Campaign Photography with Sears Grilling: Path to Purchase Photography #GrillingisHappiness #SoFabU


A couple of weeks ago I told you all about the awesome new class I was participating in:  Campaign Photography with Sears Grilling.

I was excited to learn some great techniques for editing photographs in Pixlr.  I used my skills to make a picture of rising yeast dough look much more appetizing.

This week our lesson was in path-to-purchase photography.

Path to Purchase

So, what is path to purchase?

This means the steps a consumer takes to purchasing a certain item.  How do you prepare for the trip?  What do you look at when you get to the store?  How do you make your decisions?

Our assignment was simple:  head to Sears and document the path to purchase of a grill.

I loved the explanation we got with this assignment; my previous Social Fabric shops have left something to be desired…

Now, I finally feel like I know exactly what the entire picture is, what they’re looking for, and I have some great tips for taking great photographs.

My Grill Path to Purchase

Prepare for Shopping

We were given tips on things to look for, pictures to consider taking, and more.

First up, how you prepare for shopping.

If I’m making an expensive purchase {and a grill is an expensive purchase}, I like to research things beforehand.

With all the technology out there, the catchy names for things, etc., I want to understand what I’m looking at before I get to the store.

So, my path to purchase starts with my laptop, at home.

I checked out the Sears site first, to see what grills were available in my area.

I started to lean toward the Char-Broil TRU Infrared grills, but really didn’t know anything about them, so I also viewed a few videos.

After viewing these, I felt I had a good handle on what I’d be looking at once I got to the store.

Heading to the Store

We live in the middle of nowhere, so the closest Sears stores are the Hometown Sears stores.

We have a larger Sears around, but I’ve found that while the selection may be larger, the smaller stores tend to have the not-frequently-bought items that I end up buying.

They also have great customer service, generally speaking.  Small town charm I tell you.

What did I notice about the exterior of the store?

They’re tiny, by comparison, but they’re not as overwhelming.

This day, they had a nice selection of riding mowers lined up in a neat little row.

That’s something that would definitely be great to have, but not today.  There was also patio furniture out there, but we already have a nice set.

I noticed that despite there being quite a bit of merchandise out there, it didn’t feel cluttered.  The walk area was nice and large, and the items were neatly placed, so it actually made me want to look at the items that I might not have normally taken a look at.

I can’t stand cluttered entries.

Store Arrangement and Brand Placement

How merchandise is arranged in a store can make or break a sale.  If things are cluttered, hard to find, or otherwise unappealing, it’s not likely many people will continue to buy from that store.

This Sears, although small, knew that it was grilling season and had everything right inside the door.

There were about seven or eight grills to choose from; not a bad selection for a small Sears!

Branding, Options, and Signage

Consumers like to have options.  They like to be able to choose products based on a combination of price, look, options, etc.

Here are a few pictures I took of the grills, the signage, and how it was all displayed.  A few photos include a before and after to show how they were edited {using the fancy skills I learned last week!}.

Other Tips

We also learned to try to take photos with clutter-free backgrounds, in softer lighting, at different angles.

The zoom feature is your friend, and incorporating brands and signage helps readers see what you were presented with, what you chose, and why you chose it.

You can see more pictures from my visit in the slideshow below!

Which Grill Won?

Yes, the fun part:  Sears is providing us each with a gift card to purchase a grill!!!!

I don’t have a picture of it…

It was one I researched online and the Sears site said there was only one in like a 50 mile radius, and it was at my little Sears.

They didn’t have it put together, though, so it was in the back in a box.

It’s a Char-Broil infrared grill with dual fuel intake and an auto-clean feature.  Love it!

I’d like to once again thank Sears for this opportunity!  I’ve learned so much already and am enjoying putting pictures on my blog so much more!  Thank you!!

True Confessions:  I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Sears #CBias #GrillingIsHappiness. All photos and opinions are my own.

Sweet Critique: Best of Summer Recipe Bookazine


I am unconscionably late with this review.  It’s crazy.  But, life’s been crazy so it just kind of happened…  I never take something that I don’t then review, though, so it’s going up now!

If you’re a regular here on Sweet Phenomena you know it’s no secret that we love to cook in this house.

Summertime is one of those seasons where everyone likes to cook; they like to get outside and grill, use fresh produce, visit farmers’ markets.  It’s all fun!

I was recently sent a copy of Best of Summer, a bookazine with 157 recipes, all 400 calories or less.

This is a great little thing to have in your kitchen.  Not only are there tons of great recipes, but it’s also got some great tips on throwing a party, grilling, and more.

One of my favorite recipes?

It’s labeled as a “farmers’ market favorite” – Two Cheese Corn Gratin.  Um, yum.

You can find out how to build a better burger, create some killer desserts, and share some great drinks with family.

At only $9.99, this is a killer collection that I would recommend to anyone who likes to cook or entertain.  It will be useful no matter the season!


Food & Photography Are Fun! #GrillingisHappiness #SoFabU


Photos can make or break a blog.

Sometimes I think mine is broken…

I’ve never been good at photography.  I don’t have a good eye for it, and I have no clue how to properly edit photos.

And, until I became a blogger, I didn’t really care.

My primary focus was on documenting special moments, not documenting them well.

Food Photography

If taking pictures of people and trees is difficult, taking pictures of food is darn near impossible for me.

You have a double whammy there:  styling the food well and photographing it well…

I think part of getting better at the whole process is just practicing.

I think another part is getting help from somebody who actually knows what they’re talking about and can convey it in an easy-to-understand manner.

Photography classes can get quite pricey, which is why I was so excited to get into the Social Fabric University:  Campaign Photography with Sears Grilling course!

The Course

I don’t know much about it at this point, but I do know that I’ve already learned a couple of things in the first week that have been extremely helpful.

I think my favorite part so far has been learning how to adjust levels {black, whites, and midtones} to make a picture “pop”!

I’ve also learned about “dodging” {lightening} and “burning” {darkening}.  Those are a bit more difficult for me, but I’m slowly picking up on using it effectively.

Image sharpening has thrown me for a loop, but you know, I’m gonna stick with it!

I didn’t have anything terribly exciting to eat today, so I took a picture of my yeast dough.  Check out the changes I made!

Yeah, yeah, I know it’s not a stellar photo and I’m sure a pro could edit it much better, but I’m happy with the results.  This is just after a week in the course!

What I’m Hoping to Learn

I hope to learn a bit more about the technical aspects of editing my photos, as well as how to take a better looking photo to begin with.

I hope that after this course the photographs on the blog will be much more appealing.  Not just for me, or for you, but for the brands I work with as well.

A nice picture of something I’m reviewing or featuring will help you, my readers, see it in all its glory and it will do the company justice in showcasing their product well.

Special Thanks to Sears Grilling

Sears Grilling is sponsoring this course, and without them, it wouldn’t be possible.  I am so grateful to have this opportunity and am glad they’ve made it possible!

True Confessions:  I am a member of the Collective Bias™ Social Fabric® Community. This shop has been compensated as part of a social shopper insights study for Collective Bias™ and Sears #CBias #GrillingIsHappiness. All photos and opinions are my own.