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Advertising Photography – The Rules for Success

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Almost everything people trust to buy is advertised. That’s a fact and is the inspiration for advertisers who employ photography as a tool to popularise a product or service. Why photography? That’s because people wish to see what they are getting: the product and/or the results. Impactful advertising is the biggest advantage of a well-planned advertising campaign involving photography.

Photography for advertising has a history of itself. The ads had pictures of actual products, detailing its uses and advantages. Then, the method of advertising shifted to more subtle and suggestive ways of introducing the product. The balance between text and image played a great role and the dynamics of this combination evolved in interesting ways over time.

Photography training courses develop your skills in specialised activities, of which Advertising Photography is a major one. The vast possibilities in this field and the ever-evolving strategies applied in view of the variety of media options available makes the subject greatly interesting.

It would hence be interesting to learn a few rules that give an edge in advertising photography. You could learn a lot on this at a photography training institute.


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Let the picture do the talking.


This is basic. Advertising photography bases its reach, appeal and impression primarily and mostly on the effectiveness of the image involved. The slogan and other textual content complements the image. The right picture gives the best impression and tells the story most captivatingly. As it is practised in photography classes, a concept is created for which the image is shot.


Create a scene.


It’s simple to shoot a product’s picture and suggest it works best. But that won’t grab the attention of the people who are bombarded with choices of the same product. It’s best as a strategy to show a situation that is apparently improved amazingly by the product promoted. This works especially for household products where the consumers would want to be convinced that people like them shall get great benefits and positive change using the product.


Give them a status symbol.


A large chunk of the population desire to emulate an iconic figure or an inimitable style statement. Pinning a status symbol to the product makes it all the more appealing and definitive to the consumers. This strategy works especially with youngsters. An example that can be cited is the way Marlboro has infamously made smoking a cool symbol of manhood in the West via it’s cowboy ads.


Capitalize on an appropriate theme.


These are the days when cross-cultural themes like human rights and women empowerment gain great support and mileage. If the product can tag itself to such a venerated theme via an advertisement, its popularity and meaningfulness will make it widely accepted. An example can be seen in denim ads that celebrate cultural diversity.


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Be subtle, be minimal.


The art of telling more with less serves best in advertisements. This happens especially in the case of ads that try to indulge the viewer in the product by virtue of smart suggestiveness or subtle meanings that are amusing to guess and hard to forget. The ad for Hut Weber that compares the images of Chaplin and Hitler with the caption “It’s the hat” is a famous ad to mention in this context.
Ace it with text.


Nailing the message in the picture with a striking textual content makes the ad complete and impactful. An example is the ad of Rolling Stones that says “We are made of rock”, the text shown under a guitar shaped rendition of skeletal anatomy.


Make the real look better.


Some real images can be made to look better by adding a visual element or a new meaning to it. Editing a real photograph to improve its feel or meaning makes it apt to elevate the credibility of the product showcased.

An example is Pedigree’s ad where it adds a dog element to one half of the same pic and the difference it creates raises an emotional appeal and pushes the dog feed product too. Nivea Nights brilliantly depicts the crescent moon with an open can revealing the white cream

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