Friday, June 29, 2012

Why Not White.

Last time we looked at placing products against a solid white background. This time we'll discuss why not to do that.

In one word, drama.
In two words, drama = emotion.
In three words, drama = emotion = interest.
And interest is where we want our customers to be.

To create drama and interest, use these three proven techniques:

1. Add Color - By adding color, we heighten the drama. There are two ways to add color: (a) with our lights or (b) with the surface/background. Here's an example:

Recall our modest soap dispenser from last time. Looks a bit more dramatic, yes? In this case, I gelled the background light yellow (although continued to use white light on the front of the product.) And I also switched out the white background for black Plexiglas® . The Plexiglas® has the added benefit of adding a reflection to our photo, another way of creating drama (discussed below).

2. Camera Angle - Go back and watch "Citizen Kane" (go ahead, I'll wait). Orson Wells uses extreme camera angles to build drama and suspense - mostly low and/or off-axis so-called "Dutch" angles. (In fact, legend has it he asked the studio to allow him to dig trenches inside his sound stage so he could place his cameras below ground level to make his protagonist look even larger than life.) We can do the same with product shots. Again, look at the image of our soap dispenser. The extreme high angle creates drama and interest. Same with our shoe below.

3. Reflections and/or Highlights - reflections under a product are widely used. Whether created in-camera or in Photoshop, they are eye-catching and make even basic product shots more interesting. Likewise, creating highlights or sparkles on the surface of a product heightens the drama and emotion of the shot. There's a reason humans are drawn to shiny objects (Google "why are humans attracted to shiny things" to see the answer.) As someone selling products you may not care why shiny things are more attractive to potential customers - you just need to know that they are. Remember our lowly tea kettle from last time? How you like me now?

"ROSEBUD", eh, I mean thanks for reading. Please get in touch with any questions or comments and check back in two weeks for my next post.

No comments:

Post a Comment