If you own an eCommerce store, the appearance of your shop is paramount. Product images are vital in determining a customer’s buying choices. With technology continuously advancing, customers now often expect to be able to view items from all angles before making a purchase. Product photography significantly impacts an eCommerce business conversion rate and profits. This article provides a comprehensive overview of photography for ecommerce, its importance, and the best practices to adhere to when shooting eCommerce products.
What Is Product Photography?
Product photography uses photographic techniques and expertise to create engaging images of eCommerce products, encouraging customers to purchase. This type of photography is widely used in digital and offline promotions, such as:
- Social media posts
- Online store listings
- Product packaging
- Trade show displays
- Online advertising campaigns.
Nowadays, product photography for eCommerce is a specialized field that uses cutting-edge techniques to capture the highest quality images possible for displaying products in online stores.
To create the best customer experience on your website, each item should ideally be displayed with multiple pictures providing 360-degree views. High-quality store images can make a big difference in the overall customer experience.
We offer two distinct categories of product images for your eCommerce needs:
- Product-only images: Products presented on a plain white background
- In-context (lifestyle) images: Depictions of products used in everyday settings.
A product-only photo is ideal for showing off all facets of your product at its best. Using a one-colour backdrop, such as white in most cases, the look of your store remains consistent while highlighting various item hues and designs. Furthermore, with a white background, potential distractions are minimized and thus allow for an optimal showcase of your products.
In-context imagery is the ideal choice for brands with collections of products that work well together and want to entice customers with real-life examples from their catalogue.
You can emphasize your unique selling points by featuring models wearing your luxury summer items while lounging on a beach surrounded by high-end accessories. Furthermore, you can upsell by demonstrating how your items can be combined for a complete look.
It is a logical decision for brands to decide whether they should opt for product-only or in-context shots depending on the items they sell. For instance, if you are selling home furniture, using images with appropriate backgrounds will help create an ambience and encourage customers to buy. On the other hand, when dealing with products with intricate patterns or details, product-only shots with the best lighting are most suitable.
Why Is Product Photography Important?
Pictures are the first thing customers come across when they visit an eCommerce store, and it is essential that these images leave a good impression, so customers continue to browse and eventually buy your products.
More and more brands understand this concept, as product photography not only verifies the quality of their products but also builds trust in their brand. From books to clothes, accessories, machines or hardware, product photography helps customers make informed decisions about what they are purchasing and minimizes the rate of returns if the customer is unsatisfied.
High-Quality Images Improve Customer Experience Across Touchpoints.
Images are a powerful way to demonstrate the value and features of your product. Visuality plays an essential role in influencing purchasing decisions for 93% of shoppers. Images can help engage customers, bring your store to life, and increase conversions.
Images Are A Vital Element Of Branding
Images are vital to the success of your brand, as they are the first thing customers will be drawn to. Through various elements such as theme colour, quality, subject and text, your images should communicate a consistent message with transparency and authenticity.
You can build long-term trust and loyalty by creating a solid connection with customers through visual imagery. Be sure to apply this across all marketing materials, such as social media posts and website visuals.
Tools For Product Photography
Investing in the right equipment is one of the best ways to ensure that your eCommerce store has high-quality product photos. The cost of these tools may seem like a significant initial investment, but it will be worth it as you see your sales grow.
Camera (Or Your Smartphone)
A DSLR is often the go-to choice when considering the best camera for product photography. This type of camera has manual settings that can be customized to fit your eCommerce needs, including ISO, white balance, shutter speed and aperture.
Look for a professional model with auto-focus capabilities and at least 12 megapixels for optimal performance. Smartphone cameras are becoming increasingly advanced, and depending on the lighting and background, they can capture images of just as good quality as those taken with professional cameras. iPhones and Samsung phones, in particular, can do an excellent job of product photography.
A tripod is perfect if you have trouble getting sharp images with your camera. Tripods are a great way to stabilize your shots, reduce blur and keep graininess at bay when shooting low ISO.
For an affordable price of just $15, you can get a good tripod for your DSLR or smartphone and set off on your eCommerce product photography journey. You do not need a professional camera crew to achieve high-quality images; your tripod, camera and products are enough. To make the result even better, use proper lighting and background too.
Lighting is critical to getting the right shot. Free of charge, you can opt for natural light when you have a window, and the sun is out, but it can be unpredictable due to cloudy days or harsh daylight. Alternatively, studio lighting allows you to shoot no matter what time it is or how the weather behaves, giving you consistent, well-lit images.
Whichever you decide, lighting is a crucial part of photography and can be the difference between an average photo and one that stands out! So make sure you give it due consideration when planning your next photo shoot.
Natural lighting is an affordable and effortless way to set up product shots. By carefully positioning the camera, products, and window to take advantage of natural light or direct sunlight, you can save both money and time on your shoot. This ensures that your product is illuminated without overexposing the camera.
