When it comes to online shops, the importance of product images should not be underestimated. Taking photographs is a demanding process. It requires good equipment and competence regarding lighting and image processing.
In the following situations, hire a professional to take the product images
- The collection is small, only tens or hundreds of products at most. And new products are not available every week.
- The images must comply with a certain visual approach. For example, they must be uniform with previously taken images.
- The products have shiny spots or they are shiny all over / the products are pure white / the products are completely black.
- The colors of the products must match with the image precisely.
However, there are situations where it is sensible or necessary to take your own product images
- The products are unique or one-of-a-kind items, and they are delivered to the customer as soon as they are completed.
- There are such large quantities of products that it is worth hiring an in-house photographer, or having an employee trained by a professional.
- There are no professional photographers available, or it is not possible/cost-effective to take the products to a studio.
If you are planning to take your own pictures, it would be beneficial to have a professional photographer in the beginning stages to assist you.
What should be taken into consideration when hiring a professional?
- You must be aware of the intended use of the images
- Printed advertisement
- Be as specific as possible when requesting a quote
- Specify the number of angles needed.
- Should the background be removed and is clipping needed?
- Should the images be stylized?
- You should provide possible reference images or tell the photographer what the main product is, in case your product is a part of a larger grouping.
- Deliver a list of the products and angles to be photographed. You should think beyond the first application of the product, because taking photographs from different angles later is not cost efficient.
- Deliver undamaged, new and clean products for the photo session. Old / used products look old and worn in the images themselves.
- Inform the photographer of the delivery schedule for the images beforehand, preferably in the quote request.
- Should you need images of the products in different colors, you should provide the products in these colors to the photographer. Do not assume that the product would look good if you ask for the colors to be changed in Photoshop.
Tuomo Jalkanen, Photographer, Alias Creative
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