The importance of good quality product photos on your e-commerce platform can’t be understated. Whether you’re selling on one of the many free online shop services or you’ve stepped it up to a platform like Shopify, product pictures are essentially little windows to your store and should be treated as such. A great example of the difference that good quality product photos can make can be seen on eBay. If you ever search for anything on eBay, you’re likely to find half a dozen sellers of what you’re looking for. Let’s take a few examples of what you might see:
Calling this photo a crime on the eyes may be putting it a little strong but it’s not going to make you want to purchase… whatever it is. A photo like this would make the potential buyer question the quality of the product and potentially if the product would even be delivered at all. A low effort photo yields low returns.
While better than the previous photo, there are still mistakes in this that would put potential customers off. The photo is a little cluttered and the product, though front and centre, does not have the spotlight. There are just too many distractions.
There is more than one way to do a good photo. There are three principles for getting a photo that really sells your product:
- Get enough light. Good light makes for good photos. That doesn’t mean you need to splash out on those studio flashes that look like windswept umbrellas. All you need is ideally good natural light (tricky to find here in Yorkshire!) or just a good lamp with a white light bulb.
- A good quality background. This can either mean:
- An appropriate image. For example, if you’re selling coffee you want a natural wood background, like it’s on a lovely little boutique coffee shop table. If you’re selling shoes, then you might want to show how they look on the street actually being used by a stylish pedestrian. Keep them mostly simple and keep the product in use the focus.
- A pure white screen. Nothing makes your product stand out more than this. Setting up a lightbox (a white half-cube used to take photos with a white background) needn’t cost an arm and a leg either. A simple one can be made with a cardboard box, some white paper, some form of attaching solution (Sellotape, Pritt Stick etc.) and a lamp. This will create crisp, simple photos that show off your product in an ideal way.
- A camera used appropriately. These days we use our phones to take all our photos… and that’s a good thing! The fact that any opportunity is a photo opportunity has boosted the demand for higher quality cameras on our mobiles. So yes, you can take product photos with your phone after all! They may not be as good as they would be if they were taken with a DSLR camera but as far as a budget option goes you can do worse. There are some things to keep in mind though. If you can afford a tripod, get one. Keeping the camera position consistent can save hours of post-production work. Speaking of which, you need to make some time for post-production. At the very least you want to be cropping and resizing your photos to the same size in order for them to appear consistent on the page. Photoshop is the industry leader for this, but other programs are available, albeit with less options. You can even hire someone to produce your photos if time is a bigger issue than budget.
Here are some good examples of high quality photos.
Good, high quality photos may take that extra bit of thinking about and preparation but when your products are flying out your door (especially true if you’re selling drones) you’ll be proud of the effort put into them and reaping the rewards.