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Adding A Human Element to Your Product Images, Model Photography Isn’t The Only Way

When selling a product, it is necessary to take photographs of the product so that your customers understand what it is they are buying. Companies can often take this up a notch by actually showing models in the photographs to display the different uses of a product and features. This is a typical product photography strategy - model shoot - used by many eCommerce businesses around the world, but it’s not available to every company due to the time and money involved to get high-quality product images. As a result, we turn to different methods of model photography to utilize these benefits while keeping the costs lower. The solution to this is adding human-touch to your photography, a different concept that uses the advantages of model photography, but delivers them in a cost-effective package that allows you more creative freedom.

In this article, we’ll be touching on a couple of subjects. First, we’ll dive into model photography and explain that, while effective, it’s not the best solution for all businesses. We’ll be looking at the costs involved and show that there are far too many considerations and people to hire that it can actually be daunting for smaller businesses. Next, we’ll look at photography with human-touch as an alternative and give explanations on how it works, why it works, and how you can take advantage of it.

Correct Use of Model Photography

Using models to showcase your products will attract wider audiences. People understand how to use the product, where to use it, how it can be applied to their lives and also gives a clear understanding of the various features.

Unfortunately, people often think that using model photography photos for products is advanced and expensive, and they also believe that it gives them a prestigious aura that attracts more customers. This is not always true, and improper use of model photographs can actually have a negative effect on your success.

Why You Shouldn’t Add Model Photos to Every Product

The Focus Should Always Be on the Product, Not the Model


The focus of any good product photo should be the product itself and not the model. Models could draw attention away from the product and distract them, leading to undesirable results. For instance, if the product you’re advertising is something like a towel and all of your product photos are with the model, you may be creating more focus on the model then the product. You should have a good balance of photos of your product alone, as well as with a model. The model photos should be relevant to your product, and don’t always need to show the entire person, but only what you need to see such as the hands holding the item.

The Model Has to Be Relevant

In addition, the model has to be relevant to the product itself and actually make sense. An example of this would be something like pet clothing and accessories. Having a model hold them up and show them isn’t a very good idea because pets and models aren’t really related. Instead of using a human model, it would make more sense to use a pet such as a cat or a dog to showcase the products instead. This seems like common knowledge, but occasionally you can find product photos that don’t totally make sense.

Having your model dressed correctly for the job is also very important. If you are advertising fitness clothing, you probably don’t want dark glamour makeup and painted nails. The models should look and be dressed like the actual people who will use your item for best success. 

Most of the time, taking modeled photos is expensive and quite time-consuming. It will cost a lot of money and resources to get expert photographs that showcase your products, especially if you want good results. Here are a couple of the biggest challenges when it comes to getting good photographs:

  • Hiring people is expensive - Hiring people for your model shoot project can be surprisingly expensive. Models need to look their best and this involves a hairdresser, makeup artist, costume coordinator and let’s not forget the cost of actually hiring a model in the first place.
  • Props can add to the cost - Product photos make far more sense when they’re surrounded by similar products that can explain the features and use cases. That’s why we also need to use props, but it actually adds extra cost as well that cannot be avoided.
  • Scene layouts are intricate - Scene layouts can complicate matters. Not only do you need to rent out a location to showcase products, you’ll also have to lay out the scene so that it feels natural and makes sense for the product.
  • Setting up the background is time-consuming - Setting up this type of background or scene can also be incredibly time-consuming.
  • It takes a while to process the photos - Lastly, adding the finishing touches can take a lot of time and you may even need to hire an extra person to work with tools such as Photoshop in order to make your photos more appealing.

In short, hiring the staff required to set up these types of photographs can take a long time and when looking at the costs, it doesn’t seem worth it unless you’re already making a lot of money from your products and have built up your brand to a considerable level. It’s not a cost-effective way to promote your products, but luckily, there are other options as well.

Model Photography Isn’t the Only Choice When It Comes to Displaying Your Products


Adding models to your product photos can be a huge boon. It helps your customers understand what it is they’re buying and gives you an air of professionalism. However, as you can see, it’s expensive and isn’t ideal for every use case. Luckily, if you’re interested in adding a human element to your product images, then model photography isn’t the only way. In fact, there’s a much more cost-effective solution with faster processing times that can give equally effective results; human-touched photography.

