4 Tips to Product Photography Success


One of our clients, Ebby Rane, a producer of high-end luxury luggage, is an excellent example of a well-executed product photography strategy.

An important element of Ebby Rane’s successful photo shoot was the preparation and planning that went into the shoot.

Long before Ebby Rane contacted us to handle their photography, they were gathering important demographic information about their client base.  As a result, during our planning consultation, they were able to give us a clear picture of their target audience: their lifestyle, how often they fly, the type of magazine they read on the plane and more.

With this targeted information, we were able to create images that would appeal to their ideal customer.  The exacting information that Ebby Rane provided allowed us to know precisely what look needed to be captured in their images.

One thing we all have in common is that our clients and customers are inundated daily with images via: the internet, their phone, television commercials, billboards, magazines and more. To stand out, product images must grab the viewers’ attention and appeal to their personality. Ebby Rane targeted two audience types with their product placement campaign: the intellectual audience and the emotional audience.

Product photography for the intellectual customer

The intellectual is thoughtful and process-oriented about on how they view their products. They want to inspect every detail, without distracting background images or settings. They want to see each part of the product and inspect it as thoroughly (as a photo will allow) as possible.

To attract this type of audience, we made effective use of white space around the product, allowing each detail to be showcased.  In this example, The Quartermaster shows viewers the complete cargo package from every angle.  Customers can inspect the open suitcase, the suitcase filled with the ten assorted bags included with the cargo case, or the closed suitcase with the ten travel bags nearby.

Every aspect of the cargo has been photographed for the viewer to investigate. The intellectual viewer can create their own perception of how the product will improve their travel experience.

To appeal to the intellectual customer we had to show how the Quartermaster would be an effective, elegant and practical replacement for their current luggage. We had to show how a tremendous amount of thought went into the design of the product. We needed to be sure to convey the practical way several days of outfits and essential travel accoutrements would easily fit into the well-designed suit case.




Product photography for the emotional customer

Emotional viewers want to experience the product through the visuals.  They want to see how others use the product, have a clear image of how the product will enhance their experience and be able to envision themselves in the depicted image. 

An emotional audience responds to visuals (‘props’) included in the photo, resulting in what is typically referred to as a lifestyle shot

Lifestyle shots can be an essential strategy for engaging viewers who respond emotionally to photos for several reasons:

  • The image allows the viewer to imagine themselves using the product
  • The image provides the viewer with a realistic scale for the size of the product. In the example of Ebby Rane, showing the clutch is an ideal size and shape for elegant events.
  • The image allows the audience to connect with other elements in the photo: the location of the shot, the other props included or the activity the models are engaged in appeals to the viewer.


To appeal to Ebby Rane’s emotional viewers, we focused on the glamorous lifestyle that an individual may enjoy, while unobtrusively showing how the Ebby Rane products fit into the high powered life. The photographs emphasized the sleek, stylish look of the products and their ability to offer both form and function.  An emotional viewer can imagine waiting for a connecting flight with their cargo case in the airport’s executive lounge, and immediately know how ‘put together’ the addition of the luggage will make them feel.

Without using words, the photographer must capture the features and benefits products offer, while appealing to a wide variety of audiences.  Often, image space is limited, forcing a photographer to attempt to include both intellectual and emotional appeal in the same image.  In product photography, every element in the picture counts and should only be included if it adds to the overall message the business is attempting to convey.

Click to view Ebby Rane’s Look Book.


Four tips for planning your product photography shoot:

    Despite the deceptively simple images of a product shot, the lifestyle product shoot can be just as time-consuming and intensive as a model shot. Plan accordingly and consult with your photographer about any deadlines and timeframes. Photographer can help you produce a work back schedule according to shooting preparation needs. 
    Having detailed information about the intended audience can make the difference between passable product shots and dynamic product shots. Done correctly, product placement shots can compel viewers to make the transition from ‘browsers’ to ‘customers’. Gather information about your current clients and develop a persona for your target customer to ensure your images meet your exact needs.  Communicate this information to your photographer during your initial consultation to allow them to plan accordingly.
    Product photography involves more than a blank background and your product. Hiring a professional photographer and creative team, with experience in product photography allows your products to be showcased the way you want them to be seen. Professional product photography gives your product (and your company) the impression that can set you apart from the competition, before a customer has even heard your sales pitch.
    In a world of fast paced images, seconds count. Make sure your images communicate the right message to your customers quickly and clearly.

If you’d like more information about product photography and get your most pressing questions answered, contact us at Donna Santos Studio Photo + Video today. We’d love to discuss how we can help your products look their best! Click here for the Ebby Rane Look Book.