Stephen Burks furniture photography

Good photographs can have a significant influence your conversion rate. In fact, it has been proven that products with better photos are more likely to sell. As such, it is a good idea that you hire a professional photographer to shoot your product photos. But if you choose to take the photos yourself, make sure that you feature your products in the best possible light.

Give these tips a go to improve the quality of your photos and increase sales.

Choose background wisely

The secret to taking beautiful product photos is to shoot them against a white or otherwise neutral background. This will give your photos a professional look and will draw attention to the products. Let your products do the talking by placing them against a clean, white background.

Provide photos from different angles

One of the limitations of buying products online is that buyers don’t have the chance to play around with them. Worse, some businesses only provide a few photos, and they are usually taken from only a few angles. To improve the online shopping experience of your customers, we highly recommend that you include photos from a variety of angles. Customers will be able to visualize the product better if you feature the product from lots of different angles.

Color accuracy matters

Many people prefer buying items in physical brick and mortar stores so that they can see the product in person. Nothing is more frustrating than ordering something online, waiting for it to arrive, and then discovering that the color isn’t the same as the one in the photo. This is one of the main reasons why customers return their products.
Make sure that your photos represent your products as accurately as possible. To decrease complaints and returns, make sure that you use photos that are of great quality. This ensures that the real product color is coming through clearly. Save the fancy filters for Instagram.

Keep the file size small

The age of smartphones has left people with short attention span. In fact, most people will leave your site if it doesn’t load within 3 seconds. To ensure that you have a speedy site, be sure to keep images small in size.

Jewelry photographer Chicago

The holiday season is one of the busiest times for the retail industry. In fact, most businesses make 20-40% of their annual income during the holidays. People are already in shopping mode and are looking to buy gifts for their loved ones. But with the increasing popularity of online shopping, brick and mortar stores need to find creative ways to get people into their stores.

If you haven’t already put up some holiday decorations, now is the best time to do so. There are several reasons why you should decorate your business for the holidays. Here are some of them.

Make Your Business Stand Out

A lot of businesses are vying for people’s attention, especially during the holidays. Many of them offer discounts and coupons. With competition among retailers tougher than ever, it can be difficult to stand out.

Now, imagine yourself walking down a street lined with stores. In front of you are two stores that sell unique, trendy pieces. One of them plays holiday music and is adorned with garland, lights, and wreaths. The other is not decorated at all. Which store do you walk into? Probably the one with holiday decor. Take time to add some holiday-themed decor to your store front. This will help your business stand out from the competition.

Attract potential customers

Some businesses think that holiday decorations are an unnecessary expense, but they’re not. In fact, it’s actually an investment that may pay off later on. When done right, it can attract more shoppers to your store. Most people are naturally drawn to bright, cheerful holiday decor. And since most of them are looking to buy something, this would be a great opportunity for your business.

Dig out the ornaments and spruce up your storefront this holiday season. Create a warm and festive space that welcomes everyone who walks through the door.

Get your customers in the holiday shopping mood

The day after Thanksgiving marks the start of holiday shopping. Now that you have already captured the attention of your target audience, you want to make sure that they spend a little more time in your store and do some shopping. A spectacular Christmas display will help get your customers in the holiday shopping mood.

Stephen Burks furniture photography Chicago

According to studies, 8 out of 10 Americans are now shopping online. As online shopping accelerates, more and more businesses are establishing eCommerce stores. Investing in good, quality products is a “must” when creating an eCommerce store. But you also need high quality photos to capture the attention of your target audience.

Quality Product Photography

Professional product photography is one of the best ways of showcasing your products to your customers. High quality images can show the detail of products that compel your customers to buy.

If you don’t have the equipment or you don’t know how to take product photos, consider hiring a professional photographer. For years they have trained and taken the time to learn the skills needed to understand how to work with space, angles, and light. They know how to shoot your products and enhance its unique or best features. It may be one of the larger expenses for your business, but it will definitely have a great impact on your sales.

Customer impression

Whether you hire a professional photographer or take the photos yourself, your product photos will affect a customer’s impression of your product. People make their decision based on the photos you provide. They can’t try your lotion, perfume, or soap through a computer screen. They have no idea what your food tastes like. The perceived value of your product is often judged by the photos you use, as well as the look and design of your website.

The images you provide can make or break a sale. It doesn’t matter how great your product is. If you use amateur photos, then people will think that they are low quality.

Great photos sell

We are visual creatures. People process information visually. High quality photos are absolute vital in building a successful eCommerce store. This will not only make your products look more attractive, they will also help increase trust in your company.

Visually appealing photos capture the attention of your target audience. They drive more traffic to your website or online store. The more attractive and unique your product photos are, the more products you’ll sell.

