Whether you are creating a website, blog, or catalog, you need to decide what photography techniques can create winning images and draw the consumer to your ultimate goal—the sale. Single and lifestyle product shots, or a mix of the two, can produce striking results, but each have pros and cons.
There was a time when product shots were the best method since it minimizes distraction and focuses on the product alone. Today, lifestyle product shots are favored. Research shows lifestyle performs 60% better than renderings and images on white backgrounds because you can’t ignore the story behind it. But, that story can also hinder the product and sale.
Lifestyle photos display product features in real-time, a benefit for multi-functional products; yet, single shots can pair up products and sell both with one photo.
The way a product makes someone feel matters. Lifestyle places products into an environment where customers visualize owning them; yet, single shots allow for product details that make the browser know what it is like to touch and hold the product.
Product shots are a great way to portray a hero shot for cutting-edge products with high-tech backgrounds and details; while lifestyle shots can spruce up a lowly product with a rich setting.
A lifestyle shot with models is realistic and can express the feeling, season, and setting you want your product to convey. It describes a product’s benefit by depicting a certain situation and showing the product in action, in its environment. But, lighting, shading, and backgrounds in product shots can add drama and the item will pop from the page.
Product shots show the unique benefits of each item by using tight crops, sharp focus, and insets; whereas lifestyle shots can show the customer the end result and how a variety of products can be used together.
Some say lifestyle shots are ineffective at selling products since a product can disappear in the overall setting; while white background photos do not disappear since the focus is on the product.
Props can get in the way and fight for attention in lifestyle photos making the product suffer. At the same time, the challenge in a single product shot is for the product to not look dull or boring. Props can be used but could be a distraction from the product proving that sometimes, less is more.
Both, single product and lifestyle shots, can render positive results. Depending on the product, a consistent mix of both just might get you the sale.