Our ecommerce Product Photography Tips Anyone Can Do
What happens when you need product images of an item for your eCommerce store? Can you do it yourself and achieve a good standard? or at what point do you need to think about outsourcing?
Photos can make or break your sales. Here are some valuable insights to keep in mind if you decide to take product shots yourself. At best you will have an understanding of most aspects of eCommerce product photography that will help you either way you decide.
Table of Contents
Ecommerce Product Photography
Firstly a few reasons why product photography is so important
Product photography is quickly becoming a necessary part of many commercial websites. There are various reasons why you might want to take product photos yourself. Maybe you’re a small business that wants to create an online store, or maybe you just want to document your products for a blog post or social media update. Whatever your reasons, there are a few things you need to keep in mind when taking product photos. Once you become aware of these and incorporate into your shoot, you may be very surprised at the results you can achieve.
In the world of eCommerce, product photography is key. It’s one of the most important elements of your online store, and it can make or break your sales. Although it’s not the only factor that determines whether or not someone will make a purchase online, product photography is essential for ecommerce businesses.
In fact, studies have shown that around 60-90% of purchasing decisions are made visually, so it’s no surprise that good product photography can be the deciding factor between a sale and a lost opportunity. Here are a few reasons why product photography is so important:
1. People buy with their eyes.
The old saying “people buy with their eyes” rings true. When you visit a retail store, what draws your attention? One of the most important things that you have to consider when it comes to eCommerce is the fact that people shop with their eyes. If your product doesn’t look good, there’s a high chance that people won’t buy it. That’s why product visuals are so important and, in most cases, the deciding factor when it comes to buying a product online.
2. People trust credible sources.
People are more likely to trust a product if they can see it clearly. Good product photography gives your shoppers the information they need about a product to make a purchase.
3. Product photos help with SEO.
You’ve probably heard of search engine optimization (SEO). In short, it’s the process of attracting traffic from search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing by having your website rank high in their listings. When a shopper searches for a product on a search engine, they’ll first see your product photos in the search results. If these photos are compelling and clear, it will increase your chances of that person clicking on your link to visit your site.
4. It makes it easier for customers to shop online.
Good product photography can be a huge help if your website or store is cluttered with too many products. Customers want a clean layout that’s simple and easy to navigate, and good product photography can help with that. When customers can quickly scan through your products and see high-quality images of what they’re buying, they’re more likely to make a purchase.
5. It builds brand awareness.
Not only does good product photography help increase sales, but it can also help with brand awareness. By showcasing your products in an attractive way, you’re showing customers that your products are worth buying again. You can also use product photography to showcase certain features or benefits of your products, which will help increase brand awareness and customer confidence in your company.
One of the most important things about good product photography for ecommerce is that it captures the imagination of your viewer.
Taking product photos yourself | You may be surprised to know that you don't need fancy lighting equipment when you have natural light?
When it comes to photographing products, natural light is always the best option. It creates a natural and flattering look for your product, and doesn’t require any extra equipment or set-up. If you’re shooting in a natural setting, make sure to take advantage of the natural backdrop and styling opportunities it provides. For example, if you’re shooting a product against a natural backdrop of trees or a hill, make sure the product is well-lit and the background is properly blurred.
With natural light you can take some really amazing shots of your products. This way gives a more natural feel and look to the image compared to using lighting equipment, which is often seen as too artificial for most consumers.
In fact many product photographers us natural light to produce the best results. One photographer that comes to mind is David Loftus who has worked extensively for Jamie Oliver. Even though the subject matter id food related the techniques can be applied to most items.
Product photography is all about light. Every product is different and has different surface textures but ultimately, there are three basic elements that can help you capture great images of products for your business – lighting, depth of field, and composition. Once you are aware how lighting works with your product photography your visuals will improve dramatically.
Natural lighting tips
Use natural light whenever possible. If you’re shooting indoors, try to use a window as your source of light. This will create softer, more natural-looking light. If you can’t get close enough to a window, use a white piece of foam core to bounce the light from anywhere in your room that has good natural light. The most common type of product photography involves photographing a single item against an even background – either white or coloured depending on the end-use of the photo (e.g. website background). It is important to set up lighting correctly in order to minimise shadows and capture the shape, shade, colour and detailing of the product.
The ideal natural light conditions are typically when there is a soft cloud cover. Strong sunlight on a bright sunny day will create harsh lighting and dark shadows around your products. So it’s best to set up a shoot near a natural light source such as a large window on a not too bright day. Overcast days can be an opportune time to shoot your products.
With natural soft light, the end results can be very compelling. If you’re photographing a product against a white background, using a reflector can make all the difference in your photo. A reflector is simply a white board that bounces light back onto the object. This will help eliminate shadows and give your photo a more polished look.
You can create your own mini studio | At little expense!
