The Difference Between Advertising Photography And Product Photographs

If you’re a business owner or sole trader then almost certainly you have had to consider the possibility of using advertising photography in some way to help boost sales or brand awareness. Advertising photography is clearly an important aspect of promoting and marketing a business, but it is also a solution fraught with a range of problems and challenges.

Not only that but any cursory search online will inevitably result in a wealth of sites offering advice on how to go about advertising photography, yet much of this information conflicts. For example there are businesses, marketers and sole traders who swear by using in-house solutions rather than professional photography services.
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Perhaps if the company or business just happens to be a photographic studio then this sounds like a good idea, but for anyone else the chance of being able to create advertising photography that really sells is somewhat farfetched.

Let’s not forget that advertising photography has been around for decades, but the concept has changed in that period of time. It has had to, simply because of the wealth of advertising and marketing messages to which we are all exposed on a daily basis. When there were only a handful of photographs advertising products, businesses or brands it was reasonably easy to achieve success simply because there was relatively little to compare it to, and little competing with it.

But today so many companies are distributing so many advertising messages that there is a huge amount of competition. Every image has to compete against hundreds or thousands of other images, and so its chance of making an impact is very much diluted.

But the problem doesn’t stop there, because if you do manage to capture the interest of consumer, the image then has to achieve much more than simply portraying what the product looks like. This is the real difference in advertising photography today compared to photographic marketing of even a few years ago.

Today every image has to communicate so much information and so many ideas and often in just a fraction of a second. Sadly a photograph, no matter how good, that simply includes the product is often not enough. Advertising photography is different from photography, yet often business owners tend to focus only on the word photography, perhaps assuming that any photograph of a product is, by default, advertising photography.

However the truth is that it is not. A photograph of a product is simply a photograph of a product. It always will be, and is unlikely to be anything else.

So what has to be done in order to turn a photograph into an advert? Essentially it’s about communicating something, saying something to the consumer. It may even involve communicating grand concepts or stimulating emotional responses in the consumer, and it is only by achieving this that advertising photography can really be accepted as being distinct from merely a product photography.