Styling Product Photos To Sell Year-Round

By J.B. Maverick

2 min read

One of the most common mistakes made by small businesses and do-it-yourself photography newbies is photo stylizing that limits how evergreen a product appears. A well-developed and cultivated online presence includes product photographs that effectively market your company’s products for year-round sale. There are several photo styling principles you can employ to make product photos usable throughout the year.

Using Textures and Colors to Broaden Product Appeal

Regardless of what type of items make up your small business product portfolio, you can market your products in a manner that encourages consumers to make purchases year-round.

Retail business owners tend to have products photographed with props reflecting particular holidays, for example, photographing products decorated with hearts or Cupids, or using an overwhelmingly red or pink color scheme, around Valentine’s Day. While it may be effective marketing during the brief span of time surrounding the holiday, such an approach to product photo styling is extremely and unnecessarily limiting.

To broaden the perceived appropriateness of a product in regard to time of year, consider instead using props, colors, and textures that may evoke a seasonal association but also remain relevant during the rest of the year. People don’t only purchase jewelry for Christmas or Valentine’s Day. There are birthdays, anniversaries, and other occasions throughout the year that call for special gifts. Extend the useful life of a product photo by, for example, using stars rather than Christmas trees in the shot.

Match colors, textures, and fabrics with general seasons such as summer or winter, rather than with limited, specific holidays. Winter is generally conveyed with muted, cooler tones of blue and grey, and textures such as weathered wood and wool. Pastel blues and earthy browns and greens are more appropriate for springtime. Your overall goal should be selecting colors and textures that mirror a seasonal appropriateness that conveys a warm, comforting, reassuring feeling to your customers, aimed at increasing customer trust.

Avoid overcomplicating a photo’s dynamics by using too many, or conflicting, colors and textures. Don’t shoot products in a way that results in them getting lost somewhere in the photo. The background and props are important, but maintain the focus on your product.

Create a Visual Scene

Customers are more apt to buy a product when they can visualize themselves actually using it. Use models and props in product photos that act as a visual prompt leading the customer to imagine owning and using your products, especially in a way that highlights a product’s unique or superior qualities. For instance, if your company recently introduced a more durable snow shovel, the product shot can be composed to show off how easily the shovel handles big jobs. Use two photos, one showing your model attacking a huge pile of snow, followed by a photo of the model leaning on the shovel, smiling brightly and standing in a totally cleared driveway.

In designing scenes and visual prompts, again try to avoid limiting the scope or applicability of your products. It is perfectly fine to use multiple product photos to illustrate your product’s numerous uses.

References & Resources

Information may be abridged and therefore incomplete. This document/information does not constitute, and should not be considered a substitute for, legal or financial advice. Each financial situation is different, the advice provided is intended to be general. Please contact your financial or legal advisors for information specific to your situation.

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