Advertising photography is the second most requested type of imagery I get as a photographer right behind product shots. These images are unique because they marry copywriting and images to create a full graphic piece. The images used for advertising are usually more polished and look like magazine editorials if you remove the text. The only difference is that magazine editorials are there to sell you a lifestyle, an emotion or an attitude while advertising photography is selling you a product or service. Sometimes these images don’t have any text minus the logo and are made to stand alone and do the heavy lifting of getting the consumer to buy the product. Ad shots can be just the product or involve people to help sell it for you such as an actor or beautiful model.
As a business owner or blogger you need advertising shots of whatever it is you are selling, whether it be a physical product, a service, a course or an eBook. I would suggest going to websites such as Ads of the world so you can see what makes award winning ads that convert to sales or at least get people talking about your product and study the ones that are most visual appealing. You can also search for ads of a similar product or service as you.
If you want to achieve great advertising shots whether you shot them yourselves or hire a photographer to create images make sure the images are visually stimulating and appealing. Often times images are so striking and convey the message so well that they don’t need copy or text. In the event that your image needs a bit of help, make sure you leave enough “negative space” or space that doesn’t have any people or product in it, to put in your text. At the end of the day keep it simple. Advertising shots are often times glorified product photos so make sure it's a clean, quality shot and you’ll be good to go.
Now, lifestyle photography is a genre I see too many small businesses miss out on since it can be another form of advertising. This type of photography is similar to a fashion editorial where it sells an experience instead of just the product, only it's less idealized and more natural feeling. This genre focuses on showing people in real life situations and can be the very thing that connects your client to your product or service. Lifestyle shots are a basically mixture between candids and commercial imagery so it’s supposed to evoke a relatable and natural feel while still being carefully posed.
Customers want to see how your product integrates in their everyday lives. If you are a designer or sell clothes, jewelry or shoes, showcase models or everyday people wearing them. Your customers want to be able to see themselves wearing your product out with their friends or to an event. If you sell skincare or makeup, people want to see photos of someone interacting with the product. Whether they are wearing a face mask, applying the makeup or looking at the product in a store set-up, these are images that the customer wants to see.
There are even whole sections of models available at agencies just for lifestyle photos so you don’t have to photograph your friends awkwardly forever. These are seasoned professionals that know how to look relaxed and natural without seeming fake. So research your local talent and start shooting!
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