Stephen Burks furniture photography Chicago

Whether you’re running a mom-and-pop shop or a multi-million dollar company, you need to understand that the images you use on your website play a significant role in the success of your business. Not only do professional photos help enhance your brand, they also help in growing your business. As such, having professional photos of your products, services, and your team is an investment that should be high on your list.

In this blog post, we explore some of the reasons why you should invest in professional photos.

Wow! Factor

With so many businesses vying for the attention of customers, you want to find a way to capture the attention of your target audience. To do that, you need to go the extra mile to feature your products in an captivating and creative way.
People are visual creatures. We like looking at pretty things. Since the advent of the camera phone, the average consumer is used to being able to capture a photo of anything at anytime, even if it isn’t the best quality. That’s why quality, professional photos that grab the attention of your target audience are so important. By working with a professional photographer, you can work on a unique concept and showcase your products in a different way that separates you from the competition. Because of this, your photos will be more visually impactful and memorable.

Professional look

Think of your website as your storefront. Your website is usually the first encounter people have with your business, and you want to make a great first impression. Make it count!

When featuring your products on your site, make sure that you use high quality photos. This will raise the perception of your business and give you and your product a more trustworthy appeal. If you have low quality, grainy photos, however, people will make assumptions that your products are low quality, as well. Avoid this common misstep, and hire a professional photographer so you can showcase your business in a professional manner.

Online presence

The internet is the first place people go to when looking for certain products or services. They search online and visit websites of businesses in order to see what they have to offer.

More often than not, people only stay in a website for about 10 to 20 seconds. That’s it. That isn’t very long for you to make an impression, so do yourself and your customer a favor: provide them with exactly what they’re looking for.

We know that good content is one of the key ingredients to success, but great photos are the ones that capture the attention of people and entice them to learn more about what you have to offer and why you’re right for them. By combining these elements, you’ll be able to come up with an excellent marketing campaign that will drive more traffic to your website. Never underestimate that power of a good photo!

Contact G. Thomas Ward to secure the best corporate photos in Chicago.

Chicago event photography

I was contacted by Emily Levin at BDE about photographing a presentation by Designer Stephen Burks, an amazing artist who designs furniture for DEDON. The presentation was in the morning, followed by a reception and cocktail party in the evening.

I was selected by Emily based on my ability to capture engaging photos that tell the story of an event without being intrusive and for my ability to work indoors in lower light situations without using flash. Emily’s goal in hiring a photographer was to capture photos that gave the feeling that you were there…without being overly posed or harshly lit with a camera flash.

Once the clients saw my event work, they asked me if I was available to shoot more architectural-style images (with a particular goal of capturing the details) of the interior of the showroom with Stephen Burks’ furniture. I enthusiastically accepted! When they viewed the finished images, I was told, “The photos are beautiful!”

The people I teamed up with at BDE and DEDON were wonderful to work with. I made sure to get them the images that they wanted and needed. Whenever a client tells me that the photos I’ve taken for them are “beautiful,” the feeling is something akin to what an actor must feel when they receive a standing ovation. It’s nice hear the appreciation in their voices and see their faces light up when they see a particularly striking photo. I also love being able to help clients achieve their goals in marketing and PR and knowing that in some small way, I helped move their business forward.

Professional Photography for Your Business in Chicago

Good photographs play an important role in the success of a company. Without them, your marketing materials lack a certain flair and allure  that differentiates you from your competitors.

In an effort to save a few bucks, some business owners decide not to hire a professional photographer and may instead frantically snap a few unprofessional pictures of their product and print them on a piece of white paper. They may then tape these printouts to their store’s window and share them on social media in an attempt to inform customers of a new and exciting deal or dish.

Imagine you’ve just had a long day of meetings in a new city. Your stomach is growling so loud you’re afraid people on the street can hear it. You look up a restaurant on your phone and decide to give it a shot. When you arrive, the “menu” in the window is on yellowing paper, with underlit photos of what is described as “The City’s Best!” Chances are, you’ll survive your hunger pains for a few more doorways if it means finding a meal that looks a bit more appealing..

The photographs you use for your business can help or hurt you. Since these photos represent your business and your brand, it is important to be mindful how you appear to your customers through the photographs you take. Using poorly lit or pixelated images damage the way a potential customer view you and your business.

Beautiful, visually stimulating photos, on the other hand, help raise the perception of your business. Plus, it will help you attract more customers who will be willing to pay for your products. Whatever product or service you sell, it is important that you use professional photography at all times.

Presentation of your business is of utmost importance. Customers will feel more confident that you’re selling what you promise if they can clearly see the features of the product. Hire a photographer who can showcase your product in the best possible light.

If you are in need of a photographer who wants to help you present your company in the best possibly way, call G. Thomas Ward Photography today.

