The Importance of Retail Photography

hospitality and hotel photography

In a world we spend hours online every day, it is difficult to stand out. Brands need to invest in Retail Photography as it is the first chance to make an impression on a potential customer. Professional retail photographer, Gerry O’Leary discusses the significance of store and product imagery in 2024.

What do most people do when they are considering making a new purchase? They whip out their phone and search for the item online. For many, they make their purchases online too. Research has proven that 95% of purchases  are driven by emotions – even the savviest consumer is ruled by how they feel about a brand or product. Everyone on a marketing team knows this, and it’s one of the reasons visual merchandisers have a specific role in stores. With everything online, the role of the retail photographer has become increasingly important.

What is Retail Photography?

Retail photography is a specialized genre of photography that focuses on capturing high-quality images of retail products, store interiors, and occasionally, retail events. The main aim is to present the products or the store in the most appealing way that attracts potential customers. Then, the images are typically used in various promotional materials such as magazines, brochures, websites, social media, and in-store displays.

It’s vital for a retail photographer to have a keen eye for detail and the creativity to portray the products in a way that resonates with the target audience, while also highlighting the unique selling points of the product or store. Brand guidelines should also be considered, as the colours and style of the brand should be highlighted in the photos. This is a particular area that I have a deep understanding of, having worked with several international brands over the years, including Balenciaga, Missoni and Cavalli over the course of my photography career.

Retail Photography Displays Your Brand to the World

Human love visual appeal – think of galleries and show houses and best-dressed lists – we adore looking at nice things. For every retail brand, the visual representation is one of your primary selling points. Your brand photography is to showcase your store and products in the best light (which I discuss at length in other blogs) and appeal to all the people you’d like to drop by your store.

Too many brands are relying on photographs taken on mobile phones to promote their brands. While this might work for in-store events, they often are poorly lit or ill-composed and don’t look great on a website.

Some of them might never visit your store, but if they fall in love with the photographs, they will be far more likely to buy from you.

Grow Your Brand with Retail Photography

When you want to foster a unique aesthetic and identity, your success hinges on your ability to distinguish the brand in an already crowded market. Consumer choices extend beyond product preferences; they are driven by a desire to connect with and appreciate the essence of a brand.

Brand impact extends beyond physical store visits, it subconsciously draws in customers even through online interactions such as website visits. This underlines the need for high-quality, professional photography. I use my years of finely-honed skills to craft images that align with your brand, establishing that connection with the customer beyond the frame. This helps solidify your brand in the marketplace.

When potential customers see your store in a magazine or brochure, it not only gives them an image to connect with the brand, but it helps on their journey to falling in love with it – IF, and only if the retail photography is appealing.

Did You Know? Expert Photography Boosts Your SEO

It’s no secret that websites with great imagery perform better than sites that don’t. However, integrating professional photography into your online presence significantly boosts your search engine optimization (SEO) rankings. Featuring professional images of your retail stores and products makes your website more customer-centric and appealing. Images can also be searched online, so when you have attractive photos that organically lead directly to your products, it creates a more seamless experience for the customer. This goes beyond aesthetics and proves that quality sells in many ways.

We’re visual creatures and we respond to beautiful images and stories. That’s why I always develop a compelling narrative alongside the marketing team to get the best results in retail photography.

I hope you enjoyed reading this article.

Throughout January, I’ll be discussing retail photography in more detail on the blog. However, if you have specific questions about photographing your store, please drop me a message. Feel free to share this article on your preferred platform, I’d love to engage.