Case Study

Creating Inspiring Lifestyle Images for Retailer’s Website

By November 22, 2019 No Comments


Pier 1 Imports wanted to give e-commerce customers a more in-depth experience to showcase their home furnishings products. Their product pages showed the product on a white background. This imagery did not show any connection to the other products within its collection, so it was up to the customer to remember a product and visualize how it could be paired with other products. Accordingly, a new photography initiative was created to provide e-commerce customers with more inspiring and informative product imagery that visually promoted other products within that theme to increase goods sold per transaction. This needed to be accomplished efficiently and inexpensively. Pier 1 had plenty of customer feedback that could be incorporated into the new initiative.

before / after ecommerce website refresh


  • Maximize Basic Sets: Room scenes were built to reflect an inspiring, engaging room setting that demonstrated the ease of pairing items with additional product offerings. With a foundation of two basic sets, we dressed a whole scene with a sofa, club chair, side table and lamp to read like a big living room. We would then zoom in and make sure we had a great composition of each individual product’s uniqueness and functionality. This highlighted each product while showing how all the products worked together, and was extremely efficient budget-wise.
  • Lighting: A lighting standard was created that would give the scene a realistic window-lit look, using sun-puddling for creative effect. The lighting was inspired by Architectural Digest and Dwell Magazine editorial features.
  • Planning & Communication: Daily planning and status updates with the Producer ensured we were moving forward in the right direction, meeting daily goals and giving each product careful thought and consideration.
  • Integrate Customer Feedback: When taking photographs, I always ask myself: If I were the shopper, what would I want to see/know in order to make a purchase decision? This time, we had actual feedback from customers to inform the photos. This ensured each photograph could visually answer customer questions. For example, management was receiving emails from shoppers saying they didn’t understand how transparent a lamp shade was. We found a way to answer this question—and questions like this—through better photography. 
Functionality Example: showing the online customer sheerness of the lamp shade.
Answering customer questions with images

Success / Results

  • This style of imagery was so successful with the client and their customers that it is now the new standard for their online product photography. 

I had the privilege of working with Aaron when he was brought in as a freelance photographer to shoot large room scenes in our studio. Aaron’s experience working with in-house studios, his ability to light and shoot according to brand and his consistent delivery of beautiful photography made him someone that we were happy to bring back whenever possible.

Danielle, Studio Producer

Aaron Dougherty

Aaron Dougherty

Hi! I am Aaron Dougherty, I take photographs that create emotional connections and sell products. With 15+ years of experience, I work with home furnishings brands in Texas (and beyond!) who want amazing marketing images and an easy, enjoyable experience.