Product photography is widely used in ecommerce stores. It isn’t a secret, and whether it’s done well or done badly, all shop owners are aware of it. But how many of those shop owners have considered using in situ photography?

First, let’s explain what we mean by in situ photography. We’re talking about showing a product in a contextual setting, where it’s actually being used. So let’s take a food mixer as an example. If a cookery store is selling an expensive food mixer, it’s likely to commission some high-quality photographs in a studio setting, showing the mixer from all angles. With the help of some good shots it’s possible to get a really good feel for the product.

In Situ Photography Baking

But what really helps to sell products is to see them being used – or if not being used, to see them in their natural environment. So by all means, take studio shots of your products against a white background. But if you can possibly put them into their natural setting, then it’s really well worth doing.  So going back to our food mixer, if you can photograph it in an actual kitchen setting, with a bag of flour nearby, along with some eggs and a pack of sugar, then it’s going to set the mood. And as all good shop owners know, playing on emotions can help to drive a sale.

But let’s take it one step further than that. Why not show people actually using the product, or about to use it? So with our food mixer, you could put it into a family setting, in a domestic kitchen, or even in a professional kitchen environment. That studio shot against a white background lets you see that it’s a good mixer. But show it in a kitchen setting with the family gathered round, and you’ll know that it’s the perfect option for busy families. Photograph it in a professional kitchen setting on the other hand, and you’ll know it’s suitable for a professional cook or chef.

In Situ Kitchen Photography Family

Contextual photography helps your customers to understand the product and its uses. Let’s take cars as an example. It’s all well and good to show them in a studio, but most car adverts show them out on the road. So if it’s an off-road vehicle, such as a Land Rover, you might show it in a town, but you’ll also want to see it in the countryside, driving through muddy puddles and along country lanes. If it’s a Rolls Royce, you’ll see it cruising along an open road or on motorways. And if it’s a soft top, you’ll see it being driven on a sunny day.

Car Photography In Situ

With the help of imaginative photography, you can create a mood. And that will encourage your potential customer to forge an emotional connection to the product, which is more likely to result in a sale.

So the next time you’re taking product shots, stop and think about how you could take it to the next level. How can you best show that product actually being used? We can pretty much guarantee that the results – and your conversion rates – will be far higher than for products photographed in a studio.