These 6 Brands Got Their E-Commerce Photography Right

By Anshey Bhatia • May 28, 2018

Picking the right photographic style for your brand can be a difficult process with lots of potential directions.  On one hand, you may feel that photography doesn’t make a major impact on purchasing decision while still knowing it can’t be bad. Maybe a friend of yours dabbles in photography and has a somewhat decent camera – he/she will do the trick.

On the other hand, understanding that photography impacts decision making for purchasing more than any other aspect of your site should push your website photography straight to the top of your e-commerce priority list.  As we all know, content is king/queen, and in e-commerce there is no higher ruler than product and lifestyle photography.

Below are 6 examples of websites that get product shots right.  The shots they use are attractive, optimized, and on-brand, resulting in an enticing experience that makes the customer want to buy.  Learn what you can from these examples while understanding that product photography must be in line with your brand and your story to truly resonate with your audience.

1. Reformation: All Pages Are Lookbook Worthy

Great photography is a combination of the decisions you make to pull together your visual story. The Reformation team decided to create a lookbook feel while scrolling through the products, and it works well.

While clicking an image, it turns into a full bleed picture for an optimized experience of the product of interest. You see details of the fabric at ease – the next best thing to holding it in your hands.

Models are meticulously styled. Reformation chose hair and makeup on the models with great care and consideration, even with a “messy” bun. They pair outfits with complimentary shoes, bags, jewelry, and props. Tattoos are shown off, not covered or hidden.

2. Bombas: Consistency For A Delightful User Experience

Bombas wins the cake in consistency. They’ve managed to execute socks – something that’s usually looked at as an afterthought as a delightful and visually appealing experience. They mix-in playful poses with colorful solid backgrounds.

I’m certain Bombas hired a stylist with an expertise in fung shui. Products if angled are always pointing up. While photographing several socks in one image, they’re all lined up perfectly. Rulers were involved and all sorts of mathematical equations were performed (hint: it might just be socks, but expect that Bombas dedicated days in the studio to get the shots right).

3. Glossier: Diversity In E-Commerce Photography

It’s all in the details and thoughtful decisions when it comes to crafting your e-commerce photography.

Glossier is mindful of all the different age ranges that are interested in their products. They feature models with various skin tones, hair-styles, and facial expressions.

Additionally, Glossier shoots unusual angles and crops while photographing the models to show-off the mascara. The three product shots also take a playful direction with a bright background and strong lighting – a couple of them showcasing a smear of the actual product. What pulls all the images together is consistent good lighting (hint: invest in a photographer that specializes in e-commerce photography. No, your great-uncle that shoots weddings won’t do).

Glossier opts for strong studio lighting versus diffused natural lighting.

Consistency in lighting. Remember that.

Photography isn’t the end-all of your e-commerce visual experience. Multimedia enhances and supports your brand and creates several avenues for your customer to connect further with your products.

Below, Glossier paired a high-quality, yet simple video with 3 photos, which showcase the before and after results of their brand-new mascara.

Seeing is believing. Create a clear visual story that takes the user journey to great levels.

4. Patagonia: Deliberate Styling With Single Products On White Background

Basic white background in-studio shots are standard when it comes to e-commerce photography. How do you ensure that the product stands out in the shots? Pay attention to the deliberate choices that are made in positioning the clothes.

Below, we have a Patagonia men’s rain jacket. The gif shows a couple of images of the jacket, on model and jacket alone. The jacket off the model is carefully styled. The sleeves have a flattering fold at the elbows. The collar is lined up straight to show the garment at its best.

The Close-Up

Patagonia took it a step further by photographing a close-up shot of the pocket, and a shot of the drawstring being pulled by the model. The images are crisp and non-pixelated (please reference their site, not the optimized gif). The model has clean hands and nails, ensuring that they thought through the small details.

5. Everlane: Transparency In Photography

Everlane is known for transparency in manufacturing. They apply that transparency to their photography. Consistent light colored backgrounds are the stage for their products.

Everlane photographed the backpack below in a very straight-forward way – front, back, close-up shot of zipper pulls, backpack with a laptop in the bag, and on-model. They also give their customer the ability to “inspect” the image closely and experience small details by clicking on each image. All images are accompanied by a short video of the featured product, which rounds out the overall experience.

6. Lacausa: Mix-In Lifestyle Shots With In-Studio Shots

Sure, shoot your seasonal lookbook. But make sure you take advantage of those images by intermixing lifestyle shots with e-commerce shots throughout your site.

Lacausa has a visually appealing home page that features their new arrivals. Once you shop, you’ll see a dynamic mix of their e-commerce images with solid backgrounds and a model at the beach wearing the sought-after jumpsuit.

Lacausa knows that their casual California lifestyle is part of the image that they sell. Intermixing the images of choice gives their customers a chance to envision this lifestyle as they shop.

Final Thoughts

These 6 brands have taken great care and consideration in planning their visual story. It’s the little details that count, so make sure you put the necessary time aside to make your e-commerce photography right. Your photography matters.

Side note: A fun fact about most of the brands featured – they’re taking significant steps towards being ethical, eco-conscious, socially conscious, and/or sustainable in nature. We applaud them for their high-quality products, photography, and thoughtfulness.

Anshey Bhatia

Founder of Verbal+Visual. E-commerce nerd. People connector. Travel junkie. Tech lover.

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