In the world of online fashion, there are typically two main buckets of image assets: 1) e-commerce, and 2) marketing. The marketing assets are the editorial/lifestyle images that might accompany a main feature or online magazine.
Heavily styled, and often environmental in nature, the marketing photo often conveys aspects of a brand’s identity.They are in contrast to the typical e-commerce type of photo, deflecting from a standard set of poses and angles.
A frontal, profile and rear shot are the standard set of images in the e-commerce image bundle, with additional close-ups and colour variations as necessary. Showing different angles against white seamless backgrounds has been the standard approach to the e-commerce photo since the advent of online sales. Many companies have also used mouse “roll-overs” to show different views of the clothing without going into the detail page.
As in any type of online conversion scenario, the goal is to remove any doubt from the viewer’s mind. If a consumer thinks the waistcoat (aka vest) might not look good in real life, the rollover image is there to prove otherwise. In recent years, some retailers have added video to the arsenal of images to get increasingly closer to “real life.”
Yet,and with for all these different angles of photography there is still something very uninspiring about the e-commerce style- especially in comparison to marketing standards, which have a certain je nais se quoi – , as it fails to aspire and draw photographic trends, in the direction of the standard e-commerce image.
As e-commerce continues to evolve, marketers are starting to develop the e-commerce image into something that is more editorial in nature – even at the risk of not providing a standard set of angles. This approach in combination with fresh design is causing a revolutionary uproar amongst online brands;the single keylight is now supplemented with a pretty hard backlight (look at the shadow), creating, what is a much more spontaneous and daring pose. Invariably, standard images are becoming replaced with those that best show an individual piece.
In truth, these types of decisions are made by the creative director or at the level of the art director level. Decisions to radicalizeor alternate what an image should represent and/or express is not at the discretion of the photographer. But it is nonetheless interesting to see how a great concept executed with strong photography and design can elevate brand perception, and sell more clothing (or at the very least, improve user engagement). While for smaller brands, a photographer has a greater capacity to influence the look and feel of its photography. Ultimately, being aware of such trends only makes your services more valuable and beneficial, anchoring you as a critical part of the creative process.