Chicago corporate, event, portrait and editorial photographer

G. Thomas Ward Photography takes great pride in being able to help businesses in the Chicago area present themselves online and in marketing efforts. With clients ranging from Cartier to small businesses just getting their feet wet, G. Thomas Ward Photography takes the time to understand the needs and wishes of business clients looking for a professional product shoot.

Recently, we were honored to work with Scumaci International and help with the launch of their newest product, The Original ClassiCurl Roller. Please read Mina’s story below:

“I’ve been a licensed cosmetologist for over 25 years and a salon owner for 20+ years. As a professional, the current rollers on the market were not meeting my needs which led me to create an innovative roller, trademarked The Original ClassiCurl Roller. These patented rollers will help all women achieve a salon look at home and assist cosmetologist in creating their desired end result.

classicurl rollerA typical day for me starts at 7:00am. After getting my children off to school, I go to my local CrossFit box for an awesome workout. When I return home, it is all about building the ClassiCurl brand, with a sound body there is a sound mind. I feel most fulfilled when I see results from the tasks we complete every day. It could be processing an order or connecting with fellow stylist. We are very passionate about helping women feel beautiful and give them alternate ways to style their hair.

It was always a dream of mine to have a professional photo shoot. With working in the industry for so long, it was great to have that dream realized. It was a pleasure working with Gary of G. Thomas Ward Photography. Gary and I collaborated by me sharing my vision for the shoot and he offered his experienced input. The shoot was done in a very professional and efficient manner. I highly recommend G. Thomas Ward Photography and will use him again in the future!

I’m inspired by women entrepreneurs as they can juggle their home life and careers. This is an incredible journey, unlike anything I have ever experienced or imagined. Although entrepreneurs may experience ups and downs, I’m enjoying the process and having fun! The most critical influence is my drive for success. I want to show my 3 kids that hard work, determination, and drive will bring you success!

We’re thrilled to announce that we will be launching a 30 and 60 second national commercial that will air over 200 times on 10 major networks for the next 12 months….stay tuned!
Please check out our website at”

For more information about how to book G. Thomas Ward for your next professional product shoot, please contact Gary today.

Eye Catching Window Display for retail store

Your window displays are like billboards for your store. It is the first things customers see when they pass by your store. A standout window display piques a shopper’s curiosity and lures them to enter your shop. However, most small businesses pay little to not attention to their window display due to limited resources. Others find it difficult to harness the creativity needed in creating an effective window display.

Eye Catching Window Display for retail store

If you want to capture attention and inspire prospective customers to step into your shop, then you need to make your storefront stand out. Here are some tips for creating a window display that turn heads and drive foot traffic.

1. Tell a story

Most people would start by creating a theme. But by doing so, you might be tempted to put together all your red and green merchandise and put them on display. That won’t make an impressive display. You want to create a story based on a theme. Instead of a Christmas-themed display, consider the Nut Cracker. Use your story-telling prowess to convey the message and then incorporate your products to the display.

2. Be bold

People’s attention spans are getting shorter these days. Add to that, they’re always in a hurry. Customers won’t even look at your shop as most of them are talking on the phone, texting someone or having a conversation with a friend as they pass by. Avoid the predictable if you want to get noticed. Use bold colors and shapes. Be bold in every way. You’ll want to pull all the stops just to make sure they notice your shop. When people stop to look at your window display, they will come inside your store.

3. Show off the wants

Most people respond to the things they want. If you’re running a shoe store, you wouldn’t want to display generic black-heeled shoes that women wear to work. Bring out those Jimmy Choo and Louboutin stilettos instead. Just because they are in need of black pumps, doesn’t mean they won’t treat themselves to those expensive shoes. Put your newest and most expensive shoes on the spotlight and you’ll definitely see an increase in foot traffic.


Cartier Chicago window display

For the past 6 years I have shot for Cartier during the holiday season at 630 N. Michigan Ave. I wanted to share a few insights into the day of the shoot and the images we capture.

As there is only a limited window of opportunity to shoot where the outside light balances the inside light yet before the sidewalks get too busy with pedestrians and the street too busy with traffic, my team and I arrive at 6:30 in the morning the day before Thanksgiving to start cleaning the sidewalks and exterior glass.

The Regional Visual Merchandising Manager flies in from New York to arrange the windows and work with me on the shoot.  He and a security guard have to be there early to set up because merchandise is removed from the windows every night.

One of the most difficult challenges, besides inclement weather, is to eliminate the reflections in the windows. Many photographers who are new to the process may find themselves struggling to eliminate these reflections, but our team prides ourselves in nailing retail window shots.

The shoot is only half the job.  Post-production includes color correction for variation in color temperatures of multiple light sources, compositing of different images together, and retouching.  Surprisingly to many, post production work takes far longer than the shoot. Take a look at some of my favorites below and don’t hesitate to reach out for any retail or commercial work for your own business.