One of the biggest challenges of catalog and internet marketing is conveying to folks what a product looks and feels like, accurately. If my written description is lame or boring, and my pictures are crummy, the stuff doesn’t sell. But it’s possible to go the other way, too, and present an item in such an unrealistic manner that the customer is disappointed when they receive it. Like Goldilocks, I strive for just right.
Most years I’m able to bungle through my HoofPrints photography needs with a modest point and shoot camera, and a whole lot of fixing up in Photoshop. Most photography sessions take place on the deck outside my house, where it is nice and bright, but the sun is obstructed so there aren’t harsh shadows. I arrange products neatly on a plain grey background that later is stripped out and made white so I can place items in close proximity on the printed page.
Not this year. The new sweatshirt that I was most excited about looked positively horrid in my pictures. My normal way of photographing garments laying flat on the grey cardboard just wasn’t cutting it. My star product looked tubular and frumpy. Just plain weird. The main selling point is the sweatshirt is the extra length that covers your fanny – but the flat pictures instead made it look like the sleeves are extra short.
The manufacturer’s photos weren’t any better. In fact, they’re so unremarkable that it’s a miracle that I was even compelled to order a sample in the first place.
Deadlines have a way of bringing out the resourcefulness in me, and so it went. I needed a live model to display this sweatshirt in all of it’s butt-covering glory. So – about two days before the flyer was due at the printer, I hatched a scheme. I called up my photographer friend Lauren Duncan and asked her if she knew of any young, horsey gals who could wear a size Medium (the only size I had on hand).
Now, calling up a photographer and asking for photos to be taken virtually instantly and expect them to come up with a suitable model, too, is an exceptionally ridiculous expectation. Lauren did not know of any prospects that could wear that garment, but she was able to make time to take some photos for me if I could sort out the rest of the details.
Time was running out and I was desperate, so I realized that my only remaining option for a model is this greying, older woman that I know. Me.
What happened next was a bit of a circus
And it was also a whole lot of fun.
Since the embroidered logo is Barn Girl, it seemed a bale of hay and a hungry horse were in order.
I’d pulled back my obstreperous purple hair in a braid so it wouldn’t show in the pictures, but Lauren captured it anyway. The collar is a bit scrunched up in this shot, but I think it accentuates what a warm and snuggly affair this jacket really is.
In the end, though, there were several pictures that were exemplary of how I wanted to portray this garment. This is the one that I chose.