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So you know that saying “a picture is worth a thousand words”?

June 3, 2014 - All Categories - , , , , , , , , ,


And having this wonderful insight you gather, self-shoot and download numerous images to fill in all those placeholders on your website and social media pages? But have you ever really analysed what thousand words your images are saying? Because one thousand words may not necessarily be a good thing if what those words are saying is cheap, dull, irrelevant, lazy and worse!If you want a higher conversion rate, you need to perfect the art of choosing images. In this post I’m going to do a quick translation of a few product images into words, that might help you translate your own images the next time you are hitting that upload button.

Below are two example of product description photography, the exact same product but photographs saying completely different things.

This is a nice, well light professional photograph.


Not much more than a product description photograph, but it allows you’re consumer a very clear idea of what they are getting and assists them make an unbiased decision, which is always appreciated. The small effort that has gone into its clean, even composition and good light instills confidence in your consumers mind that this is a well-intended sale. This photograph suggests the seller is straightforward and trustworthy.

This is product photography gone wrong.


Poorly lit, cluttered composition and a lazy angle.This image instantly instils doubt in a consumers mind. (This is particularly ironic as the person is selling a pretty expensive camera, indicating at one point they had an interest in photography!) Even if it is just a one time – sell like on done-deal etc. this photograph just says lazy and disinterested in the buyer decision as long as they hand over money. It will do nothing much to instil this as a legitimate purchase to anyone interested. The product may actually be fine but the seller may be interpreted as unprofessional, so while consumers may be interested in the product they are generally hesitant to hand money over to neglectful sellers.

Moving on to product advertisement rather than simple product description. The messages you put out in these advertisement images are crucial to the perception of your brand.

This a canon advertisement.


A beautifully shot photograph composited into a sophisticated, elegant graphic. This image indicates this is a serious piece of equipment and speaks to the consumer who recognises quality and will pay for it. The lighting emphasising the brand name suggests Canon are proud of their products and this translates to a loyal customer. The image is subtly cool and artfully mysterious, traits many serious photographers aspire to.

Is there a camera in this image?!


Ah yes, there it is in the shadows. This is an unfortunate advertisement, suggesting little pride or focus on the camera, but instead reverts to immaturely sexualising the product. I say immaturely, as there are countless better ways to suggest sex appeal than positioning a product alongside a nice but irrelevant pert arse! There is no denying sex appeal has it’s place in advertising, but it must be in the correct context or you are in danger of cheapening your brand. There is a tinge of misogyny here. Thankfully this is not a Canon ad, if this was how Canon advertised their products, I would question my loyalty to the brand, professional cameras are a serious investment not a bikini accessory. An important note to remember, when considering your images don’t just think about who you are attracting,but think about who your images could potentially be putting off, it they are deterring you’re most lucrative customers they need a rethink. So I hope you’ve found something of interest in that, and maybe be inclined to look closely at your images and read into what they might be actually saying, because it truly impacts how people read you and your business.

If you have any images your particularly concerned about or would just like a professional opinion on, just send them on and I’d be delighted to give feedback. In the next post I’m going to translate a few profile pictures, the importance of image is often under-estimated, while they can I fact be crucial to your professional impression and reputation, so stay tuned.

Cheerio for Now!


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