Setting up a little space and keeping this to shoot your products makes the process very effective. With a permanent little space where you can quickly document the item makes sense. When you spend time and energy to make a product only to send it to a customer without photographing first is a lost opportunity. With a space reserved for taking photos you get to use the visuals of your products that may otherwise been lost.
Making a little studio in your home or workspace is easier than you you may think. This can be done in a few simple steps. First, find a good light source beside a large window. Use a net curtain to diffuse strong sunlight. Then set up a workbench, table or planks of wood over two work stands where you can place your items to be shot. You can even place planks of wood using two chairs. Sometimes it’s best to have a low height off of the ground. This will enable overhead shots without having to lean over too much over the item.
Example of shallow depth of field for a more lifestyle approach to ecommerce product photography. In this photo the vase is in focus while the foreground and background are out of focus yet still contribute to the overall affect. This type of image fits in with a more lifestyle approach.
Example of a product photographed with a dark background prop and foliage.
Example of shallow depth of field for a more lifestyle approach to ecommerce product photography.
The main focus of product photography is the item you’re photographing so it’s important to set up the scene nicely. It’s good practice to photograph one or two items at a time, especially because most props aren’t very forgiving and will only work well with certain products. When planning out your pictures, think about what items may work well together. For instance, if you want to photograph an outfit, it’s helpful to have a nice neutral background in order to make the clothing really stand out. A plain white wall or bed sheet are good options.
For smaller items a great tip for creating an effective backdrop is to place two floor tiles of your choice together. The first being the surface and second propped against a wall as the background. This can be very effective for obtaining consistent and neutral styling to showcase your products.
For items like backpacks and purses, find where you would usually grab them and position the prop slightly above it on either side. For shoes, make sure they’re facing forward and the laces are parallel with where your arms would naturally fall.
Do make sure your props are clean before photographing because there is nothing worse than seeing an item that’s dirty or damaged. If you need to store them, then cover them with a sheet or blanket and store them in a safe place.
It’s not always easy to get clear backdrops behind your product, so painted boards can be a great stand-in. Your painted backdrop can be anything you like.
Shallow Depth Of Field
Depth of Field: When shooting products, using a shallow depth of field can be very effective in drawing attention to the product and making it stand out. This can be done by using a lens with a large aperture (f/2.8 or lower), or by shooting from a close distance.
Example of creative backdrop for ecommerce product photography and showing how the visual is displayed in the product detail page.
How to use a smartphone for taking high-quality product photos
So you want to sell that hot new product but the pictures on your website look a little dated. You’re not alone, as visual artists discover more and more ways to take advantage of smartphones, they are becoming a preferable option over their larger counterparts for many tasks.
In today’s tutorial we will go through some of those tips and tricks, so you can create high-quality product visuals using nothing more than your smartphone.
The first step is to find a well-lit space in which to take your pictures. If you’re shooting outdoors, try to find a spot that’s in direct sunlight. If you’re shooting indoors, use a window with natural light or use a photo studio light kit.
Next, you’ll want to make sure your product is clean and free of any dust or debris. If you’re shooting a physical product, you can use a soft cloth to wipe it down. If you’re shooting a digital product, make sure the screen is clean and that there is no glare.
Once your product is ready, it’s time to start shooting. The following tips will help you get the best results:
Angle your product slightly downwards. This will create a more flattering angle and make your product look more appealing.
Zoom in as much as possible. This will help eliminate any distortion and give you a clear, crisp image.
Use the rule of thirds. Imagine your frame being divided into nine sections, four vertical and four horizontal. Try to position the product so it takes up a quarter of the frame on either side, or simply place it in the middle for a symmetrical composition.
Keep one eye closed while taking your picture. This will help you avoid any unsightly double-vision in your photos.
Take lots of pictures. The more shots you take, the greater the chance of getting a good one.
Once you’ve taken your pictures, it’s time to start editing. There are a number of great photo editing apps available for smartphones, and most of them are free. One of our favourites is Snapse.
What size should eCommerce product images be?
The product detail page is where the prospective customer views and interacts with the product. Having the right product visuals can make or break your sales and conversions.
Size matters but you don’t want photos that are uploaded directly from a smart phone or camera, doing this will create very high resolution images and at the same time high file sizes. High file sizes will slow down the loading times of your website.
So what are the best image sizes to use? We recommend an image size between 1400 pixels to 1600 pixels. This size gives both a high enough resolution while facilitating a quality zoom in ability.
