Pulling a Brand into Focus
iHome is an electronics company that Mobelux has done a variety of work for over the course of eight years. They’ve given us the opportunity to build a vast portfolio of apps and web platforms, and in 2015 they hired Mobelux to provide product photography.
For years, iHome had gotten by using in-house, stock, and rendered image solutions, which allowed them to keep their photographic process simple. But to elevate their online representation, they asked us to produce imagery that was aligned with the flagship website that Mobelux had recently built.
Mobelux got to work photographing iHome products, both in studio and in lifestyle environments, that could be used across a variety of platforms. For the studio photography, iHome wanted their products to represented in a clean, clear way so customers could easily take in every detail of the product. We photographed the iHome products against a crisp white background for consistency and clarity, and then offered a deeper examination that would focus on product design.
Establish a visual identity for the brand
iHome products vary from the bedside clocks that they’re best known for to smart home accessories, beauty mirrors, color-changing white-noise machines, and more.
Mobelux identified the features that these products all had in common and found a way to consistently represent them for the brand while simultaneously highlighting what sets each product apart.
We also decided to offer alternative, detail-focused images for each product. iHome’s eye-catching website set the foundation for our approach to creating the imagery.
Haw-Lin Services, a creative studio out of Berlin, approaches detail photography with intricate curiosity. Trained as graphic designers, they focus on the compositions that can be made from the many shapes in colors found in each object. Photographed in a deep depth-of-field, the various shapes are often all in focus, and the attention is placed on the unique characteristics of a product’s design.
We initially established a commonality for all iHome products by smoothly lighting every item on a clean white background. After making sure we captured each angle clearly, we then applied the new, detail-focused approach to highlight the products’ unique characteristics.
A bonus of photographing this way is that we were able to explain the features and capabilities of iHome products more clearly than when we photographed them in literal, real-life scenarios. Most of their products have a number of features, and using detail-focused, in-studio photography allowed us clearly explain the device capabilities without resorting to a lifestyle shoot.
Take the iBT372 for example. It’s a lightweight, portable, bluetooth speaker that is shock, dust, and water resistant, meaning it can be used when camping, kayaking, or relaxing on the beach. It also has a color changing feature that gives it a great look when using it outdoors at night.
Another example is the iHome iZBT5, a portable ambient noise/bluetooth speaker with soothing sounds and colors. We performed the same exercise, using detail-focused photography to highlight the product’s soft texture and its ability to change to a color that symbolizes whatever ambient noise you choose.
Because we photographed the products in our studio, we were able to conceptualize, photograph, edit, and ship these images at a faster pace than using lifestyle images.
Typically, lifestyle photography is visually busy — using an abundance of props in order to attract a specific customer. Too many lifestyle photos can very quickly consume a single page, which will only distract from the central message a brand is trying to convey.
We applied a fashion photography aesthetic to our lifestyle shoots – using a large, soft, single-light source and then stripping down visual elements in order to make sure everything in the frame enhances the product.
We wanted to start with as blank a canvass as possible so we could curate the space surrounding the product to meet our needs. We chose the locations carefully and built a scene that would align with the look and feel of the website and the in-studio images.
We wanted to remove clutter from the iHome site and give the viewers images that are easy and pleasant to process. For our purposes, models are primarily scenic elements of the photos. They evoke a look and sell the use-case, but the focus is always product-first.
On previous shoots, we were lighting the images based on the individual elements within them — background, foreground, product, and the model. The updated approach, using minimal light sources to fill the environment, made the set up time for lifestyles much faster and gave each image a more refined, manageable color palette.
Our images are no longer relegated solely to a supplemental photo in a product listing. They are now integrated into the website to provide a polished, visually-consistent aesthetic to the iHome shopping experience.
Additionally, iHome spreads these photos throughout Instagram, in-store displays, and trade shows like CES. They can stand by themselves or, like the detail images, amongst other imagery to tell an in-depth story and represent the brand in a consistent, beautiful manner.