It needs more ‘jushing,’ were her first words to us when our photographer looked at our gift box. We stared down at our beautiful box and realized she was right. Get plumping! The idea of a photo shoot seems so simple, but in reality, it requires planning.
Time is money, and planning your photo shoot can save time, money, and create tools for your marketing channels. A lack of planning can mean missed opportunities, maybe missed purchases, because you don’t have the pictures you need when a potential buyer comes calling online. The opportunity cost in waiting until next time – especially if a major buying season (holiday, weddings etc) is involved - can be painful.
Here are 5 Tips to Help You Get Focused on a Great Photo Session:
Are professional pictures really necessary? Absolutely, yes. Give yourself every competitive advantage. With the average web site visitor staying less time than it takes for a sip of coffee, your images need to be ready to draw visitors inside. Give them every reason to stay and purchase. Or at least engage. Free yourself from worrying about the lighting and angles, let the pro do it. And a good photographer (@whitneywasson) will offer the added bonus of product positioning ideas based on their years of experience.
Make a list of each picture you need. Think ahead about how many photos you’ll need to be posting weekly/daily and across all the platforms (newsletter, website, social channels). It may seem simple to come up with the list now, but things get busy quick when the photographer arrives and you’re trying to make the most of your time together. If you don’t have your list ready, it’s easy to start jumping around and miss key shots. Write down a brief description of each photo, list the different colors of items, and arrangements of those items, as separate photos. You may sell one combination of products, but having pictures of two or three combinations will give you different ways of showing off some of your favorite pieces. Large groupings, small ones for variety, mood, flavor. And you can spread that variety across multiple channels to promote the same end product in unique ways. Options and ideas, that’s the name of the game.
Plan the order of pictures. When you start moving individual items in and out of pictures a session can get unorganized in a hurry. Think about whether individual items will be in multiple shots, in the same background? Different backgrounds? You don’t want to waste time getting the same pieces, then moving them out, then getting them back. Have a logical order, based on which pieces are being used the most in your photos, and in which groupings. Keep the same pieces handy, and switch the backgrounds, or add in a complementary piece for a different occasion. Same piece, different purpose.
Seasonal vs non-seasonal? It’s not rocket science, but without planning, you can miss the obvious, like the fact that three different buying seasons may be occurring in the next five months. Consider what you’ll be selling in the months ahead. Take pictures in those different settings now, with a range of backgrounds and accessories, colors etc. (Yes, that means dragging out accessories/decorations packed away somewhere in the attic or shoved under a bed!) Otherwise, you’ll realize too late that you need the exact same items but in a holiday decor setting. Dang it!
Remember Individual items. What about individual pictures of products to add variety? Different settings for the Individual items you want to highlight allow more content options, and can link back to the full package pages. If you don’t take individual item pictures, then you’d better offer a lot of packages or styles that all reflect unique looks. If not, your photos will start to look the same online very quickly.
These are a few of our lessons learned, the hard way. While we haven’t quite mastered this process yet either, we can share these tips through the lens of our business, in the hopes that it helps yours.