What is Human-Touched Photograph?

Human-touch photography is a type of model photography that is focused on promoting, displaying and advertising various commercial products where the model is used to emphasize use cases. In most cases, certain parts of the model are used (such as the hand to show something like a smartphone or gadget) or in some cases, the entire model is blurred and used as the backdrop for a product. Regardless of if the model is real or not, it helps buyers identify what the product is more easily and they have a much easier time realizing what the use case of each product is.

There are four categories of human-touched photography; lifestyle photos, hand model photography photos, blurred model photography photos and model photography photos.

Lifestyle Photos

Lifestyle photos showcase the product in its ideal environment. These don’t actually include real models and typically take a bit of work to set up a scene that makes sense and would be something that mirrors a real use case scenario. For instance, if you want to show off something like a kid’s toy, then you don’t necessarily need to hire a child model. Instead, you can show its ideal use by having it placed strategically in a kid’s room surrounded by objects like a cot, a rug and child-friendly decorations.

Hand Model Photography photos

Hand model photography photos are great for smaller products. They typically only show the model’s hands instead of the full model, and the model usually showcases how to use or handle the products, and the backdrop is often related in some way. These are excellent photograph choices for intricate items as well, or when a product requires your hands in order to be used.

Blurred Model Photography photos

Blurred model photography photos are simple to use and don’t require a professional make-up artist or stylist. Since the entire model is blurred, the focus stays on the product which the model is handling, and anyone can be that model because their identity is often obscured. This is a cost-effective way to add models to your product images without having to hire several people.

Model photography Photos

Lastly, model photography photos are a type of creative photo where the entire model is included. This is perfect for showcasing products like clothing and accessories and is even good for showing off multiple products in a single model shoot.

What Products Are Suitable for Human-Touched Photograph?

Lifestyle Photos

Lifestyle photographs are excellent for products like home and kitchen accessories, bath items and also child items like toys and decorations. Getting a child model is usually difficult and they could be uncooperative, which is why using lifestyle photographs is a much better solution.

Hand Model Photography Photos

Hand model photography photos are excellent for smaller and intricate items. This includes jewelry, bags, and accessories. Hand model photos are also great for things like electronics and games, where the hands are mainly used to operate the device. In addition, you could even get foot models to show off things like shoes.

Blurred Model Photography Photos

Blurred model photography photos are perfect for showing off sporting goods, books, stationery and smaller pieces of decor like figures and ornaments.

Model Photography Photos

Clothing is the most typical choice for model photography photos because they showcase the entire model. Accessories and other worn items like bags are also a good choice. The great thing about model photography photos is that you can show off multiple products within a single shoot, meaning you save a lot of time and money.




So to conclude, let’s recap on a couple of things that we’ve learned.

Adding Models to Every Product Photo Isn’t a Good Idea

When it comes to product photography, adding models to every single product is a poor decision. Creative photos take a lot of planning, and regardless of if you’ve got a photo studio or you’re just doing a temporary photo shoot, it’s important to realize that not every product requires a full model shoot.

Different Products Require Different Techniques to Show Them Off


Different products also require different kinds of creative photos. Some are best taken with a blurred background, some are great with foot models and others need hand models. When planning a photo shoot, make sure you utilize different techniques for your products.

Human-Touched Photography Gives You More Options

Another advantage of human-touched photography is that it gives you more options. Model photography is expensive and human-touched photography gives you a more cost-effective solution. You don’t need a photo studio and you don’t need to worry about a model shoot.

It Changes How You Take Product Photos

Human-touched photography can introduce new creative photo ideas to help you create wonderful online photos for your products. Product photography is a creative endeavor that mixes a lot of techniques, so learning new ways to take product photos is an excellent decision.

It Can Also Be More Cost Effective

You don’t need to hire a professional model to get creative photos. Blurred backgrounds mean that anyone can pose for a picture, and you don’t need to be an expert to act as a hand model or foot model. Human-touched photography is far cheaper than renting out a photo studio and you can even avoid having to hire expensive models and stylists.

Model Photography Isn’t the Only Option

People often think that model photography is the only way to get good online photos for your products. Fortunately, this isn’t the case and there are countless options available that can save you time, money and a lot of effort.

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