Final resolution for ecommerce product photography should be at 72DPI (dots per square inch). Images from a camera or smartphone are produced in the MB range typically between 3MB to 6MB for a smart phone. Depending on the type of camera used resolution can range from 6MB to 20MB on average. As images should not be uploaded to an ecommerce website directly, image optimisation is an essential part of ecommerce photography. Photoshop is a popular tool for resizing product photos. However there is a learning curve with Photoshop though worth the time to become familiar with this tool. That said some ecommerce owners may not wish to spend time learning Photoshop. So how can images be reduced down in size from the original images? One very simple and fast method is to take a screen grab of the original images with a browser based tool such as Microsofts Snipping Tool. Upload the originals to your computer and take a screen grab of the photos and saving to a folder called resized images for example. You will still wish to keep the aspect ratio the same as the screen grabs may differ in size slightly. This can be done in a photo editor of your choice online. www.fotor.com.
Best aspect ratio for your product photos
During the photoshoot (whether this is a professional photographer or a do it your self style on your smart phone), it’s important to be aware of the aspect ratio. Being aware of how a product is going to fit into the frame will help create consistency across your ecommerce website. The most common ratio types are square or 1:1 ratio, 2:3 ratio, 4:3 and 3:4 ratio.
Once you have a clear idea on the aspect ratio this guide how you photograph the items. Most e-commerce website owners will want their product photos to display consistently and align evenly across the screen.
For mobile formatting a 2:3 ratio does fit more visual into the viewable area and can create more impact due to the area displayed on mobile. While a square format woks great both on desktop and smartphone when looking for the optimal display and impact.
How product images help promote SEO?
As companies begin to embrace the power of digital marketing, they also see the growing importance of content marketing. If you happen to be in this category, it’s about time that you start considering ‘visual’ content in your overall strategy.
Today, people just don’t like reading; they like images and videos. In fact, a lot of information can be sent across with just visuals. So, if you have been ignoring the power of visual content so far, it’s time to pay attention to it.
Let’s look at some important factors that make product images so important in your overall online marketing strategy:
Product images increase social shares and user engagement Product images help improve conversions It helps grow traffic from external sources Product images reduce bounce rate The list is quite long!
In short, product images enhance your online presence and help you succeed in the digital marketing field.
Research from Bazaarvoice found that sites with high-quality, positive product ratings received 19% more traffic from the search engines.
There are two critical aspects of ecommerce product photography that help with your SEO efforts: image click-through rates and conversion rate optimization . Image CTR refers to how many people click on a particular image when viewing results on Google Images, which is an excellent source of volume for most retailers. Conversion rate optimization covers the impact that good product photography has on your landing pages.
Product images help with organic search rankings, but they also influence consumers to click through from those results and convert into paying customers once they’re on your site. It’s a virtuous cycle.
In order to fully understand how ecommerce product photography affects SEO , we first need to take a look at how Google displays images in search results.
The image above represents a simple example of what you might see when someone searches for “boots” on Google, but it’s important to mention that a variety of factors determine which images appear and the order in which they’re shown.
How to find a product photographer for your specific business
Photography is a critical part of product marketing. It’s how your product looks that often makes the difference between consumers picking up your product or putting it back on the shelf.
But with so many companies offering product photography services, what do you look for in a product photographer? What are some things you need to consider when deciding if someone is right for the product photography job you need done?
What product photographers offer product photography services?
Product photographers offer a wide range of product photography services. They can:
– Shoot your product on location, in studio or both
– Photograph your product against a white background or more creative setups using different colors and textures as backgrounds for the product
– Provide product photos that run the gamut from product and product alone to product alongside a hand or objects like flowers.
– Use product shot photography equipment for product shots including backdrops, lights, stands, backgrounds
What product photographer knowledge should you look for?
When looking for a product photographer, there are certain skills you need to be sure they have.
Product photography is product marketing, so you need product photography that’s going to be high quality and appealing to the consumers who are looking at it. Product shots that don’t look appealing won’t sell product or product images of subpar quality. You need product photographers with experience in product photo retouching so you get good results.
What product photography job you need done should determine product photographer.
Not all product photographers will do the same product photography jobs or product photo retouching jobs. If you’re looking for product photos that include people interacting with your product, such as a hand holding it, then you might want to find a product photographer who specializes in lifestyle shots or product photo retouching that includes people.
As you can see, product photography is an important part of product marketing that takes knowledge and skill to complete successfully. When choosing product photographers make sure they have the knowledge and skills needed for your product photographing jobs.
High quality product photography for your ecommerce business. Get professional images of your products with Firesky! In addition we can have the expertise to optimise your products images for your ecommerce store. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org to learn more about our services and rates.
In conclusion, good product photography is essential for eCommerce businesses because it builds trust with potential customers, helps them imagine using your products, signals to them that you’re serious about your business, and makes it easier for customers to shop online. By taking advantage of high-quality product photos, you’re sure to see an increase in sales and brand awareness.
If you prefer to hire someone to take your product photos for you, Firesky Studios can provide product photography. However most professionals will be able to help you create the right scene and find the props that work best with what you’re trying to sell.