The Challenge: Strong product photography is a required component of any successful PR strategy. Beyond having images shot against a white background to send to press, quality product photos help sell products online and indicate a level of brand credibility. However, for many designers working on a limited budget, the cost of doing it right often leaves designers trying to do DIY, and publicists completely frustrated by the sub-par images that are supposed to help the brand build editor appeal.It can be even worse for e-retailers, who are often stuck with a hodgepodge of brand-supplied images that have no continuity among them, or brand cohesiveness for the store.
The Solution: For designers and PR agencies in the NYC and Los Angeles area, there is a new, affordable option to create crisp, professional product photography. Previously only available to big brands like Perry Ellis, Valentino, G-Star and Macy’s, now anyone can take advantage of StyleShoots technology by renting the StyleShoots all-in-one photography suite for $250/hour. Within that hour, the StyleShoots system allows you to create approximately 50 professional, high-quality photographs - basically $5 per shot. Compare that to the thousands of dollars that are easily spent each season working with professional photographers and it's easy to see why StyleShoots quickly became a no-brainer for our PR Toolbox series.
How Does StyleShoots Work?
The system itself is made up of three parts: an “illuminated glass tabletop”, “daylight simulation lamps” and the camera, a Canon 5D Mark II DSLR. StyleShoots is powered by an embedded Mac mini computer which users manage via an iPad app. Products are captured against a transparent background, edited and refined and uploaded. The system itself was designed with difficult-to-photograph products in mind, products with fringe like scarves or more complex textiles, lace or even fur, so it's perfect for fashion designers and retailers. The images are automatically processed and exported in custom sizes, qualities and formats (no more annoying resizing of hi-res to low-res images!) and the app allows for the addition of shadowing and effects to jazz up the images for say, a lookbook or blog post.
Fashion PR Advantages of StyleShoots
While capturing products at various angles is a value-add for designers creating websites, lookbooks and an essential part of pitching the media, there are applications beyond just photographing individual pieces. For StyleHousePR, who recently retained StyleShoots as a client, the real fun comes from leveraging StyleShoots to serve the agency's pitching needs. “We can create outfits that incorporate multiple clients of ours, and that's when it gets really fun and the media placements we get increase as a result,” explained SHPR Founder and President Janna Meyrowitz Turner. StyleShoots also opens up new opportunities to shoot seasonal or thematic product laydowns which can be pitched to bloggers, or used on a client's own branded social channels or blog.
Hopefully you're as excited as we are about this affordable option for both fashion publicists and designers.
What is your current process for product photography? What do you think about StyleShoots?
Photo Credit: Dmitry Valberg