How to make sure your images are more than just ‘compliant’

December 17, 2020

Let’s talk content – specifically, images.
We often get questions on what kinds of photos will work for product content, what types of professional photography is acceptable, and what to expect. Here are some of the high level logistics to help you understand what is needed and how to work with a product imaging partner.

Having an imaging partner that understands GS1 standards is critical. As you begin building a top-notch image library, you need to ensure every other aspect of your data is compliant – with your recipient requirements as well as GS1 standards. So, make sure those GTINs are properly assigned and ready to be matched up with your soon-to-be GS1 compliant images.

Four Simple Steps to Achieving Image Greatness

1. Follow Product Receiving Requirements

You’re familiar with shipping your products – you do that every day. Use a content provider with a professional studio that can receive your product in the way you ship, whether refrigerated, dry, or even frozen. On your end, make sure your paperwork is correct (always double check with your content provider) so they can store, process and complete your photography session efficiently.

A content provider can do a lot to optimize your images for their intended uses. For example, foodservice items need to include more images of preparation steps; mobile images need to communicate more information in a small screen than standard “online” photos; and for packaged goods that are sold in retail outlets, the photos used for space planning, shelf strips and store merchandising have different and specific requirements.

Some studios may have even stylists who will style your product for those ‘glamour’ or plated shots. Work within your organization to find the differing uses of your product imagery can help to determine the provider(s) that can work most efficiently to meet your image needs.

2. Image Development

This is the meat and potatoes of it – taking the photos. And it’s not just the final product. To meet an end-to-end need, this can include pallet shots, case packaging, sleeves, boxed images, opened boxes, unboxed, all the way down to “ready to serve” product images.

Having images that represent your products in the best way possible from – from supply chain through usage – is crucial to having an outstanding online presence. This is true from a foodservice operator’s perspective, or a grocery retailer. When suppliers and distributors are selling these products, the customer need to know how big the box is, how to store it, what it looks like out of the box, and ultimately, what the end consumer will see or use.

3. Image Editing Process

Color correction. Lighting. Clipping paths. Label smoothing. Live editing. This is the language of the photo editor, and a few examples of the work food stylists and photographers do to create the best image to represent your products. In addition, a designer may take multiple product images and digitally place them against backgrounds or within photos to create lifestyle content.

Even the file-naming process for each shot, of each product, in each of its photo formats is an important and time-consuming process. This attention to detail is critical to ensure that the images meet requirements for data recipients as well as standards organizations like GS1 guidelines to best suit the manufacturer and the distributor alike.

4. Return/Disposal

What happens to the product when all the photography is finished? For providers who photograph items regularly, food marketing companies will often donate excess product to food banks, shelters, or other charitable organizations, instead of throwing them away.Of course, if you want the product back for inventory purposes, it is no problem for the food marketing team to dispose of or return the product to you.

Today’s mobile/online first environment requires top-notch product photography. But there’s no reason to fear having it done professionally. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out to us and we can help guide you in the direction you need for great content and syndication.

Other Product Image Examples

Syndigo can help to optimize product images for foodservice, grocery, hardlines, apparel, automotive, or any other item that requires displaying online.


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