The number one reason products don't sell is crappy photos. Don't believe me? Start looking at your own buying habits and pay attention to what appeals to you. I guarantee the product has beautiful photos in different settings and helps you understand exactly what the product is.
So if you are doing that for other's products don't you think people are doing it for your products too? Below I list essential photos you must have for every product!
1. Black and White Backgrounds
When I photograph for products I always take simple shots of the product against both a black background and white background. I do this because everyone has a different aesthetic and it gives the clients more options.
2. The Creative or Lifestyle Shot
Depending on what your product is it's important to show the product within a context. This helps the consumer visualize them using it in their own home. Or if, like in the case of Capital Label Company, lifestyle photos don't really go with the product I get creative. Creative shots don't have to be elaborate either. Creative shots can be a variety of placements for the product like in the second shot below.
3. It's All in the Details
Highlight your product's quality by capturing the unique details of it. Ever see a product on a marketplace like Etsy and wonder what it looks like up close for that cheap price? Use up close shots to answer that question visually for your product.
4. Size or Scale
Getting an accurate depiction of your products size is important, especially if your customer is going to wear it or put it in their home or office. You can often do this with lifestyle shots, but if your product isn't a wearable or something to that nature there are other ways to show size like putting it next to similar items.
6. All Together Now
Selling a product that has multiple things in it, a bundle of something? You definitely need to show it together as a group because it helps the customer understand that they are getting multiples of something not just one.
7. How it's Made
Many consumers are very conscious of what they are buying these days. They want to know where it comes from, who made it and what materials it's made with. It builds trust to show your process and build authenticity with your customers by letting them behind the scenes.
That's All Folks
Those are the basic shots every product needs. Of course, there are more you can add such as a shot of your packaging or something that could be particular to your item.
If you're interested in working with me for your product photography please contact me by sending me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Business Facebook groups are a wealth of information and the number one task small business owners struggle with is creating social media content. The common complaint goes something like this, “I hate creating social media content. It takes so long to create content for social media. I just want to be creative, not be on social media all day.”
Often the solution that others in the group respond with is “I can help with that by managing your social media accounts for you.” The response is usually “I don’t have the money.” It’s true social media managers are usually pricey, but their service is indispensable for some. Don’t worry, there are other ways to save time posting content that is free or doesn’t cost you a fortune.
When creating content entrepreneurs often get blank page syndrome. Suddenly you don’t know what to post. Your mind goes blank. What do you do now?
Reuse Your Content
The blank page syndrome comes from the belief that you have to create new content for every platform you have. It’s not true. The best advice I have been given, and give to you, is reuse your content. If you blog like me use your weekly blog posts to create content on Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Tik Tok and anywhere else you are social.
Creating brand new content for every platform is just a waste of time.
Break down your blog posts into smaller chunks to post on social media. If I were to use the content in this post from what I have written so far it would be about the common complaints entrepreneurs have about social media, then I would ask my audience about their complaints too. How simple is that?
Content Photo Ideas that'll Save You Time
Okay, so now you know how to reuse content across platforms. What other hang-ups about social media do entrepreneurs have? It takes too long to take photos and write captions.
There are two options to help you create photos in faster and cheaper way.
The first, buy stock photos. You could subscribe to shutter stock or big websites like that, but there are so many better and cheaper options out there.
There are photographers who sell instant downloadable stock photo bundles on Etsy, like me. I am working on bundles for those weird national days everyone posts about. National Chocolate Cupcake day is on October 18, so if you need some photos, check out my Etsy listing.
Many photographers also have their own member websites where you pay a monthly fee to get access to their entire library. A lot of those same photographers offer free photos monthly if you join their email list (like me as well) or see my Pinterest board on the subject by clicking here.
The second is to hire a photographer or friend to take photos of you. Come up with five different scenarios like working on your craft, having coffee at your favorite place or cooking with your family. Take a day to set-up and photograph all of those scenarios. When you’re done, you’ll probably have two to four month’s worth of photos to use. Block scheduling content like photos is one of the easiest ways to save time and have a plethora of content to use.
Or third, you could do a combination of both professional photographers and stock photos.
Concentrate on One or Two Social Platforms
Unfortunately, social media is a must for any business these days. So saying that it’s a waste of time and I just want to create is not very realistic. Marketing is an essential part of entrepreneurship, whether we like it or not. It takes time, but it’s worth it when you get those new clients or make sales.
If you’re still struggling with posting consistently to social media, then I would suggest pairing down how many platforms you are on. If you are a one person show, it would be hard to reuse content on five different platforms, especially if they are all different.
Concentrate on one or two platforms that you love using regularly. For example, I love Pinterest so I use it for my business and I also love the feel of Instagram because of all the pretty photos. I am concentrating on building my audience on these two platforms before moving on to any others. I just don’t have time, especially this year, to add any more to my entrepreneurial plate.