- Placing a white paper or curtain over the window can reduce harsh natural light.
- Only use natural light and turn off any electric or artificial lights.
- If products are dark, place them between the window and a white corkboard to reflect lighting onto products.
- Use a bounce card to ensure products have consistent, well-lit shots.
- Make sure there is no harsh light or shadows in the shot.
Studio lighting can be a great way to bring more control over your shots. To get started, you will need at least two lights, available on Amazon for around $60 each. The first light is a key light and should be placed directly in front of or slightly to one side of the product.
- Consider setting white covers (by paper or curtain) over the lights to reduce the harsh light and achieve softer shadows.
- Control the distance and angles of the light to get even softer shadows.
- Utilize white cardboard or plasterboard to optimize the lights and soften shadows.
Studio lighting allows you to control your photo shoot, especially when taking many product shots for extended periods. Your team can take consistent images throughout the session with a correctly set up light system.
If you have small products, a chair-mounted sweep is a great option. Just clip a roll of craft paper to the top of the chair for your product photography needs.
However, if your products are more extensive, then the ideal choice is a standard folding table with a width between 24 and 27 inches. This will be your first purchase for eCommerce product photography.
A Light Tent
A light tent is a box-shaped device that features translucent walls. It evenly distributes the light and can soften it to reduce reflections if your products are reflective. This piece of equipment helps you achieve even lighting for your product photos.
Image Editing Tools
Be sure to touch up your photos before you share them with the world. Editing images can take a while, but luckily some tremendous free resources can make it faster and easier for you.
- Canva: an easy-to-use platform for unprofessional editors, perfect for marketing campaigns.
- Snapseed: a free and fully functional mobile app.
- Pixlr: offering many settings similar to Photoshop, all free of cost.
- Fotor: a user-friendly smartphone app available both on iOS and Android.
Photography Guidelines For Consistency
Photography guidelines are essential to maintain a consistent brand image. Though it may require extra time and effort upfront, creating checklists and details will save you the hassle of training photographers and editors on your brand. Make sure that all elements related to your brand are documented, including:
- Focal length
- Colour palette
- Location and context
Tips For Conquering Ecommerce Product Photography
There are some tricks and techniques to make your product photography more uncomplicated and more effective. We have compiled the 10 most helpful tips to help you quickly take on any eCommerce product photography.
- Do not compromise on lighting for your shoot. Lighting is vital in producing good-quality images, so have at least two lights set up. Consider whether natural or studio lights are better suited for your products before shooting.
- Include high-quality images in your product photography to show off every aspect of the item. Please ensure they are sharp and precise so customers can get an accurate look at what you offer.
- ECommerce platforms’ recommended product image size is at least 500 x 500 pixels. To ensure the best quality and visibility, Walmart recommends images to be 2000 x 2000 pixels, while Amazon suggests 1000 x 1000 pixels for its enhanced zoom feature on different devices. To ensure your products are optimized for any platform, creating images with a resolution of 2000 x 2000 pixels is best.
- A PC is always a better choice than a smartphone for editing images, regardless of how costly. Smartphones have small screens so you won’t be able to get a clear view of the details in your product image.
- Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential for any online store to succeed. Ensure you optimize your images for fast loading times and include relevant keywords in titles and descriptions. This will help ensure potential customers more easily find your shop.
QUESTIONS AND ANSWERS
Q: What Are Some Free Resources For Editing Images?
A: Canva, Snapseed, Pixlr and Fotor are all free resources that can be used to edit images.
Q: What Is The Recommended Product Image Size For Ecommerce Platforms?
A: E-commerce platforms’ recommended product image size is at least 500 x 500 pixels. To ensure the best quality and visibility, Walmart recommends images to be 2000 x 2000 pixels, while Amazon suggests 1000 x 1000 pixels for its enhanced zoom feature on different devices.
Q: What Are Some Essential Elements To Include In Photography Guidelines?
A: Photography guidelines should include focal length, consistency, saturation, composition, shadows, colour palette, location and context.
Q: What Are The Best Tips For Taking On Ecommerce Product Photography?
A: The best tips for taking on eCommerce product photography include investing in good lighting and creating images using a PC rather than a smartphone to edit images, optimizing images for fast loading times, and including relevant keywords in titles and descriptions.
Q: What Is The Importance Of Seo In Ecommerce Product Photography?
A: Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential for any online store to succeed. Optimizing images and including relevant keywords allows potential customers to find a shop and view its products quickly. This helps ensure businesses reach their desired audience and increase their bottom line.
Photography for ecommerce has become essential to success in today’s digital marketplace. There are many options to help you capture the perfect imagery for your products, ranging from cost-effective DIY solutions to higher-end professional services. Remember the photography guidelines and remember consistency when creating your product photos. With these tips, you can master any eCommerce product photography and make your products shine. Start creating your perfect product photos today and make your products stand out from the rest!