Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Class Discussion: Product Shots

-The topic of product shots comes up quite a bit when discussing men's shops with other bloggers/shoppers. I wanted to post this as a kind of initial research for future career moves, and I'm really interested in what people think. Do you necessarily need to see the garment on a model? For me, fit is the most important thing about any piece, regardless of the name of the label. But on the other hand, I think Nomad's shots are the most elegantly photographed of any shop's. Oi Polloi and a few others show alternate views of the item on a mannequin, but that doesn't translate as well as seeing the garment on a real model. But that brings up the issue, which has also been discussed at length amongst bloggers, of model body type. Sometimes it's hard to gauge how a garment may look on yourself when you're seeing it on a manorexic model.
-An added component to shots on models is how the looks are styled. When I look at the four different images of the Wings + Horns chambray parka, I try to notice the little differences like what's layered beneath the jacket and what color pants were paired with the jacket. Subtle differences in styling can have an affect on buyer perception.

-Of course the best way to avoid all these problems is to head to a reputable shop and actually try things on, but we're talking about high-end niche markets here, most of these shops do the majority of their business online. For many of the items in these stores you could refer to the brand's lookbook, but that just adds another step between shopping and actually getting your gear in hand. Though I'm not really a fan of anything they sell, the Japanese shop Utility Coop has the perfect product shot balance: Isolated products shot against a white seamless, and in-house lookbook style shots with models. To me, that's the most effective way to give shoppers a complete view of what they're potentially spending a good deal of money on. What do you think? Is there a shop that you think has exceptional product images?
-Update: The brand new Patrik Ervell shop is super clean, combining video, still model shots and isolated garment shops. It will be super frustrating if you're on a slow machine though, but I guess they assume if you're on a slow machine, you probably can't afford Ervell.


Nicolas Lazaro said...


Jake said...

You hit the nail right on the head.

I think this is a big gap between what a customer wants and what is delivered by the labels/stores.

Being a video guy, I've always wished they would have live video of models (or actors) with several different body types wearing the stuff In different scenarios and then discussing how it fits them. Kind of like an extended video lookbook, but a fitbook. You get three different actors covering a fairly reasonable range of height and weight and everybody at least has a reference point. How hard would it be?

As a customer, I can't pull the trigger on something I'm not reasonably sure will fit me. I either rely on measurements (if they have them) or look for word of mouth on blogs/forums. A lot of work to ask of a customer.

BadScene said...

I definitely enjoy seeing both isolated pics as well as fit pics of products. Context usually does a good job of the fits, while End Clothing does a pretty good job of isolating their products. While I haven't seen anything by Utility Coop, it sounds as if they hit the nail on the head.

Gavin said...

What winds me up is that the images are never big enough. Best thing about the Oi Polloi shots is to disable CSS using Developers Toolbar and see the raw images intended for the annoying hover style thingy! #protips

Christophe said...

Check out Asos.com, they got it right: they have model shots alongside catwalk videos... Here is an example of an Acne windbreaker: http://www.asos.com/Acne/Acne-Hooded-Windbreaker-Jacket/Prod/pgeproduct.aspx?iid=895633&cid=6963&sh=0&pge=0&pgesize=20&sort=-1&clr=Black