In today’s modern and fast paced age of technology, the consumer is constantly being educated and updated on the latest ranges of goods and services from FMCG products, to fashion and accessories, to food and fresh organics for hospitality or personal consumption, and the list goes on…

The consumer has become the program manager, from the comfort of your couch, you are able to toggle, compare and choose what you are wanting to buy at their own convenience with such a choice and ease. Correct explanations and literature as well as accurate reviews outlining the pros and the cons make this the only buying option to use, it is the way of the future.

We all know that criminal behavior prevails in our lives,from the time spent in traffic and then standing in long supermarket queues waiting for assistance to just walking in the street on the way to the shop. For consumers, poor customer service, lack of availability and generally a bad experience is now a thing of the past, we just don’t need to deal with all this any longer.

I believe the push to virtual shop fronts has grown dramatically in countries like South Africa, where we have all had some bad experiences with retail shopping and end delivery. No longer is there a need for stress and frustration, thanks to the likes of Takealot and Superbalist who deliver to your door.

Shopkeepers are now cutting costs with a virtual online platform for clients a visit. No more high rentals and staff hassles, just a great website and some good online marketing, what a pleasure for everyone all round.


The importance of closing a sale through good visual representation

If you have a range of products or services and have adopted the online route of selling, your visual representation is key. Your products need to be well captured and self-explanatory. Using your mobile phone to take pictures for your website may work as a cost-effective method, but that does not work in the real world of competitive retail, consumers do not spend time online scrolling through a site with poorly shot products. The same way that badly shot food photography will not generate sales from the online menu.

Remember, competition in all industries is high, and businesses spend a great deal on their photography to reach and convert passing online traffic into loyal consumers. It is vital, that ecommerce stores have a good understanding of their audience and understand what needs to stand out in the image to make the sale, or even get a click through to the product. This will encourage potential customers to come loyal converted ones.

The Photographers role in Ecommerce

As a professional photographer, with a full studio and lighting set up, I provide this as service to my clients. I also hire out my studio to photographers and direct clients alike for online product photography. This has provided me with the knowledge as to what this sector requires. By chatting to fellow photographers and clients alike, has equipped me to make the above assumptions a fact.

It is important for the client to provide a detailed brief to the photographer, nothing to be taken for granted, as the photographers role is not to up or down play the product, it’s to shoot the product correctly, either for editorial or just  Pac specific or client, using the correct lighting and ensuring the required detail and quality is present. Make sure as the photographer, to communicate very clearly with the client as to what is required. Make sure that the products are delivered and counted before signing receipt documents, and likewise when collected once the shoot is complete.

Let the client know that you are not a stylist, a seamstress or anything of the sort and that it is the responsibility of the client to provide a storyboard and references before the photoshoot that are clear and easy to understand. Often a client will prefer to just do a quick drop off and leave things up to the photographer. Do not accept this from the client, it will turn out messy, no two people think the same, hence a storyboard and a brief is not an option. The only other option is to have the client present during the shoot to approve everything runs to brief.

It is also essential the photographer explains to the client where certain shot requests on the initial brief are impossible to achieve, use your knowledge and experience as a photographer, communicate this before just smiling and taking on the job, like shooting white on white and trying to make the product pop, something has to give. Don’t go sheepishly back to the client and tell them is does not work. My advice as a photographer, is that if your client knows your job better than you, tell them to shoot it themselves. Don’t take on jobs with clients that are going to expect the impossible and are never satisfied, focus on the good ones.

For some interesting reading on the ecommerce trends go to

I trust that this article has cleared up a lot of things and will be of help to both the online trader and the photographer alike.