Down the ‘Chute: Fall Lifestyle Product Photography for Camping With Dogs

LIFESTYLE PHOTOGRAPHY IS MORE SUCCESSFUL ON INSTAGRAM THAN PRODUCT PHOTOGRAPHY.

With Camping with Dogs being an in-house brand, we are fully responsible for developing the brand and overall feeling to the imagery people have come to associate with the canine centric outdoorsy brand. The brand’s most popular platform is Instagram, so we wanted to ensure the content gathered during this shoot was optimized for that audience.

WHAT WAS YOUR INSPIRATION?

Let’s be honest, everyone loves fall. There’s the changing leaves, the pumpkin spice lattes, the cool air after the summer heat. It’s finally sweater weather. Fall is arguably the most awesome time of year to go hiking and it’s even better if you bring a dog along with you for the ride. With this in mind, Kara and I set out to create and sell some of the coziest fall sweaters around for our in-house brand, Camping With Dogs, so people could hike with their dogs in style.

WHAT WAS THE CONCEPT?

We always want to maintain the focus on the inclusion of dogs in our lifestyle shoots so when we were planning the shoot we first had to find a dog. Luckily almost everyone who works in our office is also a dog owner. Our CEO Ryan’s dog, Cooper, has the perfect colors for a fall shoot so we hired him for the role. He would be paid in treats and lots of belly rubs. For lifestyle shoots, I like to have activities for the models (and pups) to do so that the narrative in the photos feels natural and authentic.

HOW DID YOU CREATE / EXECUTE?

Once the product arrived from the printers, we planned an outdoor photoshoot at a favorite local park in Nashville. Shelby Bottoms has a great variety of trails and terrain and we were able to get exactly what we needed for this shoot. We shot later in day to get that warm, late afternoon lighting and even though the leaves weren’t super colorful yet we were still able to invoke the feeling of an early fall afternoon in the park. First I got shots of each of the new products on the a male model and a female model for the shop page of the Camping With Dogs website. These shots are strictly product focused so I try to get the lighting to be as even and consistent as possible between each shot.

A girl with a blue camping with dogs sweater on standing outside in front of a tree.
A girl with a green camping with dogs sweater on standing outside in front of a tree.
A guy with a white camping with dogs sweater on standing outside in front of a tree.

After that, we moved on the lifestyle shots to promote and market the product on the Camping With Dogs Instagram page. Lifestyle shots perform much better on Instagram than product focused shots. The average user on Instagram never wants to feel like they’re being sold a product so we sell the lifestyle and the products just become a part of the narrative.

A girl standing outside in front of trees holding up a bunch of fall leaves wearing a white camping with dogs sweater.
A guy and his dog sitting by a tree outside in fall weather wearing camping with dogs products.
A brown and white dog wearing the camping with dogs green and white bandana.

WHAT DID YOU LEARN? ANY OBSTACLES?

The toughest challenge with a Camping With Dogs photoshoot is that you can’t communicate with dogs in the same way you do with humans. I primarily shoot portraits and work with people so working with dogs often requires a lot of patience and a lot of luck. Many times you just have to be ready for the right moment to come and when it does, capture it as best as you can.

WHAT WERE THE RESULTS?

Through this shoot we were able to populate the Camping With Dogs web store with imagery of the new products as well as promote the products on the Camping With Dogs instagram page. We’ve been selling lots of sweaters so I can only imagine that there are lots of outdoorsy dog owners hiking and camping with their dogs in style this fall.

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