While it’s a challenge we face all year long, avoiding the dreaded “garage sale” mish-mash of product photography becomes particularly difficult during the holiday season, when business requires hot but random items be featured together under various thematic umbrellas such as “for him” or “with free shipping.”
Sephora, Williams-Sonoma Home, Coach (via Macy’s) and J. Crew have all effectively avoided this conundrum by photographing their gift-able wares in silhouette, thereby pulling product off the garage sale table and into the white space of possibility. To tie images together they create visual environments using graphical devices like line (Sephora), color (Williams-Sonoma Home), movement (Coach) and type (J. Crew).
This approach allows us to avoid both extra work and extra conflict: creative no longer needs to fake backgrounds to make products shot in different environments look as though they were taken at the same location; business and creative don’t have to argue about which products can be tastefully featured in tandem (particularly at the last minute when one out-of-stock item needs to be replaced with another “immediately, as the campaign deploys in less than 12 hours!!!“)
Let’s allow these examples to inspire us all to do better photo planning for Holiday 2008. In short, let’s photograph absolutely everything remotely gift-able in silhouette and be done with it, then just sit around and eat peppermint bark all November and December, draped in monogrammed cashmere throws.
I can’t think of any other way to successfully feature a jewelry box next to a bowl of lemons.
Subject Line: Enchanting Gifts + Shipping Offer
Date: Friday, November 2, 2007
From: Williams-Sonoma Home
Subject Line: Expanded Gift Assortment + Free Shipping on Select Gifts
Date: Tuesday, November 13, 2007
Subject Line: Coach: Free Shipping on $100 or more
Date: Thursday, November 15, 2007
Subject Line: Very Merry Gifts + FREE SHIPPING
Date: Monday, November 19, 2007