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10 common wine photography mistakes to avoid

Photography is one of the most important marketing tools for wine sales. Here’s how to make yours perfect.

well photographed wine bottles
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Photography is one of the most important marketing tools for wine sales. Here’s how to make yours perfect.

83% of people shopping online say that images influence their buying decision more than any other factor. Great wine photography can showcase the bottle and convey the essence of the wine. But common mistakes can make your wine product photography fall flat.

Poor lighting

Lighting is essential for creating a mood and highlighting the wine's features. Make sure to use natural light or professional lighting equipment to avoid unflattering shadows or glare. Poor lighting can have a huge impact on your photos. It can make subjects appear darker and less defined, making it difficult to capture the desired effect. 

With Outshinery, you never have to worry about poor lighting getting in the way!

With our expert artistic team, your Product Shots and Lifestyle Images will be taken up a notch thanks to cutting-edge CGI technology. We have precise control over lighting to ensure that your wine brand is showcased in all its beauty.

Even better, our virtual photo studio, Outshinery, means consistent, top-notch lighting for your brand – no matter if we're working together now, or years down the road!

photo of a rose wine with a picture of a baby on the label and a branded cork
An uncluttered background makes this Product Shot pop

Messy backgrounds

Your wine bottle should always be the star of the show. Choose a backdrop that is clean and uncluttered, avoiding any distractions from the wine itself. For a standalone product shot, opt for a simple white background. Consider an alternate version on a transparent background, lending more flexibility in your sales and marketing material.

Elevate your brand above the rest with professionally shot wine images that showcase your product in the best light.

Outshinery makes it a breeze to order stunning wine photos, regardless of your desired background — be it a clean white space, a charming winery or even an urban street scene. With thousands of seasonal and evergreen options of professional quality at your fingertips, your wine brand is sure to look amazing.

Don't let unattractive, overused, or outdated images hold back your business. Partner with Outshinery for the perfect assets that will consistently promote your brand in style.

Improper focus and/or off-center labels

Blurry photos of your wine bottles can put a dent in your sales. It's important to ensure the proper focus of your camera beforehand; adjust until you get the results you desire. An out-of-focus photo won't do your brand any justice. It will appear fuzzy, and the legibility of the label will be compromised - which in turn hurts customer engagement.

Since wine bottles are cylindrical in shape, centering the object in the frame can be tricky. And a slightly off-centered label can be a major distraction to consumers. So it's vital to double-check your shot to avoid any avoidable pitfalls.

Ensure your online shoppers are drawn to visually appealing product photos with Outshinery.

Outshinery employs 3D technology with laser-sharp focus to capture perfectly centered product shots. The entire process is digital (no physical wine bottle necessary) and leverages software to ensure seamless alignment and legibility. These efforts result in vivid images that make your bottles look spectacular, create customer engagement, and drive increased sales.

Lack of creativity

Don't be afraid to experiment with different angles, props, and settings to make your wine photography stand out. It's easy to get stuck in a rut when taking photos. You might find yourself reaching for the same angles or settings over and over again, without any change or creativity. 

beauty shot by Outshinery of a Willamette Valley Pinot Noir
A creative angle gets attention for this wine label

Did you know there are countless ways you can showcase your brand without coming across as boring?

Whether trying to attract customers or meet your wine sales goals, Outshinery can help you leverage the power of visuals to stand out from the crowd and get noticed. Inside the Outshinery Market are thousands of options for you to choose from to feature your bottles in: from seasonal or occasion-specific lifestyle images to pairing recipes into which you can feature your wine, to closeup beauty shots and so much more!

In just a matter of days, and all from the comfort of your screen, you can get stunning visual content for your products, without any added fuss or time investment.

Outshinery is dedicated to revolutionizing the art of wine product photography. Our goal is to capture every image with a level of quality and creativity that sets it apart on the crowded digital shelves. Poor composition

The arrangement of elements in your photo can make or break it. In wine photography, poor composition can mean a lack of visual interest or impact. Poor composition in photos can make it difficult for wine and alcohol brands to stand out from the competition and get noticed by their target audience. It could also lead to a decrease in brand recognition as well as sales.

Use the rule of thirds, leading lines, and symmetry for a visually pleasing image.

When capturing a perfect snapshot of your merchandise, you need to focus on the framing and the elements within. To create depth and visual interest, objects can be positioned in the foreground or background, but be mindful of keeping the focus on the object.

Look for texture and details that will catch the viewer's eye and add character to the product. A clear focal point is essential, achieved through a shallow depth of field to showcase the main subject. Don’t forget to employ relevant shapes, colors, and lines that reflect your brand to produce context and meaning. Outshinery is dedicated to elevating every picture of the product, producing unmissable shots for your business.

product shot for wine bottle and can

Present a true representation of your beverage product

Get flawless and consistent photography of your beverages that exceeds the industry and stands out from the crowd on the digital shelf.
Outfit your portfolio

Under or overediting

Taking a photo in the studio is just the beginning; the true magic happens in post-production. A raw image requires the right editing to accentuate its beauty — correcting the color balance and removing imperfections like fingerprints or unwanted glare. 

But beware, too much editing can make the image appear false. When you overdo it, a photo starts looking unnatural and distorted. Be sure to keep your original intention and enhance your photos subtly for the most captivating results.

Use editing tools sparingly, keeping in mind the intended use of the image.

