Photography Techniques

How to Choose Photos with the Most Clickable Props

How to Choose Photos with the Most Clickable Props

Including the right accessories in photos can make them more clickable. Pick your performance-boosting props, with help from AI.

Props usually play a supporting role in photos by beautifying a room or helping tell a story. But, in this blog post, props will take centerstage. 

Every image and video within the Shutterstock.AI collection contains over 49,000 creative dimensions that artificial intelligence tracks. This means that AI looks at everything—colors, facial expressions, objects—and determines how each one impacts an image’s performance.

Because it analyzes this massive amount of data on a daily basis, artificial intelligence can determine which creative decisions boost the clickability of any image at any time.

This concept extends to small creative photo elements, such as props. So, let’s check out which items are enhancing clickability within some prominent photography locations.

When It Comes to Food . . .

If you have an Instagram, chances are good that you’ve encountered (at least a few) pretty pictures of food today. Indulging the eye in food photography—or “food porn,” as it’s sometimes known on social media—is super satisfying.

Bars and restaurants have taken note, as well. So, if you’re filling your audience’s feeds with decadent dishes, here are a few props to boost engagement even more.

AI has insights into the best utensils to set your table with. Although spoons, forks, and knives all saw their click-through rates (CTRs) rise in 2021, knives are by far the most clickable. They’re 146% more clickable than spoons and 226% more clickable than forks. 

Along with this sharp uptick in the clickability of knives, AI also observed that bowls are 163% more clickable than plates. Wine glasses are 56% more clickable today compared to last year, and bottles are highly engaging, as well. 

Clickable Props: Slicing Bread

Clickable Props: Burger and Fries

Clickable Props: Preparing Sushi

Clickable Props: Slicing an Orange

Clickable Props: Knife on Table Next to Beef Tongue
Despite constant gripes that Millennials are killing off things like the napkin industry, napkins even have a 115% higher CTR than they did in 2020.Image via Elena Gordeichik, Kate Maleva, anatoliy_gleb, Artem Oleshko, and Chatham172.

When it comes to choosing the ultimate meal for clickability, AI says to go all-in on salads. They’re the most clickable food item measured in this study. In fact, salads are 142% more clickable today than they were just last year.

This leafy green favorite is 40% more clickable than pasta, 26% more clickable than burgers, and 9% more clickable than steaks. 

Clickable Props: Preparing Salad

Clickable Props: Top-Down of Salad

Clickable Props: Eating a Salad

Clickable Props: Healthy Dinner
AI says that pasta salad doesn’t count as an actual salad. Booooo . . . Images via Jacob Lund, inna f. photography, Oleggg, and LStockStudio.

When it Comes to the Home . . .

When it comes to the home, people are clicking on two types of props: items that entertain and clean. 

Perhaps this is because the pandemic has made us germaphobes, but cleaning products are among the most clickable items to include in home photography.

Over the last two years, AI tracked: 

A 233% CTR boost for vacuumsA 87% CTR boost for spongesAnd a 27% CTR boost for clothing hangers

Over the last year alone, mops have seen their CTR rise 342%. The clickability of towels has risen 81% over the same time period.

Clickable Props: Dad Vacuuming

Cleaning Table

Clickable Props: Hanging Clothes

Clickable Props: Young Girl Mopping

Cleaning Products
Yes, hanging and folding laundry counts as cleaning. Images via Kuznetsov Dmitriy, Maridav, tete_escape, antoniodiaz, and brizmaker.

Beyond cleaning supplies, consumers are clicking on images that can keep them entertained. For example, toys have the highest CTR of all entertainment items in the home. They’ve risen 33% since 2019. Laptops have also seen their clickability increase 36% since this time last year.

Good old-fashioned books are (somewhat surprisingly) getting clicked on more, as opposed to high-tech forms of entertainment. Books are 82% more clickable than video games right now and 3% more clickable than TVs. 

Clickable Props: Laptop and Coffee

Clickable Props: Toy Dinosaurs

Clickable Props: Teen Reading Book

Clickable Props: Senior Couple Reading

Dog and Laptop

Playing with Blocks
Interestingly, video games and cell phones have seen their CTR decrease every year since 2019. Images via SFIO CRACHO, FamVeld, Johnstocker Production, Viktoriia Hnatiuk, DiMedia, and fizkes.

When It Comes to Retail Stores . . .

Despite online shopping being bigger than ever, data tells us that consumers are clicking on retail ads that showcase the in-person retail experience. Remember what that looks like? 

For starters, masks are in. In fact, images showing masks are 306% more clickable today, compared to 2020. Perhaps this forecasts apprehension and precaution as we approach the holiday season and our third COVID winter.

Beyond masks, though, another in-person shopping item has been big recently—cash. Cash is 24% more clickable now, compared to the 2020 holiday season. 

Clickable Props: Retail Store

Retail Store

Café Barman
While the CTR of credit cards has gone up 20% this year, cash is still 103% more clickable as a prop. Images via Shopping King Louie, Alexandros Michailidis, and Syda Productions.

Shopping carts are even having a moment. They’re 477% more clickable than baskets. And, wallets are 168% more engaging than purses. If you want to flash some cash in a photo, we suggest you show it in a wallet.

Clickable Props: Cash and Wallet

Disinfecting Shopping Cart

Neon Shopping Cart
Maybe it’s nostalgia. Maybe people just want to get off their computers. Images via Dobo Kristian, Elizaveta Galitckaia, and Bro Crock.

When It Comes to the Office . . .

Have you returned to the office? Do you think you ever will? While a few folks are advocating for a mass return to cubicles, others never want to go back. Meanwhile, some people just simply have to work in an office. There are a few data-driven props that make these office settings more appealing. 

When it comes to classic office staples, AI found that tablets and printers outrank all others. Tablets are currently 43% more clickable than they were this time last year . . . and they’re 44% more clickable than computers.

Surprisingly, in our increasingly digital world, printers are on the rise, too. Their engagement rate has increased 52% since fall 2020. 

If your goal is to make offices feel a bit more livable, AI has some suggestions on props to decorate with. It found that posters have a 57% higher CTR than they did last year. Plants are 5% more clickable. 

Last but not least, including the right afternoon pick-me-up could really pull in some clicks. Data tells us that coffee is 18% more clickable than tea. 

Clickable Props: Digital Laptop

Desk Printer

Clickable Props: Latte at Desk

Home Office
It’s been decided. A cup of joe is favorable to a cup of tea. Sorry Great Britain. Images via Josep Suria, New Africa, Foxy burrow, and

Cover image via Chatham172.

The post How to Choose Photos with the Most Clickable Props appeared first on The Shutterstock Blog.

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