They are everywhere- staring at us from billboards, peeking out of pages of newspapers and magazines, gazing from upon specifically curated flyers and brochures such that you cannot ever do without them. Or let’s just say, you won’t be allowed to be left unheeding to their presence of a cleverly evident luring appeal. Product photographs indeed compose a great chunk of the modern world, dominating the market in accounting for the largest share of commercial photographic demands. That though is not much of a surprise, since their creation and capturing in exclusive marketing intentions already is a premise for greater marketability to follow.
Product photography can be identified as a distinct form of photography in that the purpose of its serving is definitely different as well. It sure is an art indeed of all photographic reputation, but photographing products has a greater requirement of the technicalities. More aptly capturing of the essence of such distinction would be their alluding to as product commercials as images bearing resolutely the intention of marketing and selling the product thus captured by counting on its appeal factor. And yet in letting the photos speak for themselves, this approach to photography is also as artistic in its nature as it is advertising in its motive.
Even in its singularity however as being one specific form of the photographing kind, product photography itself can be of numerous types. The types of product photography would be as diverse as well, referring to not just the different styles in which products are captured so as to be commercially attractive but also deriving upon many factors in capturing these photos so as to be relevant to a specific audience as well. Be it the classification then as advertising photography or display photography or the differences eked out in manners of marketing vs direct ploys in selling as well as the more visual aspects of choosing a background and finding the right angle in capturing, product photographing is more intricate than what we assume it to be.
As regards the area of its placing, the domain of product photography would encompass everything from the ads encountered in papers and billboards for instance to the realer version of such advertising that directly offers you the product as in the case of e-commerce sites. With the former being a case in marketing and the latter being more assertive in selling the product displayed as an image, product photography assumes an importance in business that can be differently interpreted.
Another factor that can work to facilitate greater classification across the range of product photography are such elements of which the art of photographing as a whole is crucially reliant on. Lighting can alter dramatically similar shots of a singular subject captured, irrespective of the type of photography in which it courts expression. The effectiveness of the presentation would depend also on the settings as well, particularly in the colors of such working. Darker colored props would highlight products of a lighter shade for instance, easing also the viewing experience. These and many other such associated nuances of both smaller and greater significance can be crucial in determining whether or not the photographs manages to deliver the essence of the products portrayed.
Even in such discrete grounds of functioning, product photography can and does indeed occur as overlapping propositions in regards of the style and mode of their capturing. Traditionally captured against a white background are such images that identify as product photographs in their presentation. These images are what can be encountered most commonly upon digital platforms involved indeed in the transaction of goods and products.
The reasoning behind this consideration is quite simple- a white background affords the object exclusive focus so as to allow the viewer a realer impression of the product they might be prospectively buying. And while white background pictures are not the exclusive norm, they happen to be more frequently encountered in this arena of representation. Dark background photography also happens to be another standard choice that which is lesser practiced as against the white draw but can be an impeccable way in capturing indeed the essence of the images.
The other approach to photographing products as concerns the settings would occur as a contrast to the white background specification. Occurring as an otherwise general term of creative product photography, this style sees products captured pretty much as ‘ordinary’ objects but with the intent of marketing essentially rooted still as being the very reason for products to be photographed. The focus on the aesthetics is greater indeed in this manner of capturing, that allows not just for extensive background options but also extends this choice to bringing in props and models as well into the picture. The intention also might be something of specialness, being not just representative of the product but placing it in greater context of its appeal and utility and such.
The draw can also boil down to such ways of portraying that incorporates multiple products in a single image. These are generally presented as options available in the same range of use, for the consumer to be endowed the privilege of exercising their choice, which by itself is a clever ploy of marketing. Of course, it is a manner of convenience in picking the most preferred variant of the product afforded through this curation that which can be another factor in proper marketing.
Feasibility also is what needs to govern the ‘conditions’ in which products are photographed in commercial capacity. This spans across wide a count of the determinants, one of the more prominent ones being fitting the measure of its proclaimed functioning. Consider for instance the product being some brand of yoga wear which would likely incite customers more if the visuals pan as a human form performing indeed the activity while displaying that name in donning. Essential also would be to emphasise such attributes in what makes the product retains the crux of what they are, allowing for the ease of movement or flexibility in this case, as something poignantly relayed through the picture itself. Occurring as lifestyle product photography, this and associated modes in photographing products in their ‘environment’ of functioning is another prime consideration within the genre of product photography.
More technical assertion of product pictures would be as regards the angle and view in which they are shot. Most exquisite in the appeal of such specificness would be such pictures that are captured as top view, and even more specially as flat lay overheads. This is most often an approach of photographing food even in common usage of them outside the product spectrum. But commercial product photography too can do well through this approach, providing more aesthetic appeal in raising the prospects of the product presented.
Another such concept in this context expresses as the exclusive notion of a 360 product photography. Affording an all rounded view of the product for customers to consider all aspects of what might make it suitable for their use is this 360 degree view of the portrayed object. Also called spin photography, this is a specific technique of photography that captures images mainly for display on ecommerce sites where physical viewing of the object before purchase is not possible. The requirements in photographing in this mode is more calling upon the expertise of the professional as well of the equipment and the setting through which the final image is produced.
What however rules as the common strand governing all notions of product photography is a requirement in specific appeal. Whether that be a projecting in such product compelling enough to buy at the moment or impact the human mind enough to effectively serve then the purpose of marketing for which it was devised as a special device of commerce, product photography is very evidently an out-and-out consumer centric construction.
There though has emerged a more recent trend in product photography that seeks to market a service rather than a product. The possibility of such working might seem inconceivable, as the intangible nature of services finding exact expression through a static medium of photos might be an even more special availing in the already special case of abstract photography.
What ‘service photography’ does then is employ the physical form of things to deliver an idea of what it might be like to explore the expression of what is rested in the picture. These most commonly take the form of detailing decor and design elements, with everything from organising parties to perhaps organising one’s desk instead scouting expression. This might sound tricky but trust indeed the expressive nature of photography to create such pictures that speak indeed a thousand words and ideas might in fact come across as more wholesome through this way of their presenting.
Product photography then is an essential tool that employs the power of this technical based approach to art to further the business of commerce. It also is more intensive in its photographic demands, requiring at least a certain level of specialised skill and an eye indeed for the aesthetics of a more practical pertaining. Randomly clicked photographs might in fact defeat the entire purpose of product photographs, presenting a distorted, unappealing version of the product that would obviously have no takers. Product photography might be more technical than artistic but they still appeal ultimately to the senses of the human in a greater assertion of its creative character.