How Photography is Changing the Face of Packaging

By: Lynette Sandhu

In business or consumer interactions, first impressions matter—especially when you only have about seven seconds before a decision is made. That’s the amount of time brands have to make a positive impression on a potential buyer. At lightning speed, how then do you create an eye-catching, attention-grabbing piece that that will move them to select your product over others?

The answer is photography and it is changing the face of packaging. Here’s why:

Photography tells an authentic story in a snapshot

When a consumer makes a purchase, they’re looking for something more than just a physical product. What increases their likelihood of buying is truths that resonate with them and often, a human connection. Photography has the power to make that happen.  

Woolworths Farmer’s Own products do this well by featuring real portraits of the farmers behind the produce. Hence, when a shopper is picking up a bag of potatoes or carrots, they’re doing more than just that—they’re interacting with the face of a person who’s taken the time and effort to bring this to them. More importantly, they’re seeing their ability to support this farmer. Photography has the ability to create a beautiful, emotional hook on a simple piece of packaging.

Photography entices

Imagine standing famished in the aisle of a supermarket trying to decide which meal kit you’d like for an easy dinner. On one packaging, you see a beautifully photographed dish, topped with garnish and above it, just a little rise of steam. On the other, it simply reads “Easy Dinner for One.” Just a plain label with no photography.

Which would you go with? We’re guessing it’s the first.

Photography can take something ordinary and make it stunning. It can make food products mouth-watering and enticing. This is of course, especially true in food packaging. Celebrity chefs such as Jamie Oliver, Michelle Bridges and Kylie Kwong do it well by featuring fresh, colourful produce alongside their amazing creations and portraits. In these cases, photography adds honesty, credibility and that personal touch to the entire purchase experience.  

Photography can be personalized

At the recent Pacprint 2017 Expo, HP partnered with award winning photographer, Andy Stavert and global leader in brand packaging deployment, Schawk, to treat early event registrars to a uniquely personalized free wine bottle. The organisers contracted Andy to shoot the quirky street art of Melbourne—specifically, a giant mural created by Pzor and Jetzo, two of Melbourne’s most infamous graffiti artists.

Using HP’s Mosaic software, the team created 5,000 personalised wine bottles which featured a unique piece of the mural that was photographed. The idea served as a reminder of the disruptive, impactful nature of design and photography, and how, when both are combined, have the incredible ability to enable its audience to rethink the face of packaging. The result of the initiative was a 20% increase in early registration rates.

Whether you’re selling wine, cars, cakes or even a pool cleaner, the truth is your packaging reflects your product and brand. If you want to stand out, be unique and tell a crafted story through imagery, photography is the answer in giving your packaging that perfect facelift.  


Lynette Sandhu
Lynette Sandhu is a copywriter and writer with over six years of experience in both local and international agencies. She has worked alongside clients such as Woolworths, Oreo, Nivea and Sydney’s Channel 9 Digital Studios. When not dreaming up copy, she can be found practicing self-control in stationery stores. She is currently a Copywriter at Anthem Worldwide and Marque Brand Consultants in Sydney, Australia.