Product photography is directly related to trade and maybe that’s why we should consider it as the art behind advertising. The main principles in product photography are to look for the most appropriate angle, to choose a meaningful concept to highlight the qualities of the product and its details, to capture the mood, emotion and most of all to convey feeling to provoke a reaction in the viewer.
Often advertising photographers approach their work as artists whose main goal is to tell compelling stories, creating stylish and attractive images, using the play of light, all aspects of lighting, proper framing and those unique combinations between the main object, the right colors and accessories.
Of course, product photography has become more popular these days, mostly due to the development of technologies that make it easy to capture high-quality and detailed images. Before photography evolved, fashion magazines used engraved illustrations and definitely did not enjoy much success.
Of course, everything changes over time – products, expectations, the way of presentation, including the advertising process itself. The first serious fashion product photos were taken in 1911 by Eduard Steichen. Printed in a magazine Art and Decoration.
Below – at the same time a small company called Conde Nast, sees a perspective in fashion photography and buys social, then Vogue magazine, to turn it into an international fashion emblem, thanks to innovative photography and glamorous models, advertising, through its pages, products of famous designers, companies producing cosmetics, etc.
Post-war advertising focused more on middle-class families, while advertisements from the 1960s and 1970s reflected social movements. A classic example of product photography during this period was The Marlborough Man – a concept that reflected the way of life, concrete style, class, and qualities such as determination, masculinity, and strength. Even today, it is considered one of the best advertising campaigns of all time.
On this occasion, we are not at all surprised to find that “The Marlboro Man” is also present in the charts for the most expensive photographs in the world. “Untitled (Cowboy) Cowboy” promotional photo taken by photographer Richard Prince for Time magazine, sold at auction in 2007 for a whopping $ 3,400,000.
There is also improvement in the product staff of cars.
From both photos it is clear that with the advancement of techniques and technologies, in addition to the models, the quality of visualization is also changing. Of course, in the digital age, the promotion of social media and the development of online commerce, have radically changed our perception of photography.
On the one hand, photos have become much more accessible because both photographers and all those businesses have the opportunity to share and distribute faster and easier. But on the other hand, the question arises “Do we really have to do we differentiate between product photography and photography, especially on the go, typical of platforms like Instagram? ”.
But in fact, if we ever manage to discern the impressive effect that can come from just one photo and grow with the power of fire, then we would understand the true power of product photography.
Commercial or advertising product photography meets a number of large and small needs. We find it all around us. Offline in shopping malls, billboards, brochures, catalogs …. Online. But somehow in everyday life many people have learned to ignore it.
According to a study by the Danish Technical University, the scope of collective attention has dropped dramatically in the last few years due to digital information overload. This is a signal that consumers will be maximally selective and will be looking for creative and distinctive product images.
TIM TADDER, USA (IPA)
Tim Tader is one of the most prominent product photographers in the world right now. In 2015, Epson, a world leader in photo printing technology, recognized Tader as one of the most influential photographers, based on his production work on television commercials and global advertising campaigns, which included his works.
Tader did not start his career as a product photographer, but in his own words, from the lowest rung, offering freelance services for municipal newspapers. At the next stage he became a photo reporter. He gradually rose to prominence, eventually participating in the campaigns of some of the most famous consumer brands in the world, where he achieved his true success.
With his extremely inventive, conceptual, advertising photography, Tader was ranked by the prestigious Luezer Archive Magazine, in the top 200 photographers in the world, for eight years in a row. His works are distinguished bystrong presence of various lighting effects. He skillfully and very creatively captures stunning dramatic shots, action scenes, sports.
Some of its main customers are brands such as Pepsi, Adidas, Budweiser Miller Lite, Craftsman, Bud Light, Marlboro, McDonald’s and many others.
Whether a printed image or a digital frame, the product photo captures a unique and specific moment that is usually associated with a real experience and the transmission of a message to the audience. The choice of advertising photos, whether for print or online format, requires a special eye for detail and a unique concept.
In 1870, a drink was born, which over time became the well-known and famous Indian tonic Schweppes. Often imitated, copied or replicated, the brand stays true to itself. An innovative company, not only with the taste of its drinks, but also with the specific shape of the bottle, which at that time stood aside to keep the cork moist, which aims to keep the soda.
Schweppes relies more than 100 years on corks – champagne type, with a wire basket. To advertise their product and the enviable quality of the drink after a long period of storage, they use an illustration that speaks volumes.
On the occasion of the 150th anniversary, Schweppes once again emphasizes its iconic image with a new campaign. Sealed by the famous photographer Dan Tobin Smith (Absolut Vodka, Hennessy), the spirit of this famous Tonic is revealed as festive, refreshing, but above all original.
A bold concept that embodies the identity of the Schweppes brand. The campaign includes several product shots, focusing on three extremely valuable product features, highlighted by three playful, strong and visually complementary elements:
- bottle, against the background of fun party decoration
If we take a closer look, we will find that part of the party decoration is actually citrus peels, as they are used for cocktails. The photographer skillfully suggests that this tonic is ideal as an ingredient for cocktails.
- open bottle
The message the photographer sends us here is that the intensity of the soda is enough to be able to celebrate the holiday by literally blowing out the birthday candle.
- yellow lemon peel
Elegantly placed on a chilled cocktail glass. Well yes! Brilliant idea – imitates the well-known shape of the Schweppes logo.
More great examples of advertising, product and creative image can be found at Heinz Company.
In the picture we see the popular Heinz ketchup bottle, but acquired the shape of sliced tomatoes. The effect of the message is perfectly complemented by the catchphrase to emphasize the quality of the product.
This is actually a visual technique that relies on the use of symbolism in advertising. Symbolism is often identified with dramatic images, associative connections or similarities to attract attention and interest in a product.
But there is also the opposite effect. Sometimes, desperately fighting for customer recognition and attention, advertisers may target pointless marketing techniques and inappropriate product scenes.
It is not an easy task to introduce a product to the market, even if it is a well-known brand. Sometimes consumers are not ready for the product, and sometimes they simply cannot find an application for it.
Usually promotional product photos are filtered through the prism of individual experiences. One type is customized for the respective audience by users.
This is important in order to distinguish the main message from the background noise in the already crowded market. This type of advertising strategy often uses the likelihood of increasing conversions to sales through emotional connections.
Let’s analyze the advertising image of the manufacturer of sports shoes Pearl Izum.
The first thing that immediately catches the eye of the viewer is the dog. Apparently here they have failed to take into account the impact of first impressions and their subsequent reactions. In this case, this tactic would force the viewer to experience the emotion of losing a pet, instead of actually getting a message about shoes that allow you to run long distances for a long time.
Everyone makes mistakes, even the big brands. Toyota, for example, tried unsuccessfully to give an ethereal feel to its redesigned Avalon. Instead of creating an attractive atmosphere that engages the user, the new Toyota Avalon seems to be engulfed in smoke, and this can take the viewer’s imagination in many different directions.