Product Vs. Lifestyle Photography
The very best marketing starts with your brand’s photography. It’s the opening line into your brand. The “come hither” that pulls a customer in and asks them to stay awhile. Photos have the power to educate, inspire, and most importantly tell a full story. They are simply one of the most important parts of your marketing strategy and therefore need to be used wisely. Specifically, the types of photography you get for your brand.
If you googled Commercial Photographer, a hundred different types of photographers would end up in your results ranging from headshots to product to lifestyle to brand photography. A full range of different types of storytellers waiting to help you showcase your brand. But what type of photography do you really need for your marketing? It all comes down to product and lifestyle photography, the two foundations to connecting with your customers and making a sell. So what’s the difference between these two types of photography and how do they apply to your business? Let’s break it down.
Product photography is exactly what it sounds like, photos of your products. These images usually showcase your product and only your product. Whether it’s on a white backdrop to use on your sales page and make it blend in with the background or an image with a colored background and a few props to add emphasis to the story of your product. These photos do great in Magazine ads when you want your product front and center, posts on social media combined with other styles of photography, in email newsletters when you are highlighting that product, and of course on the product pages of your website.
Lifestyle photography takes your photos to a whole new level. It’s no longer just about your product but the dream that you’re selling. Lifestyle photos show your customers what their life could look like when they have your product in their hands. These photos are taken on location to an environment that aligns with the brand and utilizes models to portray the customers. Lifestyle photography is used all over your website, especially your homepage, it can be used in print advertisements, on your social and in your email newsletters.
Lifestyle Product photography
Now we get to the combo. Lifestyle product photography takes the product shot in the environment it was meant to be used in. (Toothpaste is photographed in a bathroom, a tent is photographed on a mountain, hiking boots are photographed on a trail). These images are used specifically for advertising to use in print ads, in your social or on your website. They don’t work on your product page if you are selling multiple products but can work as a stand-alone product.
Here’s the truth about your photography strategy for your business, you need all three, or at least 2 of the three.
You want to highlight photos that focus solely on your product so that your customers can see what they’re buying. Whether that’s with a white backdrop to sell multiple products on a single page or with lifestyle product photos to put an emphasis on the lifestyle your products aid.
Then you want to show your customers what their future holds. You want them to dream about you, picturing life with you, and making a visual that’s easy for them to put themselves in the model’s shoes. Lifestyle photos are the photos that do the selling. They’re the ones that a customer will see in a magazine and stop to learn more. They connect with your customers on your website and start forming dreams in their heads. These are your most important photos because they tell the full story. And then, you follow them up with product photos (or lifestyle product photos) that put your product front and center so that they can see the details and beauty in what you’ve created.
From there, it’s just one click to officially having you in their life and becoming a part the story your brand creates.
Start by investing in lifestyle photography, I even know someone who can help! In almost every lifestyle shoot you can easily get lifestyle product photos, whether you’re working with me or another person. Then move to product photos. There are a million tutorials on how to create white backdrop photos for your online stores if you want to do it yourself or you can find professional product photographers who will save you so much time and hassle that the investment is worth it.
Whatever kind of photography you choose to invest in, for the sake of your brand, makes sure you invest in quality photography. It will be the game changer for your marketing strategy!