A picture is worth a thousand words. The right picture of your building product is worth a thousand specifications.
Websites are important for any industry, and building product manufacturers are no different, especially with the changes since the start of the pandemic in 2020. More and more AECs are doing their research online, visiting websites rather than handling the products in person. While this is quicker, in many cases it can be a harder sell since customers aren’t able to see and feel the quality of your products for themselves. Fortunately, offering stunning photos on your website helps to alleviate that issue, however, taking quality pictures isn’t as simple and pointing and clicking.
Below are some tips and considerations to help you capture quality images and make the most of your photography skills to turn your digital content into sales.
Smartphones Can Take Great Pictures
Thanks to tremendous advances in cellphone cameras, it’s not always necessary to spend the big bucks on a fancy, name brand mirrorless camera—that’s not to say that they don’t take beautiful photos, but cellphone cameras have definitely stepped-up their game to a level where they can be used with confidence.
First off, almost everyone has a cellphone with a camera, which makes taking photos easy and accessible across the board. Newer smartphones are boasting powerful camera lenses that help even amateur photographers capture quality images. Additionally, when the photos are housed in your phone, they are easily edited using editing apps. There’s also the added benefit of being able to quickly share and post your photos to your company’s social media sites.
Use a Tripod
Tripods are a must. Not only do they stabilize the camera, but they keep your products stationary in the frame, which allows for easier editing after shooting. Leaning your camera against something risks damage, puts the image at unnatural and potentially unflattering angles, and can end up blurring for lack of focusing.
There are many types of tripods to choose from, but the two biggest categories are traditional and flexible. A traditional tripod can be used for a standard camera or a smartphone. They can be large and difficult to manage, but they are tried-and-true products for any photographer. The flexible tripod is a great resource, since it can be manipulated in a number of ways, bending over tree branches, standing traditionally, or even lying flat on tabletops.
You must decide if artificial light or natural light is best for your product. It is a good idea to try both types of lighting before settling on one. Look at the quality of the image produced, check for true color representation, and if the surface is reflective, remember to make sure nothing is visibly reflecting in the final image.
Natural light is sunlight and often referred to as “soft light.” It is best to use natural light for ecommerce products if they are meant for outdoor use, show a truer color, or if outdoor surroundings add to the product’s overall appeal. Artificial light refers to candles, fires, and light bulbs. Unlike natural light, artificial light is considered “hard light” because the light is more focused. Artificial light is best used for products where physical details are important and should be highlighted.
It is best to decide upon one type of light per photo (and possibly per product), since it makes for a consistent photo and unifies your brand.
Variety is King
When shooting your product, remember to try a variety of images, angles, and poses. If a model is being used, have the model face in different directions, look away from the camera sometimes, and try seated and standing positions. If the product is a stand-alone, it is best to add a white background sweep (or backdrop), since even smartphone cameras will catch every blemish in the background.
Your products are your business, and as such, you have to ensure that they are presented in their best light, but also in their truest nature. AECs are going to building product manufacturers’ websites more and more, and if you want to stand a real chance of catching their eye, you must provide high-quality and professional looking photographs of your products. It is important to understand that your competitors are already doing it, so if you don’t add this type of digital content to your site, you’re putting yourself at an immediate disadvantage.
Fortunately, it’s not necessary to pay a professional photographer or to even have expensive equipment to capture effective photographs. If you’re willing to put in some time, and are motivated, armed with a smartphone, tripod, sweep, and a little vision, you can capture great images that will add a professional touch to your already stellar digital presence.