Product Photography Tips: Selling More with Better Photos
A picture tells a thousand words, right?
Now you want those words to be positive and encourage someone to hit purchase.
But if your product photography is poor, you’ll find your sales plummet.
And you don’t want that.
So in this post, we’re going walk you through the reasons why you should think more carefully about your product photography and the steps you need to take to get there.
Ready? Say Cheese.
What is product photography?
Product photography is the technique you use to (visually) show how your products will look. The issue with e-commerce is that it’s all done online.
You cannot touch the products, you cannot hold the products and if there are no photos, you cannot even see the products.
So e-commerce owners use their product photos to show their customers what it is they’re buying.
Product descriptions are important, too, but they work best alongside actual photos.
The best copywriter in the world could write a dazzling description of what the product is, but it lends itself to the possibility that different customers could interpret it differently and hence get a different idea for what the product actually is.
Getting your quality right
The first thing to think about your product photography is that it needs to be good quality.
A poor image, whether that’s blurry, or doesn’t show the product properly is going to alienate potential customers.
Let’s look at an example.
In the image above, you can see four versions of the same product.
Which photo is the best?
If you were to say the bottom right, you’d be correct.
The top right photo is poor because of the lighting. It’s hard to see the product in full. Yes, you can tell that it’s deodorant, but if there are any identifying features on the actual product, you wouldn’t know because they’re not clear.
The other two photos are good, but they (again) don’t make the best use of a white background and fail to show a proper clear image of the product.
You don’t even need to spend lots of money buying expensive cameras or studios (although it will definitely help if you do).
You can take excellent product photos simply using your iPhone and natural light.
Or failing that you can buy a cheap lightbox from Amazon.
You can use this simple kit to get a shadow-free white background so that your photos really stand out and show off all the features.
Product photography checklist
To recap, getting your product photography right involves:
- A decent camera (a phone will suffice)
- Good lighting (natural lighting is best
- Clear image (avoid blur)
- Focus (avoid shaky images – use a tripod)
Difference between product only and lifestyle images
By now you have an understanding of how to take a good product photo the next step is to understand the different types of photos you can take.
You don’t just have to have a photo with a plain white background, you can also consider lifestyle or in context images too.
If normal product photos are how you show someone what the product looks like, in context photos are how you show how someone will feel when they use the photo.
This is classic product photography.
Daniel Wellington has made use of the white background so that the image really pops off the screen. You can clearly see the features of the product well.
But how big is the face? From looking at the picture it’s hard to tell in context. On two different people’s wrists, the watch face could look wildly different.
That’s where in context photos come in.
In this example, you not only see an arm with the watch on (you now have an idea of how big the face of the watch is). But you also see the outfit someone is wearing with it.
The outfit obviously doesn’t come with the watch but it gives you an idea of how people style the watch and the type of people who buy it.
Including a mixture of normal product photography and in context photography paints a much clearer picture of not only what the product looks like but how you’ll feel when you use it.
Remember we mentioned that e-commerce is limited in the sense they’re unable to feel or touch the products.
In-context photography helps take them one step closer.
Do you just want to see the front of an item?
Probably not. If you were looking at items in a brick and mortar store, it’s likely you’d like to pick the item up, turn it around and see it from all angles.
After all, what if you bought a coat, only looked at the front only to find when you get home that there’s a huge pattern on the back?
It’s the same with your product photography. Don’t neglect to show all angles of your products so people can get a real idea of how the entire thing looks.
Asos have a feature within their product photography that offers their customers and potential customers a 360-degree view of each product.
The example above is of the bag. It makes sense that they should do this as if you’re going to buy a bag, you want to know what the straps look like, you want to know how thick the bag is and you want to know what the entire thing looks like as a whole.
Having this 360-degree view gives everyone a chance to better understand how the product will actually appear when they receive it.
There are a range of technology you can use to create 360 photos (including using your iPhone).
You could even go one step further and create actual videos that show people wearing or using your products.
Again, quality is important here. No video is better than having video but them being very poor quality.
The aim here is to not have the best tech and the most tools but create helpful images that provide your audience with the best possible visual view of what your product is.
In this post, we’ve covered a lot.
We’ve understood what product photography actually is and why you need it for your e-commerce business.
We’ve looked at why it’s important to get the quality of your photos right as well as methods for how to do that.
We’ve considered the difference between normal product photos and in context product photography as well as why you should use both in tandem.
Finally, we looked at the reasons why you should consider going beyond simple photography and implement 360-degree photos and videos.
There’s a lot to think about and probably a lot you could change with your own approach to your product photography, but the best time is to start now.
What are some examples of the best product photography you’ve seen\?