Product photography tips for ecommerce. A human being is a visual beast – product photography can make or break your online business, or at the very least lead to clicks that don’t convert. If you presented a potential customer with two different versions of your page, one with a beautiful, detailed, well lit photograph and another that looks drab and blurred, have a quick guess which one they’re going to click on…
8 Ecommerce Product Photography Tips
Psychologically, the great photo creates an emotional response in your online shopper; never underestimate emotional satisfaction in the shopping process. These product photography tips are intended to help you make the best impact.
The key to great product photography is to push yourself harder with the camera and your lighting techniques. You don’t need an in-depth technical knowledge of apertures or shutter speeds, just follow these ideas and get that product sparkling back to life.
1. Buy a light tent
For faultless lighting that can be repeated, this is an inexpensive purchase and absolutely one of the best product photography tips I can give. A light tent consists of a translucent ‘tent’ built around a simple frame. £50 can buy you a worthwhile example. Lamps are placed to the left and right, equipped with daylight bulbs that create that pure, white light. In turn, this light is diffused through the tent fabric to keep the light even. Hell, if you’re feeling a little DIY it’s very easy to make one for yourself:
2. Never post the very first image you take.
Experiment; multiple angles allow the potential customer to view the product in the third dimension. Zoom in, zoom out, move the lighting. When you’re done, pick through them in the editor of your choice and only ever select the best.
3. Don’t confuse the issue with distracting backdrops.
A crystal clear, seamless white or black (possibly a neutral grey) is more than enough. If you’ve taken my advice about the light tent, this is very easy to achieve. Having said this, in certain circumstances a more ornate backdrop can work in your favour. For example, a product that screams ‘British’ may look great on one of those slightly grungy ‘Cool Brittania’ backdrops.
4. If possible, why not show your product in use?
As an example, if you make handmade jewellery, show it on someones neckline. This may sound like a lot of effort, but the upturn in sales will be well worth it. Keep in mind lighting if shooting in an impromptu studio, or maybe get a little more creative and tell a story; a couple over a candlelit dinner, get it shining in the light.
5. Keep things consistent and write notes
If you’ve got a multitude of products to photograph, you may not have enough time to be creative with each and every shot. ALWAYS write down the camera settings and a quick sketch of how the lighting was set up for repeatable results time and time again.
6. Use soft lighting
Don’t let hard edged shadows distract from the item in question. Make sure your light sources have a soft box attached; these needn’t be expensive and can also be bought for any flash guns you happen to have.
7. Use a tripod.
ALWAYS use a tripod! It’s the only way of guaranteeing a sharp, well defined image. If you’re using an SLR be sure to turn image stabilisation off – a camera on a tripod will play havoc if you don’t.
8. Photograph the details
Don’t lump your customer with a single image of the product as a whole – show any relevant details; if you sell a printer, photograph the ports and sockets. Used well, this can reduce customer enquiries on the item.
There’s no such thing as too many images – give yourself plenty of choice when it comes to uploading them. Follow these product photography tips and give yourself a good grounding in the basics.