How to achieve Authentic Real-Life Photography for Marketing and Advertising
One of the challenges for marketing and advertising professionals is creating imagery which triggers a positive connection that customers can identify with. Gone are the days when you could hire a couple of models and work your way down a shoot list of staged manufactured poses where they are “acting” the role of customer.
Many photographers can struggle with the task of keeping marketing photos authentic while still capturing what the product should mean to the consumer. So I’d like to share my thoughts on keeping marketing and advertising photos authentic and relatable to consumers.
Achieving Authentic Photography for Marketing and Advertising
We’re all familiar with plenty of successful campaigns because of their humorous, catchy copy or because of their sumptuous, glossy photography. But the one’s you’ll remember are for huge organizations with a household name and produced with an extremely high budget.
An all-together, more achievable approach is to make that important connection between the consumer and the product by bringing the product to life—showing it in an authentic and honest real-life context. It works particularly well with portraiture, where you use the person behind the product or service to convince the consumer of the provenance and origin of the product.
Today’s savvy consumer can see right through over-glossy, staged imagery. A more natural and authentic picture will promote a genuine affinity between the customer and the brand. A story-telling approach will allow them a glimpse of the narrative behind the process or the passion behind the producer. It provides the means for the consumer to imagine the food on their own table or the item in use in their own hands.
Marketing and Advertising Photography – Epic Scotland Photography
Many of my clients are in the food and drink industry and a recent commission for the national supermarket chain, Lidl Supermarkets, gave me the opportunity to photograph a series of Scottish food producers. They were all incredibly passionate about their work and had dedicated a life-time towards their craft. This made them the obvious focus for promoting the products they made.
The series of portraits I was commissioned to shoot needed to be natural and characterful, creating an open and honest window into the world of passionate, expert food producers.
My goal was to convey the human qualities of each producer, photographing them in their natural surroundings with the produce they love. This helped to tell a small part of the story behind the products as well as the producers themselves.
I’ve picked out some images from three of the producers I photographed in the campaign.
We Hae Meat is a family run butcher business providing all sorts of meat products. The meat is sourced from their own farm in the heart of Robbie Burns country.
I visited the farm on a foul day, when the rain was driving horizontal over the dykes and across the fields. So, sadly, we were confined to the barns, which was a great shame, as the countryside is spectacular in that part of the world. But there were no alternative, as we were hard up against the production deadline.
But, as it turned out, the photography in the warm, humid barn conveyed excellently the feeling we had been going for all along. We were able to convey the closeness the farmers, Alex and Carlyn Paton, had to their cattle and how well they understood them.
Amongst the other food producers I photographed for this commission was Lee Godfrey of Brown’s Food Group, who produce fine haggis amongst other things. I also had the opportunity to take a peak into the working lives of Blair Patterson of the famous Mrs. Tilly’s Confectioners in Falkirk and Cameron Godfrey of McKinley’s.
In marketing and advertising, it’s important to carefully choose the lens you use to show yourself to the world. The wrong photo can completely turn off a consumer from your products. But when you convey and capture the right feelings to your consumers through your marketing photography, that’s where the magic happens. That’s where you need to land every time in order to keep your customers coming back!