Technology has been a boon for the photography business for decades, and this is something that’s been getting steadily faster in recent years. This has been true across every niche, with product photography being no exception.
The advancement of technology has resulted in a variety of trends becoming increasingly more prominent. These aren’t the only trends that have started to impact the industry; however, consumer demands have affected how a product photographer does business.
While countless trends affect the niche, a few look set to continue making their presence felt. Because of how important these can be for a company’s success, it can be vital for them to be aware of each and capitalize on them as much as possible going forward.
DLSR Is Becoming Niche
DSLR cameras were one of the biggest trends affecting the industry for years after they were first released. This was because they offered quite a significant number of benefits when using them.
Alongside this was the fact that the images they offered were often of a higher quality than previous cameras. These advantages were seemingly endless and constantly improved on with each new edition of the DSLR range.
In recent years, however, they have seen a reduction in popularity. This has been driven by the increase in smartphone use across the world. While these devices initially had cameras that were of low quality, this has changed steadily.
This has led to many smartphones and other mobile devices offering a photo quality that rivals many high-end DSLR cameras. Coupled with their increased portability and reduced cost, photographers across every niche, have been switching over to them.
This doesn’t mean that DLSRs are going away; instead, it means that they’re becoming more of a back-up to their more versatile counterparts.
Videos Are Taking Over
Still, images have been used to promote products for decades. There have been a variety of different trends that have changed how these pictures have been taken, as well as the overall style of the images.
Recent years have seen this shift largely to video. Much of this has been driven by the fact that technology has allowed the video to become much more compact, which expands where it can be delivered to. Alongside this is the fact that consumers pay more attention to video than they do still images.
As such, brands have been aiming to take advantage of this increased exposure, which has had a domino effect on product photographers. There are a variety of ways that this can be done, with much of this naturally being dictated by client demand.
As a result, product photographers must become increasingly skilled in videography, even to the limited degree that product shots may need.
Move To Mobile
The move to mobile hasn’t just been seen in a photographer’s hands, as consumers are increasingly using smartphones and other devices. This has meant that photographers have had to adapt to what kind of photographs they take and how they’re framed.
Much of this is driven by how limited screen space is, which means that photographs have to be more compact. It also means that many pictures have to be more vertically-oriented.
While this shouldn’t be a problem should a photographer be using a smart device to take the photographs, it could be an issue with DLSR cameras, among others. This could mean that more post-production is needed once the images have been made.
It shouldn’t take much to ensure that an image is mobile-optimized, and in many cases, it simply needs a good eye, which most photographers will have. Looking at an image through a smartphone can be a simple step to ensure this is done properly.
Consumers are increasingly looking for authenticity in what they’re presented with. This has meant that they’re increasingly shying away from any photographs that have been manipulated in any way, especially in an obvious manner,
While some light and professionally done edits may be forgiven, this has meant that product photographers have had to shy away from the overuse of Photoshop and other editing software.
This also means that many will have to ensure they get the images right when taking the photos. As a result, they’ll need to put more time and effort into the photography session itself. While this means more of an up-front investment for a photographer and client, it can save time and effort in the long-term.
360-degree photography has become increasingly popular across the majority of social media platforms. While many initially dismissed this as a flash in the pan, it hasn’t diminished in popularity as much as they had thought and is being integrated into many large eCommerce websites such as amazon.
This means that it’s a trend that looks set to stay over the long-term, with more and more brands beginning to take advantage of the technology. Though it’s still in its relative infancy, it’s becoming something that many companies are slowly learning how to implement into their marketing strategies.
While this shouldn’t affect smaller products, it may begin having an impact on larger ones. This should be especially true with the likes of buildings and premises.
Products In Motion
In decades past, having a well-taken photograph of a product was enough to gather interest in it. This is changing, as consumers are tired of seeing the same types of images, especially when it comes to differentiating one brand from another.
There have been a few ways that product photographers have been able to overcome this issue, with one being to capture products in motion. This doesn’t have to be the same as using video, as it instead means creating the illusion of action and movement.
Vivid & Intense
Alongside having a product in motion, there are a dozen or so other ways that product photographers have been to create vivid and intense photos that capture a viewer’s attention. Much of this has been done through the use of colors that complement and contrast with a company’s branding.
While heavy photo manipulation is discouraged, this doesn’t mean that a product photographer shouldn’t be able to use a certain amount of editing to enhance the image.
Alongside this is the contrast between the product and its backdrop. While the majority of photographers already pay a significant amount of attention to this, it’s becoming increasingly more vital for this to be the case.
Regardless of whether a photographer is using a DSLR camera or a smartphone, their device is increasingly more online-capable. This has meant that there are a variety of ways to store and share images with clients – such as cloud storage.
There are a variety of benefits to this, with one of the most obvious being security. With the recent advances in the niche, it’s meant that photographers are now able to take an image with their smartphone and have it downloaded onto their computer for editing within seconds.
The same can also be said when sharing the raw image, as well as edited files, with a client.
As we mentioned above, creating vivid and intense product photos has become increasingly popular in recent years. With this increasing popularity has come a rise in the use of nature and landscapes in product photography.
While much of this is limited by brand guidelines, many companies have become much more open to the idea, with some even encouraging the idea. This doesn’t mean that photographers will have to any extra effort to do so.
Instead, it simply means a magic touch with some photo editing software, with this being used to blend the background with the product. With a careful hand and the right eye, any photographer should be able to pull this off with ease.
As much as backgrounds have been making themselves popular, so too has more minimalist designs. This doesn’t have to go against creating intense, colorful designs. In contrast, it means the careful placement of every aspect of the image to create a high-contrast, though minimal design.
This puts much more focus on the product itself while still creating an appealing image. As a result, brands have become much more interested in photos.
Product Photography Industry Stats and Growth Projections in 2021
Many of the trends that have been becoming increasingly more prominent have been backed up by a variety of key statistics. These have been seen alongside a few other noteworthy stats that every company and entrepreneur in the niche should be aware of.
- Emails receive more attention from 65% more people if it’s comprised of images instead of their text-heavy counterparts.
- 93% of the most engaging posts on Facebook included images, a trend that sees similar results across other social media platforms.
- Almost two-thirds of people, 65%, are visual learners who interact more with images rather than text.
- 32% of marketers say images are the most important aspect of their efforts.
- 11% more B2C than B2B marketers say images are important.
- Visual content is 40% more likely to be shared on social media.
- Content with images sees an average of 94% more views than those without.
- 51% of B2B marketers prioritize visual assets when creating their content marketing strategy.
- Consumers are more likely to remember information when it’s paired with an image.
- 80% of marketers use visual assets in their social media marketing.
Staying informed as the industry adapts and evolves is one of the keys to staying successful in product photography, as well as the wider photographic world. By capitalizing on some of the emerging trends, every firm should be able to stay ahead of the competition.