These things I have learned over the past five years running my business. Before I was a stock and fine art photographer, I photographed weddings and family portraits. I switched because I wasn’t interested in doing that type of photography anymore, but it taught me so much about running a business. These are the ideas I learned and thought of (if I had to start all over again).
I really hope this helped you realize that creating content doesn’t have to be hard and that you are a little more confident in posting to social media. Let me know what you think of this post in the comments below or if you have something to add that everyone can benefit from.
There’s a side of goal setting that everyone needs to be prepared for. It doesn’t get a lot of attention because of its negative connotations, but it's a fundamental part of goal setting. The dark side I’m talking about in goal setting is fear and the possibility of failure.
If your going to set goals you need to be prepared that you might fail. You will also experience fear. Fear of failing, fear of putting yourself out there, fear of actually succeeding, fear that it’s unattainable and fear you won’t get everything done. Fear and failure will happen. It’s guaranteed with anything you do. It’s why people quit their goals so easily and early to avoid these two feelings.
However, both failure and fear are the secret to achieving your goals. Failure is how you learn what you did wrong. Failure helps you pivot and improve your business. You must fail in order to succeed. I have several times and now I understand what I failed at and how to fix it.
Everyone Fails and You Will Too
Everyone fails even your idols and mentors. Don’t believe me? Just ask them! Failure is a lesson whether you choose to listen is your choice. People who are in denial of their failure often blame external factors like other people or saturated markets.
Another thing about failure is that it often comes in succession. One failure will lead to the next, but don’t get discouraged because every business has highs and lows, just like in your personal life. You just need to learn from your mistakes and push on.
Fear is Protection and Survival
Fear is our brains way of protecting us. It’s our body’s way of surviving. Our body is saying “this doesn’t feel right, back away.” Fear helps us. Fear is what keeps you from leaping off a cliff and making terrible decisions in business. But being the intelligent species that we are we know that this isn’t always the case. It just could be signaling to us that we are uncomfortable and if you are uncomfortable with the direction your going it could mean you are doing something extraordinary. Something that's never been done before. Something you have never done. You’re pushing yourself out of your comfort zone helping you grow personally and professionally.
Be careful with fear because it’s the one thing that can hold you back from achieving your dreams. You have to recognize your fear and when it’s triggered, then reflect on that fear. Is it a legitimate fear or something that can be controlled, listened to and conquered. Are you trying to escape your fear or is the decision your making truly a bad decision for your business?
I Have Failed and Learned to Move On
Both fear and denial of my own failure have held me back in business. I chose fear when it came to putting myself out there. I didn’t tell people what I did for fear that they would judge me or think I was not an expert. So I didn’t take risks in my businesses which held me back from achieving all that I wanted to. I kept things status quo as to not make any waves in my family, friends and whoever I encountered.
I have failed and thought it was because of this or that or someone or something. I didn’t believe it was me. I believed it was everything else, but I realized I only have control over myself and my actions. This has allowed me to move on by knowing that I am the only person that has control of my success.
So are you prepared to face your fears and achieve you goals? If so what’s the one fear you need to overcome and why would it hold you back?
2019 has been full of trials in my business and personal life. This year I found a lot clarity about what I really want out of all of it. I took about six months to realize what that was. Some might think of this as a setback, but really the last have of this year has been more productive than ever leading me closer to my 2020 goal.
I am grateful for that clarity now rather than a few years down the line. This year’s clarity has led me to embark on my own gallery exhibit. The exhibit featured a year long project called Small Town. Since I live in a small town, this project was dear to my heart! This project felt so much like me! I was in a state of productive flow for a long time that I hadn’t experienced in two years working with couples and families. It made me realize that maybe wedding photography and certain family photography are not for me and that’s OK.
The thing I love doing the most still hasn’t changed. I love telling stories through my photographs. No matter what my subject is, that is my goal with creating photographs. I feel the best way I can do that is by providing photographs for people who need help with them, mainly entrepreneurs.
This past year, I led the Rising Tide Society Tuesdays Together Sacramento chapter. Although I didn’t achieve all that I wanted as leader, the position taught me a lot. I love helping other entrepreneurs, which is why my business is pivoting in 2020. I realize that we all need a little help and I have a gift for telling stories through photographs. Why not help other entrepreneurs do that and save them a little time, because we all need a little more time as business owners!
In 2020 I am opening up a styled stock photography store, personal branding sessions for social media content and more fine art to help spread the word about things I care about. So stay tuned and join my email list for in-depth articles on photography, business, freebies, writing, my role in Rising Tide Society Sacramento Chapter and personal stories of home.