“A picture is worth a thousand words“ is an old English adage. It refers to the notion that a complex idea can be conveyed with just a single picture, this picture conveys its meaning or essence more effectively than a description does.
A picture really is worth a thousand words. When creating an illustrative image, one must take this adage and make it true. There are many areas where this type of photography can be used including advertising, articles, books, editorials, websites, etc., as it is not always easy to get your message across to your audience. For certain situations the best choice or often only choice would be to use an illustrative photograph. When successful, you will have an obvious message portrayed through the image.
At BP Imaging we use illustrative photography for many projects where the clients want to portray their product in a more natural setting so that the viewer doesn’t have to imagine it.
We use our expertise in illustrative photography for many clients including Colour & Design and their sister brand DeNovo Wall. This company designs and markets commercial wallcovering and BPI’s job is to communicate clearly the specific details and beauty in each design.
There are many important aspects that go into creating an illustrative image which include lighting, view, props and surfaces, environment, stock imagery, mood, and research. These pieces come together to achieve the final goal which is to attract prospective buyers for clients.
Lighting is one of the most important aspects of illustrative photography and plays an important part when capturing wallcoverings. A decent portion of the product and many of the new wallcoverings have reflective characteristics which can pose a problem. These surfaces must be enhanced by lighting techniques. In some cases, the product is wrapped around a cylinder to achieve this.
Often a close-up shot is required on some patterns to show the detail of the design. This creates less space for the propping or creating an environment which limits the approach. Props and surfaces must be sourced with proper scale that will compliment or contrast a design by both shape and colour. Environments must also be sourced to find what is suitable to each pattern. Ie. Hospitality, corporate, institutional etc.
In some cases, we will combine photography with a stock image to create a different environment or setting. This can be easier and less expensive than building a set or hiring models when required. Lighting is not only important for enhancing details but is what helps to create a mood for the image. Research can provide insight and inspiration when brainstorming ideas.
Illustrative Photography is one area that provides a photographer the opportunity to show their best creativity. This is where a theme or narrative must be created from scratch to obtain the desired effect.
If a product is photographed well using Illustrative photography, it can be very effective in selling the product as many buyers now purchase products solely from a photograph, so it is crucial that the image clearly shows the product at its best. Ideally the customer has a good return on investment and keeps coming back for more!