We’re delighted to have the fantastic Press Loft writing this month’s Guest Expert article. If you’re a product based business this is not to be missed!
When it comes to getting your products seen by the right people and featured in amazing publications, the importance of good, high-quality imagery simply cannot be overstated – yet it can often be a part of PR that gets overlooked or misunderstood, especially by brands who are just starting out. As a platform that works with both huge names in the industry and small independents, we wanted to share a little insight into why strong images are such a valuable asset to have in your arsenal, as well as a few tips and tricks to help you get the most out of your photoshoots!
So why is imagery so important?
They say ‘a picture is worth a thousand words’ and that couldn’t be more true when it comes to your PR. Your images act as an extension of your brand identity, so it’s important to invest in crisp, high-resolution product photos that will both catch the journalist’s eye and make a statement if they make it to print. Remember, first impressions count – journalists and readers form opinions in a matter of seconds, and as your images are often the first interaction they’ll have with your brand, you have one shot at making a positive, lasting impression. Vibrant, well-composed images will showcase your products in their best light and can encourage readers to explore what else you might have to offer (meaning even more potential sales).
Cover all bases
As a rule of thumb, it’s good to have a mixture of both cut-out and lifestyle images readily available for journalists to choose from.
In our opinion, cut-out images on a clean white background are non-negotiable. This particular image-style gives journalists more flexibility when it comes to the layout of their features (for example, seasonal gift guides, ‘Get the look’ articles or trend moodboards), so it’s no surprise that we see a slightly higher rate of downloads for these on Press Loft.
With that being said, gorgeous lifestyle imagery can really help your brand stand out from the crowd, so they still have an important part to play (in fact, we’ve been seeing more demand for these images in the last year or so). These days, journalists rarely have the time or budget to call in products for in-house shoots, so a high quality lifestyle image directly from the brand is sometimes just what they need to perfect their next feature. If you have both of these image-types at your disposal, you’re covering all bases and giving yourself the best possible chance at securing coverage for your products. Quality is key, so if you want to see your lifestyle images featured in a top-tier magazine, then your photography and styling must be nothing short of stunning!
A few dos and don’ts to keep in mind
Fleeting attention spans and tight deadlines mean we’re all competing to get eyes on our content, but we often see beautiful products being overlooked due to subpar imagery. Little things like poor composition, harsh lighting, unflattering shadows and awkward angles can dramatically reduce the overall quality of your images, leading journalists to scroll on and choose other products for their next article instead.
For a brand of any size, a photoshoot is an incredibly important investment in money and in time. Whether you’re hiring a professional photographer or going for a more DIY approach, here are a few things to consider to help you get the most out of your shoots:
* First of all, pull together a moodboard to plan the kind of look you’re going for – Pinterest is a great tool to help you find some inspiration and narrow down the right aesthetic that will both complement your products and your brand as a whole.
*Don’t underestimate the power of props! Props play a significant role, especially if you’re hoping to create a specific seasonal atmosphere for your images. Plus, if your products don’t exactly fall into the typical Christmas gift or decoration categories (e.g. furniture), props that offer a subtle nod to the holiday season can be a great way to tap into the festive spirit and increase your chances of coverage. If you’re working on a tighter budget, consider simple props that can be utilised across different seasons. For example, seasonal foliage and blooms, or wrapped presents that you can customise to suit various trends.
*It’s important to ensure that your product remains the hero of the shot, even when incorporating props. Regardless of whether you’re working with statement furniture pieces or delicate accessories, a simple squint test can help determine if your product stands out and can easily capture a reader’s attention amongst the different styling elements you may be incorporating.
*To help with this, you should also make sure to choose a location or backdrop that will complement your products rather than drowning them out! Whether you are shooting a simple flat lay or a full lifestyle look, your products need to be the star of the show, so avoid picking backdrops that are too similar to the colour or pattern of the items in question.
*Additionally, lighting plays a vital role in creating ambiance. The more natural lighting, the better, but don’t be afraid to experiment with different styles to achieve your desired look.
In the end, strong imagery isn’t just a minor component of PR; it’s a strategy, a storytelling tool, and an essential part of your brand’s identity. By recognising its power and investing in it wisely, you’ll be catching the attention of journalists from your favourite publications in no time!
What is Press Loft?
Press Loft is a PR platform specialising in the home, gift and lifestyle sectors that helps thousands of brands to get their products into the press. Their PR tools allow brands to easily secure press coverage and quality backlinks for SEO by connecting them with their network of 25,000+ journalists, bloggers and influencers.
Did you know that they offer a FREE trial of their PR tools (including influencer outreach) for new brands? Click here to start your free trial and join over 1,000 brands already using Press Loft to boost their brand!
Cover photo credit: Cult Furniture