Virtual Photoshoots: No Camera, No Problem
For this post, we’re “breaking the fourth wall” to write candidly about what we’re hearing directly from customers and prospects during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Suit jacket variations created in Virtual Photographer
Many of our direct contacts sit in the marketing, merchandising, or even creative departments of their organizations, and they’re coming to us with a pretty consistent storyline as of late.
Their backs are against the wall. They ordered their product months ago. They’ve already got inventory sitting in their warehouse. Their marketing campaign is slated to launch before back-to-school (or July 4 th or even Graduation season). They have an eCommerce store, so they’re prepared to sell the only way that shoppers can actually buy for the foreseeable future.
But they have a problem: no product images.
That professional photographer that was booked for a shoot months in advance of lockdown? Cancelled. And if they can’t show high-quality pictures of their products on their site (or social feeds or display ads or in print) they can’t sell it. They've had countless team meetings over Zoom video calls, and they're still at a loss.
They wind up on the phone with us through a “product images” Google search. They call hoping there is some way to do a photoshoot without actually, you know…doing a photoshoot.
We talk a lot at Threekit about the value and importance of good product visuals. The data is overwhelming.
- 83% of online shoppers say visuals are the most influential component of their buying decision.
- 56% of the test subjects’ first actions upon arriving at a new product page was to begin exploring the product images before reading a word.
- Good visual content is 40% more likely to get shared from your social media accounts.
These facts aren’t lost on the people contacting us. A good photoshoot is the bedrock of a good go-to-market plan—a literal “make or break” event.
Sofa created in Virtual Photographer
So, they’re relieved when we tell them: “Yes, you can actually do a photoshoot without doing a photoshoot.”
The solution: the virtual photoshoot. Or so it's called by some. We just happen to call it Virtual Photographer.
What you call it doesn’t necessarily matter, but how it works definitely does. The process of a remote photoshoot is social distancing-friendly and doesn't require an in-person shoot, a booked location, or even a camera—because these beautiful images are generated from digital design files.
Here is the CliffsNotes version:
- You upload your 3D models along and any product information associated with them to our software platform. (Interesting fact: hyper-realistic 2D images actually start with 3D models. Most companies don’t have those on hand, but we can help with that by using what design information you DO have to create them.)
- Create configuration rules so you can produce visuals that match business requirements. (Other interesting fact: Threekit easily integrates with your ERP or PIM to help make this pretty seamless. But you can read more about those product features here.)
- Render away! We use V-Ray, the world leader in visualization, to create thousands of images in a matter of hours.
In short, you can get the product images you need to meet your marketing deadlines without ever having to schedule an in-person photo session. That's the magic of virtual photography. And if you identify with this scenario and are feeling the pressure, we want to hear from you.
Today’s uncertainties are forcing every business out of its comfort zone. In some cases, that means abandoning best-laid plans and searching for alternatives that live on a computer screen rather than in in-person solutions. If there is a silver lining, it’s that those willing to try new things may discover tools and processes that will transform their business positively and indefinitely. At least that’s something to look forward to on the other side.
Threekit provides product visualization software that creates photorealistic images, interactive 3D and augmented reality experiences that help businesses sell more. To learn more, please schedule some time with one of our teammates.