase—all beckon tactile interactions, making the viewer yearn to reach out and touch.

Quick wins for your product photography:

1. Prioritise Clarity:

The aim is to show the product as it is. Ensure you have a sharp focus, high resolution, and accurate colour representation.

2. Multiple Angles:

Capture every facet of your product. From the top, side, back, and even a 360-degree view if possible. This gives customers a comprehensive look at what they’re purchasing.

3. Context is Key:

How is your product used? Showing it in a real-world scenario can help potential buyers visualise its use in their own lives.

4. Close-ups and Details:

Showcase the intricate details of your products. Whether it’s the stitching on handmade clothing or the texture of a handcrafted piece of jewellery, these details can differentiate and elevate your products.

Engaging Audiences on Social Media

While a brand’s website is its online sanctuary, social media channels are its interactive playgrounds. Here, photography is not merely about showcasing; it’s about connecting and conversing.

Less formal, candid imagery tends to resonate on platforms like Instagram. A photo capturing the creative chaos of a design brainstorming session, or a snapshot of a team member’s pet lounging amidst inventory, introduces a brand’s human side, making it more than just a logo or a product.

Yet, when spotlighting a specific item, it’s essential to traverse beyond the product itself and delve into the emotions it invokes. If promoting an organic skincare range, aim to capture the texture of the cream: droplets of water on fresh green leaves, and the serene expression of an individual, emphasising the holistic experience of skincare, not just the act.

Equally, there’s no need to sacrifice consistency in the quest for variety. A cohesive visual theme, perhaps in terms of colour palettes or framing, can bolster brand recognition without making content monotonous.

In Closing: The Symphony of Imagery in Ecommerce

Ecommerce thrives on connections. Every photograph becomes a conversation, a whisper of a brand’s story, a showcase of its offerings, and an invitation to be part of its journey. As brands sculpt their online narratives, it’s crucial to let brand and product photography dance in tandem, each enhancing the other, crafting stories that linger in the heart long after the browser window is closed.

CSP Commerce | Manchester Ecommerce Agency

From brand through to demand, we support and manage ecommerce growth at each stage of the commerce journey.  Our extensive knowledge and experience in ecommerce have established us as industry leaders for our capabilities in performance marketing, marketplace management, social commerce, and Shopify, Shopify Plus and WooCommerce web development.
We’re a Manchester ecommerce agency that works with retailers as committed to growth as we are. We tailor our performance and platform-first approach to the ambitious brands and online retailers we partner with. As part of Wunderman Thompson Commerce, we are uniquely positioned to support businesses to scale nationally to globally.
We’ll hand-select a team of specialists to work with clients and operate as an extension of their ecommerce department. We are accountable for delivering measurable results that grow reach and revenue. Together, we will work to scale and sell your products across online channels.
If you’re serious about growth then start your journey with us. Let’s succeed and scale together.

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WPP Manchester Campus,
1 New Quay Street,
Greater Manchester,
M3 4BN.
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