In recent years a lot of websites started to use customer reviews w/ real photos attached - so people could make an actual picture of a product. This is quite a new approach to reviews, and while we agree that in most cases real pictures do help there are some drawbacks to it. Especially in furniture niche. Let's take a look.
For example, one of the sectionals we sell, model 430. Gorgeous piece, isn't it? At least for white furniture lovers it's one of the primary choices. Again, stock photo does not disappoint:
Stock photo of 430 white leather sectional
Pretty good, but what do we say when someone pictures this same sectional in real home?
Real life photo of same sectional
This is actually not a bad example - we can see photographer was not really trying, obviously (cut edges + strange picture degree) but anyway, this picture nicely illustrates how this product, pretty sterile, to be honest, on stock photo is suddenly 'alive' on a picture from a real life. For someone it will be a decision-making picture - sometimes it's incredibly hard to purchase something as large as this oversized sectional based on stock photo.
Another example. Gorgeous Miami bed, stock photo really looks like 'too good to be true' and 'out of this world'.
Miami luxury bed stock photo
Real photo, though, brings this bed to 'life' giving a potential customer a perspective how this bed would look at his place.
Real life photo of same Miami bed
Last example is this amazing Ronda bed. This a perfect example on how 'real life photo' can show extra features - this bed features lightning, but on stock photos you almost pay no attention to it.
Stock photo for contemporary Ronda bed
Check the lightning in real home conditions:
Same bed in real home conditions
So, in most cases real life photos can light up some extra features and 'real life' feel to amazing product. However, not all real-life photos can be used. They really can't compare to professionally taken images that use great complicated lightning and masterful retouching. It's very easy to spoil whole product appearance by bad amateur picture. Improper cropping, wrong angles, lack of white balance (see how all 'real life' photos have dark brownish-yellowish tone to it?), lack of focus, poor image quality, etc. - those things don't add up to product appearance. However, in order to highlight some extra features and real product feel some of life photos are really an extra boost for customers to better visualize and feel the product.
After all, the most important thing that you'll find your new beautiful piece of furniture. With a help of a real-life photo, or not.