It’s nearly the end of week two in my photography class and we have been working on a topic that is critical to my blog work. It’s called Path-to-Purchase Photography and beyond what we learned, last week, about photo editing with layers, levels, unsharp mask, burning and dodging, there are some important tips I came away with to help me do a better job with path-to-purchase shop assignments.
Some of you are probably saying path-to waaaa? It’s something I only learned as I became a blogger, so “Lucy, let me ‘splain”. Often the work I do when testing and reviewing a product also includes actually going to the store to purchase it. The client asks me to do this and to take pictures of my experience. What did I do ahead of time to prepare for the shopping trip (did I make a list.)? What did I see or do on the way that caught my attention (Did I stop somewhere else first, run any errands, etc.)? What did I notice in the store, displays, signs, sales and specials? What caught my eye as I was shopping or was I on a mission and went straight in and straight back out to grab exactly what I needed? What else did I buy? Where was the product located/displayed in the store? Documenting my shopping trip in a sort of photo journal gives the client insight into the way I shop and what I’m looking for. It provides them information on how retailers are marketing and displaying their products. It allows them to make decisions about new products, product features and packaging and about promotions and marketing, armed with reliable information, direct from a consumer. It also lets them see the other products I’m looking at, comparing, before making a final purchase, so they can better understand what drives that final decision. So, it’s important that I learn to provide the needed information in a format that helps them. Words come easily to me, but I have so much to learn about photography. That’s why I’m so thankful to have been selected to participate in this SFU Sear’s Grilling Photography Class!
This week, we worked on creating a story in photos – a path-to-purchase photo series. My assignment was to visit our nearest Sears store and photograph my “steps” in selecting a new grill. The most exciting news is that, next week, Sears is providing a gift card for me to go back and PURCHASE the grill I select — just in time for David’s birthday! Talk about perfect timing! So, off I went to Lincoln and snapped photo after photo in the Sears Grilling and Outdoor Living Departments. It’s amazing how differently you see the inside of a store, and the products there, when you are trying to take interesting pictures.
Something I discovered that is very important, and yet often difficult to achieve, is to keep the background as uncluttered as possible. In a smaller store, where space is at a premium, products are displayed very close together, so I needed to take lots of pictures from all different angles to try and get the cleanest shots and be sure I had plenty of options when I got back home. Our instructor also shared with us that zooming in on the target product can soften the background and help with that de-cluttering.
We were also encouraged to include store signage, inside and outside the store, in our photo documentation, along with any outdoor displays we noted as we arrived.
Hopefully, this photo shoot will tell my story and clearly indicate to all of you exactly how my birthday window-shopping went down, this week at Sears. I’m excited to pick up the grill, next week, and share some more progress, with you, in our always ongoing backyard makeover!
I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Sears #CBias #GrillingIsHappiness. All photos and opinions are my own.