10. Why Does Every Clothing Line Need Professional Photography?
Being the digital age, most marketing is done online. This means that in 99% of cases, your sales will come from customers finding you online by some means and that they won’t be able to actually see or feel your garments in person. Therefore, your images and the way that your items are presented on your website or your social media streams will be the “make or break” factor in the decision of the customer clicking through to actually purchase an item or not.
As your images are the representation of all of your hard work, with no doubt countless hours being spent on clothing design and development, you don’t want to be worrying about the items not actually being presented in the best light. After all, your photography is what will actually sell the item in many cases.
Putting this responsibility in the hands of a novice is a bad idea.
The end game for clothing brands is turning a profit, but at the early stages of a new business, the deciding factor in most decisions is money, and you’ll no doubt be reading this thinking “that all sounds very nice, but can I afford a professional?” Thankfully, the answer to this is yes, you probably can. It can be a lot more affordable than you would first imagine and if you think it’s expensive to hire a professional to do the job, wait until you hire an amateur.
You don’t need to spend thousands either. For a relatively small amount you can get photography which will contribute to selling your items in a way which, if you weren’t to invest that money, could result in you sitting on stock for much longer than you originally intended.
There are some standout benefits of investing in high-quality fashion photography, and we will go into a little more detail about these below:
Professional photographers are so much more than just picture takers. Like any profession, they probably love what they do and will be very proud of the work they put out into the market. With many photographers being self-employed too, word of mouth goes a long way and they thrive on customer satisfaction throughout the whole experience.
One of the often forgotten elements of photography is that while as much as possible is done via the camera, lighting and post-editing are of huge importance too. Just photography itself (without proper lighting or editing) will result in half-decent images which don’t live up to industry standards.
Professional fashion photographers will take your initial images and then finish them with lighting and post-editing which combine to give you one of a kind images which accurately portray your brand and your products.
When a potential customer comes to your website or social media, you’ll only actually have a very short amount of time to engage them and to convert them from prospective customer to a paying customer. If you’re an online-only clothing line, a prospective customer won’t be able to physically handle your products before they buy them, so photography is the only way you can convey the design and quality of the item.
Professional photographers are experts in making your images match your branding, and they are able to give an accurate representation of your items, meaning there are no nasty surprises for the customer when they receive their product.
The last thing you want to be perceived as is an amateur. There are thousands of other clothing brands out there who may be doing something similar to you, all of whom are competing for business from the market. Therefore, if someone in the market is looking at two brands, one of which has professional photography and the other of which has clearly taken a dimly lit picture on a wardrobe in their bedroom, it’s highly likely they will trust the more established-looking brand with their money. It’s important to understand that if a customer is going to part with their hard earned cash, you’ll need to appear credible.
Your new fashion brand isn’t going to be a one-hit wonder; you want to stick around for the long run, and for that, you’ll need to ensure that you can maintain a consistent brand “voice” throughout everything you do. A professional photographer will be an expert in getting great results every time. Whether you’re inside or outside, in a studio or on a location which fits your brand ethos, your photographer will know exactly what to do to ensure that your products are conveyed to the best of their ability every time. If you always use the same professional photographer every time, that’s even better.
Continuing on from photographers not just being picture takers, it’s important to understand that not just anyone can set up a lighting rig or use the latest photo-editing software to achieve great results every time. It takes years of hard work, study, and trial & error to know exactly what to do with the camera and lighting in every situation. If you use a professional who has fashion in their portfolio, you can be safe in the knowledge that they will have done this before. On the other hand, if you use that friend with the good camera, you could be wasting time if they’re not familiar with the above-mentioned points.
You’ll be thinking about your marketing strategy at this point in your brand, and you’ll probably be using social media as an integral part of this. Now, if you go on to a site like Instagram and you search a hashtag related to your market, take a look at the images which pop out and hit you straight away. You want to be creating these images, and it’s easy to spot which ones are more amateur than others. Before you even get a customer on to your website, you need to engage them to a point that they will actually look at your page, and without professional, high-quality photography, you’ll be lucky for them to get that far.
The Importance of Fashion Photography for E-Commerce
Up until this point, we have mainly been talking about the images that really grab the attention of your prospective customer. Once a potential customer gets to your website, you need to direct them towards a product and when they get to the products, you need to make sure they like what they see.
The importance of the product pages of your e-commerce website shouldn’t be underestimated. After all, what’s the point in putting all that effort into directing someone towards your website, having them get to your product, and then not be able to see everything they need to push them toward making a purchase?
It’s no secret that photography is the largest influence on a customer when shopping online, so here we will be discussing some of the key images you should include on your website.
First, you’ll need a good, overall product shot at the best angle of the item. If you’re retailing t-shirts, for example, the customer will want to see the front of the item, but this really is the bare minimum you can get away with, and do you want to just “get away” with it? You should show as many images and angles as you can.
Second, consider the other things a customer might want to see and create fantastic detail shots to go along with your main images. The high-quality construction that you’re really happy with and the neck label which you spent hours toiling over before deciding on the final design are perfect examples of things you can show on your product pages. Even better, have a zoomable area which will allow the customer to examine the fabric and the quality of the embroidery or print that you have insisted be as high-quality as possible.
As said before, the last thing you want is a return because of a nasty surprise in the design that a customer couldn’t see before purchasing.
It’s also great to have a shot of it being worn by a model. This helps demonstrate the fit and overall drape of the garment, which influences the buying decision of most customers.