I've had some really lovely comments about my product photography recently. While I still have a long way to go before I reach perfection (and I doubt I ever will!), I thought I'd share the evolution of images for one of my bestsellers - travelcard wallets.
Now, the travelcard wallets have been around for about 18 months now (so the earliest images here aren't actually that old - maybe I'll be brave enough so share some of my really old images at some point!). Anyway, here's the first picture of the first little range...
I think it looks a bit dull and grey - although it's pretty sharp and the colour representation is accurate (this is really important for product images). If I were to go back to this now I'd try to lighten the grey background a little.
Shot 1 of the South Bank wallet - what even is that? What size is is? What can I do with it? Dunno.
To be fair, I do still use this style of image for my alternative views in the shops - but not as the main image (this one was the main image at that time though - ouch!). Here were the alternatives, some of which I do still use (although the wallet lining has now changed)...
Next, I added the single wallets (which I'm not doing at the moment, but they're such a useful thing I may bring them back). I added an Oyster card into this image so people could see the purpose of the product. Still rather bland though.
Then I joined Not on the High Street and they gave me a much needed kick. I needed to style my images properly and improve the lighting. So I spent days retaking all of my product shots in "lifestyle settings". So, how to style a travelcard wallet? Well. where do you use it and what else will you have in your bag alongside it? At least that was my thinking, so here we go...
These shots were a vast improvement and I was really pleased - you can tell what's coming now, yes? I find this with everything, and I think most people do - that thing you thought was great soon becomes rubbish when you think of something better? This happens to me all the time. Fortunately I don't just leap to change everything constantly - although sometimes it feels like I do!
So, last autumn I was feeling really dissatisfied with these shots. I decided I didn't like the dominance of the brown table - it's a mid-century gem but didn't really work in the photos. So I went back into my studio to shoot all of the travelcard images again, with white backgrounds.
Fresher, brighter and clearer. And do you know what? Sales increased substantially! Instagram likes increased too as did shares and retweets and everything else. Proof of the difference images can make. I changed the images across my shops and saw an improvement everywhere. Remember these are just the main images I'm changing - the alternative view shots are still pretty basic - I might work on this later in the year.
I've edited the new shots fairly heavily - increasing exposure and sharpness and removing yellow tones to give a bright, white look. Once again really important to ensure that these edits don't mess up the colour representation of the product itself, so it can take a bit of tweaking to get right.
I then decided to do some festive shots (this was the day I discovered my mistletoe allergy!!). I also wanted to pair up the wallets with their matching notebooks as they make a nice gift as a set...
So I've styled this one just for Christmas - not that obvious what they are - I retained the shot above as the main image in the shops but used these mostly on social media. Now they only had a finite life of course, but got lots of attention so it was well worth the hour or two I spent.
Now onto the current images (I haven't retaken South Bank yet so here's London Town in yellow)...
I've taken styled shots with a spring theme and edited them in the same way as above - at the same time I took all the basic, work throughout the year, shots so when the spring theme is no longer suitable I don't have to immediately rush out and take them again I can just swap over.
I've taken A LOT of pictures this time so I have plenty to share across social media without repeating myself too often. I'm always having new ideas though so despite my best efforts to avoid constantly retaking product shots I think this will continue!
Any feedback on my new images is of course welcome!