A big question small businesses face is whether or not to spend the money to get professional photos of their products taken for their website. I know many of my client struggle with budget & time concerns when it comes to their photos. But, I want to stress what an important (if not the most important) factor photos are.
I always ask clients to send links to sites they like & why they like them. I usually get big name sites with one thing in common..gorgeous photographs. Let’s look at a couple of examples.
Most of the page is taken up with a slider containing beautiful photographs. In this case, it is not just of the product, but in a location that sets the mood.
Kiki & Bree
A large photograph accompanied by 4 smaller ones – all clothing is shown on models.
Colorful chairs against a white background compliment the overall aesthetic of the site.
What's the first thing you noticed on these pages? The photos..that’s what draws you in and what will compel you to explore, it might even get you to read some of the text!
Let’s look at one of these examples without their 'beauty shots' but with some flat product photos.
Not terrible, but it lacks the emotional connection & visual impact of the original. These photos can't direct you around the page like the original can. Take a look at the original Kiki & Bree one again – the child's gaze is leading you to look to the right at what is written there, and the light is taking you up to the navigation. It's hard to get that with a flat image.
Now, I know what your thinking – “I don't have the time or the resources to do this”. To that I would respond that you don’t have to take all of your product photos this way, but you should budget for one photo shoot a season and get a few 'beauty shots' taken of your products. You don't have to spend a fortune, recruit friends, or kids of friends & give them a small gift for their troubles – maybe one of the outfits they model, or a nice dinner. Find a local photographer, a student even that can give you a half day at a reasonable price.
A designer can create a gorgeous, functional site for you, but if your products aren't enticing, none of that will get you sales. I'm not a big fan of cliche expressions, but it is true, you only get one chance to make a first impression.