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The 7 Deadly Sins of Boutique Photography

Have you ever taken a close look at your product photos and compared them to other retail photos and asked – which would I rather buy? A good photo can make or break the sale of a product and ultimately, your bottom line. Taking your time is worth the investment.

We’ve seen it all – the good, the bad, and the ugly and if nothing else, make sure you’re not committing one of the 7 Deadly Sins of Boutique Photography.

(We aren’t sharing example images in this post to protect the identity of those committing the sins!)

1. Busy Busy Photo Collages & Text

Collages have become a popular part of sharing your latest arrivals with shoppers. There are endless options for sizes, backgrounds, layouts and text overlay – but we have to say, I mean scream – LESS IS MORE! Busy backdrops, rounded corners, too many filters, and mixing big fonts is simply distracting. Good photos and collages alike let the products and styling of the products speak for themselves.

If you like to use fonts and backgrounds – pick 2 fonts and 2-3 colors that you feel represent your brand and stick to the each time you design. Build your image through quality and repetition!

2. Photo Theft

We follow hundreds of boutiques on social media and after a while, you get to know what photos belong to what boutique based on the style, the model, or if we’ve seen that post first hand on another page. There is nothing more frustrating to those who’ve taken the time or made the investment to have beautiful product photos, only to see another boutique use their photo. Social media makes the world very small, and it’s always best to double (or triple!) check that the photos you post, if not your own, are directly from the vendor themselves and not another boutique.

If you often use vendor photos, find unique ways to make those images pop – maybe it’s a simple collage with a close and wide angle or your logo watermark added to the image.

3. Dark & Dreary

A photo might have captured a beautiful model wearing a perfectly styled outfit, but if the photo is too dark, it was all for nothing. Correct lighting and photo editing is critical to making colors pop and clothing stand out. There are SO MANY great photo editors out there either free or for a slight investment – take the time to make your images bright and appealing.

4. Size Matters

Photo editing may seem overwhelming if you’ve never given it a try, but correctly sizing your photos before you post them to social media or your website is quite simple and crucial to the aesthetic. Many websites will auto size your photos when you upload them, but if they don’t, you need to pick what size works best and stick with it. Double check your uploads to make sure they are evenly sized and NOT BLURRY!  Pixilation of images sends a feeling of low quality to shoppers not just about the product, but your brand as well. Be picky with images and take the time to size them.

Try these sites for sizing and editing: PicMonkey, Rhonna Designs, (personal favorite) – or use your computer’s default photo editor to size your images evenly.

5. Laundry Pile Style

Taking outfit photos arranged on the floor is a great way to showcase complete outfits when you don’t have a model in house. All too often, we see some posts that end up looking like my bedroom floor every morning with the pictured outfits still on hangers, tags hanging out, and clothes wrinkled. Take your time, pay close attention to the details, and keep the layouts crisp.

6. Plain Jane

Boutiques are alluring to women because they teach style and give the feel that they are a step up from the typical big box store. All is lost when posted photos are of clothes on an ugly hanger or on a half mannequin all alone with no layers or accessories. No style, no details, and no appeal. Many vendor photos are plain and are great if you’re building excitement for a pre-order, but you’re better off to style the piece when you get it in house.

Women want to see REAL women wearing your clothes. Dress it up, make layers, and teach shoppers how to wear what you’re selling.

7. Photo Bombers

Whether it’s a floor arrangement, outfit on a mannequin, hanger, or other set-up, no one likes to see a photo bomber like feet, piles, boxes,  animals, shadows of a photographer, your reflection, or your dirty bedroom! Carefullt pick where you take your photos with clean backdrops and floors, and crop out the unwanted details. If you’re taking your photos at home, don’t let the photos look like it.

Which of the 7 Deadly Sins are you committing? Tell us below or share what other photography sins you see in marketing.

Want to make sure you aren’t committing Photography Sins? Follow us on Instagram and we’ll help each other out! 

Until next time,

The Boutique Hub


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