If you have noticed anything by now when we talk about blogging and beauty blogging tips, is that there is no “must” or “should” 🙂 However, there are some “rules” or practises that are so established that everyone tends to follow suit. One of this is in product photography of new items.
How often have you come across a product review of a colour cosmetic that features a used product? Not often, I’d warrant. Most of the time (and I’m just as guilty of this) the product will be photographed in its brand new pristine state before a blogger uses it. There is something so beautiful and pristine about a brand new piece of makeup and it looks gorgeous in photographs.
And yet, how often have you, as a blogger, had to push aside using your makeup simply because “I haven’t photographed it new yet!” Again, I’m perfectly guilty of this. But you know what? I plan to change all that very soon because I’m not going to slavishly follow this practice anymore and I’ll share with you why.
If you own a beauty blog, I’m sure you are guilty of this too right? And I know readers will appreciate seeing products brand new too 🙂
Yet, I think this whole product photography thing can get a little out of hand. As much as many of us want to show you a nice beautiful brand new item, the fact is that we do not always have a brand new perfect item to show. What do you do then? Spend all your money buying the newest and the latest? This is, I feel quite unhealthy and breeds a culture of excess. Many of us have existing products that we love too but feel embarrassed to show, because they aren’t “new” anymore.
On top of that, after we buy, we can’t dig into our purchases. Add on work and life commitments, poor weather etc and some products can languish in storage for weeks or months before we can photograph and use it. I trust I’m not alone in this conundrum!
So here’s what I think. I don’t think that product photos on a blog necessarily needs to show a perfect, brand new item. Naturally, if you have the time to do so, please do. I will gawk at it quite happily 🙂 However, I too believe in having a bit of reality check.
If we don’t have the time, and we really want to use our new purchase, why not just dig right in? It is quite possible to just use a corner of a colour without disturbing the rest of the design too much if that matters. When the time comes to take your photograph, clean up your palette or product and show it. I personally feel that a used product, so long as its clean and well photographed, serves the same purpose as that of a brand new one. Sometimes, it serves an even better purpose, because readers can actually tell what it looks like once its used, and they too can tell if you really love a product!
The only time I can see a brand new product photo serving a purpose, is if there is an intricate design that will disappear once the product is used. Usually, this happens when there is overspray and in these situations, a before/after photo is very helpful. In most other circumstances, I think a well taken photograph, whether of a new or used product will serve your product review just as well. Just as a blog should reflect a blogger’s views, it too should reflect the reality and the reality is that we do use our products, not just line them up for display.
And this, Ladies, means you may be seeing photos of used products cropping up on my blog after this. I don’t always have a lot of time these days to indulge in product photography or even on my blog, and I really want to use what I have. So, if this bugs you, well I could always refer you to another blog. There are loads out there that are full of beautiful photographs of pristine new items 🙂
What do you reckon, bloggers? Do you feel the need to photograph only or mainly brand new products? As readers, do you expect that a brand new product be shown instead of a used one?
As a blogger, yes I do feel the need to photograph a product new and I feel that by not doing so, I’m somehow not living up to some ideal. Yet, due to my constraints, I don’t plan to slavishly do this anymore. As a reader, I enjoy seeing beautiful pristine brand new items especially when they are well photographed. But I also delight in seeing a well used item because it means the blogger loved it and used it enough. So long as the product looks clean, I don’t mind so long as it is clear. I after all, also place a large score on the writing that complements a photo. Anyone with me? 🙂
Simple Blogging Tips are some simple tips I have for fellow bloggers, based on my own experiences. I’m no ‘guru’ but I hope they will help you. You may read up on previous Simple Blogging Tips here or please feel free to ask your question in the comment box or in email.