Each image you upload to Press Loft needs to have an image style: cut out, lifestyle and other.
We usually recommend a 60% cut out to 40% lifestyle balance, as journalists love to use cut out images but still appreciate a good variety of images to choose from, depending on what they're working on.
Cut out images
Cut out images (sometimes know as deep-etched images) are photos where the object has been cut out from its original background and placed onto a clean, white background. Can be either with or without shadowing.
Why are they important?
– If you look at the majority of products featured in magazines and blogs, you’ll notice they’re usually part of a shopping type page (“get the look”, "new products of the month" etc). To secure spots in these types of spreads, it’s important that brands have professional, individual product shots readily available for journalists. Cut out images on a crisp white background are very easy for a journalist to incorporate into their features so are highly favourable.
– While a great lifestyle shot is important to have as well, a high percentage of the downloads from journalists on Press Loft are of cut out images and quite often journalist call-outs request this style of image.
– Cut out images also make your product image look clean and much more professional. They’re more appealing to the eye and by having this type of image on your own website, you are placing your products in the best light, which will absolutely help with sales.
– Obviously not all products will suit cut out images. Wallpaper and flooring for example are often displayed best in lifestyle shots.
Cut out image examples:
How do I deep etch my image?
– You can do it yourself in a photo editing program like Photoshop or Gimp.
– Ask your photographer to supply images deep etched onto a white background when you do your next product shoot and they can just incorporate this into their editing process for you.
– There are also some websites which do it for a cost of about £2 per image, such as Clipping Magic, Image Heroes or Bright-river. Just upload your current images with any type of background and they will send them back to you cut out professionally.
(!) To keep in mind:
– Even cut out, your images need to be high-res (300dpi)
– Offer a choice to journalists: present products on their own, as a group or from different angles
– Do not be careless about lifestyle shots
A lifestyle image, or in-situ as it’s often called, features a product in a real-life setting. Although cut out images are the most often used product image type in magazines, great lifestyle shots are still commonly featured. These days, journalists rarely have time or budget to call in products for in-house shoots, so a high-quality lifestyle image is sometimes just what they need. If you have an amazing lifestyle image on hand, you’re covering all bases and giving yourself the best chance at getting your brand featured. Quality is key, so if you want your image featured in a top-notch magazine, then your lifestyle image must be nothing short of stunning!
There are two basic ways to approach a lifestyle image. One shows the product in an entire room, creating an entire vision. The other is simpler, where the piece is in a real life setting but focuses on the product without much distraction. There’s no right or wrong, both have their advantages. Room shots can really portray the design aesthetic for the collection/brand so are ideal for individual stories about you plus for your own website, though simpler shots can sometimes be suitable for more features.
A beautifully styled/in-situ image, either small scale like a styled table top or large scale like a full room shot.
"Other" image style
Images cut out onto a background other than white, or images that aren't technically styled are classed as other.