Often, each of us searches the catalogs of the large grocery chains or those with machines, equipment, bathrooms and garden furniture. In addition to providing specific information to potential customers, the catalogs are also part of a company’s business strategy. who have relied on a network marketing marketing model. Catalogs are a kind of representative advertising and for manufacturers, creators etc.
Pages with product images that draw users’ attention. Photos that bring them to the shop shelf, to the sales representative, to the respective importer, to the main manufacturer.
Catalogs are an intermediate tool for the visualization and sale of products. It enables companies to reach more customers.
At that time, before the advent of the Internet and digitization, manufacturers used catalogs primarily to promote their products. Through them, they contacted customers. They could recognize and act outside of their location.
But the world is changing. Of course, the advent of e-commerce is shifting the catalog. Many companies are changing catalog trading. Today, most product catalogs have been replaced by websites and e-shops. And commercial companies make it easier for their users to insert digital versions of catalogs.
What is catalog photography?
Yes, the product catalog is a creative solution that represents brands. He sold. Think of all the products that we see in a catalog or brochure. How are they represented? With attractive, beautiful and eye-catching photos. Whether on paper (printed catalog) or digital (online catalog), catalog images are intended to visually illustrate products and demonstrate all of their properties.
Catalog photography is an integral part of product and advertising photography. Their application finds its place in practically every branch. It includes all products that can be sold – from small components to larger items, furniture, machines, cars and more.
Every company has something to say. And how this story is interpreted in photographic images depends entirely on the nature of the individual manufacturer, brand, product or service.
Depending on the type of product and how it is presented, the images in catalog photography can be direct, white or a combination of conceptual images that attract and attract attention. In other words, catalog photography can use all known methods of capturing product photography – on white background, lifestyle, detail, large format, group or packaging.
Most product catalog or brochure product images are created in a studio with careful control of the background, shadows and lighting. Professional studios, have the necessary equipment. The environment there enables a faster detection of a large number of products.
With photographers, products are often taken against a white background and then digitally enhanced images, e.g. B. cut an object and placed an additional background that is best suited for the respective catalog.
The picture below shows makeup brushes. They chose two presentation concepts – white background and close-ups.
In the next photo, part of a jewelry catalog next to standard frames on a white background contains a model that presents a product in a real environment – what it would actually look like.
Let us now turn to the wine industry and the wine industry.
In order to create a catalog with the product range in this area, it is important not to concentrate so much on the product itself – the wine, but on the bottle. Why? Because it is the bottle that represents the face of the product. Wine is recognized by consumers through them.
In this case, the focus is on packaging and labeling. They are the focus of the photographer. In order to convey the specific properties of the product, it is technically necessary to emphasize the silhouette and shape of the bottle as well as the outstanding design elements and the label. They should all be clear.
Regardless of the product we’re going to photograph, the challenges of catalog photography are usually limited to:
- Product presentation without distortion.
- Get the best possible light with soft shadows, with no noticeable reflections.
- Quickly capture a range of products in turn so that the shadows and highlights are consistent
A good photographerwould think carefully about his steps to find the right solutions and deal with obstacles.
An important aspect of good catalog photography is lighting.
How do I determine the right lighting? It all depends on the subject we are going to take. For example, organic food would look better in natural light. In this case, outdoor photos would be appropriate.
On the other hand, if we shoot a range of products, accessories and clothing for the beach, it will be more successful to create a proper scene inside.
To achieve the perfect composition, the product must be placed in a position that attracts attention. It is appropriate to apply the rule of thirds.
The principle is based on dividing the image into nine equal squares and then adding the product to one of the four points where the lines intersect. This helps to create a balanced frame and allows the viewer’s eyes to move naturally through the picture. The LCD screens of most cameras have a feature that allows us to split the image into nine squares.
We can always do more to optimize the image of certain products. Photo editing software is a timely solution to improve various elements of product frames by processing and finishing the details. With them we can enrich the colors, adjust the exposure, cut out the subject and transfer it to a suitable background. Add elements and of course eliminate imperfections.
The current trend in catalog photography today is rendering or rendering – the process of creating digital images from a model in computer graphics. Computer generated images are supposed to save money for marketing strategies. Often implemented by large companies.
For example, IKEA publishes over 200 million catalogs a year. Imagine all articles were filmed! However, the company creates 62 different versions for 43 countries.
Undoubtedly, the creation of digital marketing materials using 3D computer graphics that correspond to different demographic characteristics is much faster and more efficient. Complete sets for rooms, including kitchens, bathrooms, verandas can be repainted without using cameras.
The compilation of the catalog of the Swedish furniture giant is a big task. It takes about ten months from conception to receiving the finished product. IKEA Photo Studio in Europe covers approx. 30,000 m² 285 photographers, a team of carpenters, interior designers and stylists work for photo shoots.
As we understand, shooting products for a catalog is not easy. A professional photographer usually plans, prepares a scene, adjusts the lighting, shoots and edits dozens and sometimes hundreds of pictures a day. In catalog photography, the actor often plays with creativity. We see some hanging scenes or strange product positions.
Taking the product image to another level are the types of images that big brands prefer for their ads or use for an entire page in a catalog.
Another worthy aspect – take photos from a different angle. This will always introduce something unusual to inspire the frame. Detailed images that highlight a certain product feature can be a great addition to a series of photos in a catalog or an eye-catching poster.
Non-standard product demonstration ideas definitely have great potential for a unique product photo in a catalog. Another characteristic practice used in catalog photography to add depth is otherwise dull photography, which is a product on a reflected surface.
It is worth considering that lighting can dramatically improve reflection. Humanization of product images, a particularly preferred method in the fashion industry, tells a story and breathes life. This would result in consumers recognizing themselves and wanting the illustrated product.
Catalog photography plays a key role in the visual storytelling and branding of leading consumer goods companies and contributes to their successful marketing campaigns and sales. It is therefore important that product photos are the wow factor that attracts users and drives out the competition.