At Outshinery, we're immensely proud of our photorealistic wine bottle renders, but we always consider the image's goal when exercising editing tools. For example, even if it means taking shortcuts, we ensure that the logo on a gold foil hotstamp remains legible under any lighting.

For standalone Product Shots, Outshinery typically applies a "sharpening effect" to the label to highlight the necessary details so that the final photo remains clear even in smaller formats, like retailer thumbnails. Essentially, we aim for product authenticity and visual recognition, no matter the sales channel or platform.

Not showcasing the wine enough

When it comes to wine photography, the main objective is to sell your wine by emphasizing its unique qualities and flavors. By leveraging the power of visual content, wine brands can create a memorable and engaging experience that resonates with customers. 

To achieve this, focus on creating imagery that stands out from the crowd and captures the essence of your wine offering - be it a sophisticated party scene or a picturesque setting.

Simple and clean backgrounds directs the focus to the wine product

Increase engagement: showcase a variety of visual content that resonates with your audience.

Studies show that online shoppers look at 100% of the images on your online product page. And 5+ images will boost sales by 73%. With the right photos, wine brands can create an unforgettable visual that customers won’t soon forget. 

Online and on-demand services like Outshinery makes it a breeze to build a library of visual asset for each of your SKUs, without spending a fortune. In turn, allowing you to display more product images on all your sales channels and ultimately, drive more conversions!

Mix it up to help keep things fresh and exciting!

Not telling a story

When it comes to storytelling, photography is a powerful medium that can help you convey your message. It evokes emotions, captures a moment in time, and transports us to a different world, one where imagination reigns supreme.

Through photography, we can express ideas, feelings, and stories that might have been overlooked or overshadowed. It's a way to make your voice heard and your vision seen, giving depth and meaning to your message. 

Great wine photography should craft a narrative and evoke an emotion. 

Visual content has become a vital aspect of business branding and customer engagement too, with creative imagery capable of expressing the essence of a winery or product. Through Lifestyle Images, even those unable to visit vineyards can embark on an immersive journey right from their homes.

High-quality photography when handled with care and attention to detail, adds a whole new dimension to wine and enables individuals to connect more deeply with the brand. Exemplary imagery can become an indispensable tool for the wine industry, illuminating the unique characteristics of each product.

rose bottle laying flat on a wooden table next to strawberries
This Lifestyle Image is evocative and awakes the senses

Ignoring brand guidelines

When selecting photos for your winery or wine brand, make sure to adhere to established branding guidelines. Cohesion is paramount for building a strong brand identity. These guidelines serve as a crucial foundation for any successful photography campaign.

By explicitly defining the visual elements that represent your brand, such as color schemes, tone of voice, and imagery, your wine brand will be more cohesive across all communications. This not only enhances brand recognition but also ensures consistency across your marketing channels, which is vital for establishing a lasting impression in the minds of customers.

Stay on brand across all your visual content to better connect with your audience. 

Truth be told, poorly executed, disjointed product photography can be both perplexing and unattractive. In turn, this lack of presentation can seriously undermine the credibility of your brand and the products it represents. Lackluster wine photography that doesn't match your brand's messaging can leave customers confused and unimpressed, resulting in damage to your brand's credibility.

By creating and adopting a set of brand guidelines for all photography, you can establish a consistent visual identity that reinforces your product messaging and establishes a stronger bond between your business and its customers. 

bottle of Napa Valley Cabernet Sauvignon held in both hands above a decorated dinner table
High quality wine photography presents your product as elevated and well made

Small, low-quality images

In today's digital age, customers demand not only lightning-fast websites but also high-quality imagery. The era of pixelated mini-thumbnail photos is behind us. They're illegible and fail to drive sales. 

As e-commerce booms, shoppers rely increasingly on digital visuals for informed buying decisions. Inaccurate, unclear visuals can deter purchases or, even worse, cause shoppers to overlook products for competitors with more attractive visuals. Using low-resolution images will lower visual appeal and sales!

Poor-quality product images have a drastic negative effect on sales.

When it comes to products like wine or other alcoholic beverages, this is especially important. If a customer can't tell the difference between a Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa Valley and a Merlot from Sonoma County, they may be less likely to make an informed decision on their purchase. With Outshinery’s 360° imaging solutions, customers can view your product from all angles and gain a comprehensive understanding of what they are purchasing. This makes it easier for them to make informed decisions and increases the chances of a successful purchase. 

Summary

In a highly competitive wine market, captivating your customer base through impeccable visual content is key. Avoiding common wine photography mistakes, such as poor lighting or uninspired compositions, can make all the difference in the world. Whether evocative lifestyle images or crisp product shots, high-quality visuals will elevate your marketing strategy, boost sales, and increase brand loyalty. 

Never underestimate the power of good wine photography!

Key takeaways for effective wine photography

To truly capture the essence of your wine, steer clear of these common mistakes:

  • Failing to capture the essence of your products
  • Poor lighting and messy backgrounds
  • Improper focus, lack of creativity or over-editing
  • Explore using computer-generated imagery services. Alternatively, investing in high-resolution cameras and professional equipment.
  • To drive sales and build trust, clearly communicate your brand message and follow brand guidelines. 
  • Leverage the power of visuals. A picture is worth a thousand words, so use more than one photo to showcase the unique details and characteristics of your products.
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How can Outshinery transform your brand?

Benefits
  • Outshinery is faster and easier than hiring a photographer.
  • Never worry about hidden fees with transparent pricing.
  • Boost your sales conversion rates with high-quality content.
  • Rest assured that you have a committed partner for the long run.
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