For all watch and jewellery businesses with an online retail presence, creating imagery falls into three broad categories: the packshot, the still life and the lifestyle shots. This general rule applies to established brands as well as startups, as London-based photography and video agency Kalory explains in this WatchPro Workshop.
Typically with any online business, the product needs to be presented in a variety of situations so that the final buyer is able to establish a strong “want” towards it and hence make the final purchase.
Most of the selling has to be done through the images, as, in general, there is no human interaction to help close the sale. This is where a variety of image styles come into play.
You have to take your customers through a visual journey and show them the product in multiple situations that will give them the confidence to make the final purchase.
This is the quintessential photographic style since the dawn of online retail. The jewellery piece or the watch is photographed and placed on a clean white background, usually with a shadow or a reflection. There is nothing else but the product. This can be just a single image or multiples, depending on the complexity and design details that you want to show off on your web pages.
These product images are key as they are the ones featured in the e-commerce section of your website and are in general the last ones your clients will see before hitting the “buy now” button and entering their credit card details. They need to be of good quality, as at that moment in the shopping experience of an online client, doubts about the product and the purchase often occur: these packshot images needs to reassure the client that the product is perfect and meet their needs in terms of quality, designs, colours, sizes, etc. It is a crucial set of images in order to close an online sale. The images have to be descriptive and a special attention to colour correction is extremely important for those images, especially to avoid any returns afterwards.
- Pack shots can be quick and inexpensive.
- They require minimal planning and can be commissioned at short notice.
- Professional qualitative packshots will beat any iphone or home studio photography and will instantly give your e-commerce platform a professional look and build up your credibility as a serious e-retailer.
- The focus is purely on the product, there are no other distractions.
- A single image might fail to communicate a special design or usability feature of the product.
- For high value items, if you only show one image, it might be difficult to convince a client. Multiple angles can help with this, especially for sculptural jewellery pieces or special edition watches.
2. Still life:
Still life images are a considerable jump above packshots. However, they do not replace them, they should work hand in hand with them. While the packshots are descriptive and explain visually the product, being on a plain white background, some clients might need more help in making a decision as they are not able to see it beyond this, and how it might fit in their life or their aspired lifestyle.
The still life is a broad category, and can range from very simple spontaneous images to more complex setups that need a lot of pre-planning and a little more financial commitment. There are props involved, but again they can be as simple as a coloured tile or a feather to more complex and more expensive items, as well as easy or complex lighting.
- Still life image bring a creative feel to your product
- They allow you to communicate a wider narrative behind the product such as its inspiration or its story.
- They immediately differentiate your products away from your competition as you are creating unique photography suited to the specifics of your pieces and their story.
- They are a lot more fun for you as the process is about creating visual stories that will help the final buyers make their purchase decisions.
- It needs planning.
- You will need to have a little more financial commitment to the project for props, but a clever way to handle this, is to borrow from your own home and from friends and/or from our extensive collection of props to create your set of images.
Creating lifestyle images for your products will allow your final customer to see how the products look like in “real life” situation. How it looks on a wrist for a watch or a finger, an ear or a neck for a piece of jewellery. Lifestyle images almost always have a human presence, be it in the direct way of a model wearing your products or close up shots just showing your products on a model hand, neck etc.
Like still life, the variety and scope of these types of images is infinite and this means you can really create something unique, and bespoke for your product photography.
- Bringing a model is a way of showing to your final buyer what the product looks like when worn. This is a huge help for most people in deciding how a piece of jewellery or a watch will look on them.
- You are creating a statement about your brand, and making it stand out from the competitors in the market place.
- It needs planning on all levels to ensure that the final images are exactly what you want.
- There is the additional cost of the model that needs to be considered, however asking your friends and family to see if there are any aspiring models that would be suitable for the type of images you need can help reduce pressure on the budget. We can also put you in touch with suitable freelance models who are available at a more reasonable rate than the ones charged by a modelling agency.
So if you are now completely confused, don’t panic. To create beautiful photography, you need professional skills. At Kalory we walk our customers through the process and help them make a decision based on their budget and their needs.
We often find out that our clients want to create a lot of images, for which they have not a clear planned usage. We can help you bring some focus on this, so that you are only creating and paying for photography that will have a direct benefit and impact on your e-commerce website.
Keep in mind that all three types of photography are complementing each other, and will allow your product to be presented in a variety of situations to help your final customer make a purchase decision. One is not better than the other, but depending on what your product is, one or more styles might be more effective than the other. This is where our expertise can make a big difference, so that you can make the best choice and allocate your budget towards the right images to maximise your visual impact and ultimately your sales.
About Kalory Photo & Video
Kalory Photo & Video is a UK photography studio located in Central London. The expert team of photographers and retouchers create high end imagery of jewellery, watch and interiors for the luxury and retail industries.