The Best Holiday Product Images of 2015

Product shots are the glamour shots of the business. Without a great product shot, you might struggle to grab the attention of buyers. With gift lists and high spirits, there’s a vast audience driven by a holiday shopping frenzy that feeds on feel-good images. Let’s look at some of the best photos of the season, analyze what they did right, and if there's anything they could do better.

Starbucks

Starbucks seems to always get the holidays right. The above product shot is for their holiday drinks announced for Japan. Warm, colorful, bright — this product shot is everything it should be.

Marshalls

What could be more inspiring than this brightly lit picture in-context? It's a beautiful shot. We love the practical and pleasant arrangement of products. However, if this picture were shared on a blog or Pinterest, what would really tell you it was from Marshalls? We think it could have been even more effective if a small logo or watermark was added in the bottom corner.

Pier1 Imports

This couldn't be more on point. It's well-balanced and includes the kind of spread you would see displayed within their stores. The text is a great example of a CTA included right on an image. As a header on their homepage, this particular image doesn’t need a logo, since it's unlikely to be shared out of context like the Marshalls picture.

However, each one of their tempting holiday tablescapes remains unbranded, and we believe this is a mistake. One small watermark logo in the bottom corner would have branded this image as unmistakebly Pier 1. Hopefully bloggers and Pinners will remember where they snagged an image like this for inspiration.

Papyrus

The paper and card company loves to put their products in context. Here are two gorgeous examples from their Thanksgiving 2015 shots, set up to work differently for the respective spaces:

Notice how the setup is the same, but the cropping is different. Also, the cards are placed on a wood table or floor for a background that adds texture, in harmony with the rustic nature of the season and featured products. The fonts selected provide additional motivation, and stay consistent with other fonts used on the site.

Wayfair

The shallow depth-of-field makes this shot feel intimate, even with a busy background. In context, these ornaments are adorable. Additionally, a very selective color palette helps the image pop and keeps your eye moving.

Bright, merry, festive, comfortable — are you noticing a trend? Of course, it's also important that these images are professionally shot and edited. None of these pictures look amateur and all of these pictures are designed to elicit a feeling of desire. Each picture should make a viewer want to click for more.

While these might not be the product shots that you have on your website page for ordering, they are the product shots that are going to get shares and add value to your audience. For social media posts, be sure to brand them so everyone who comes across it knows where to see more.