As an online store owner, you are constantly striving to design your shop in the most appealing way to your customers.
And the first step to success is to make your product photos shine bright like a diamond.
Why Exactly You DO Need Great Product Photos for Your Online Store
People don’t buy before they see. Some of them even don’t buy before they touch. If you don’t provide them with a “trial” experience of fitting the product, they’ll likely leave.
In physical stores, this experience is quite feasible to implement. You just put goods on shelves and let your customers familiarize with them. The best land-based shops often have an impeccable interior, well-dressed staff, and the pleasant soundtrack to create an even more comfortable “buying environment”.
In eCommerce, it’s barely possible to re-create the tangible ambience of a land-based shop. The only way to hold customer’s attention online is to bet on visuals. Top-notch website design, beautifully-made ad campaigns, and eye-candy product photos — those are what makes you stand out of the competition in a virtual world.
And now, let’s move on to discussing which attributes make your product photos look great. So great, that your customer won’t be able to resist.
1. Great Quality
When it comes to product photography, great quality is not something that makes it special. This attribute should come by design. Blurry, soapy, and noisy imagery automatically goes to the recycle bin.
Courtesy of Nike.com
Also, your customer may be willing to examine the product from every possible angle, including a close-up look by zooming in. It might be difficult to provide scalable photos if you are equipped with your smartphone or a cheap digital camera. Megapixels matter in this case much more than in art or fashion photography, while quality lenses are an absolute must
Courtesy of Nike.com
However, good DSLR cameras are not that small of an investment, especially when you have tons of other expenses. The best solution in this case is to rent a camera for a couple of days or hire a photographer who usually brings their professional cameras along.
To find a photographer is a no-brainer, as now it’s unbelievably easy for them to create a website with free photography templates. They can use web software to start their own brand and attract clients like you. Some of them decide to even do without a website and settle for platforms like Behance or Instagram to showcase their portfolio. I recommend you start searching from there by using tags.
2. Great Lighting
But if you decided to take photos by yourself, you should know that the key attribute of any great photo is lighting. Top brands usually buy professional lighting equipment or rent a studio to shoot their product. But actually, the best lighting is free of charge. And you guessed right: that’s natural lighting.
Courtesy of clubmateukraine
To make your product look great (not again, but always), you will need a room with a large window and the right weather outside. The perfect setting is the cloudy yet bright day — an evenly distributed, neutral lighting works best here.
You can also use a white foam board as a reflector. The reflector is needed to fill the shadows with light and ensure that each detail of your product is visible. If you shoot frontlit photos, place the reflector behind the object. And vice versa, with backlit pictures, put it in the front. However, you can just play around and see which angle you like more.
3. Great Background
Product photography is not limited to item thumbs in the online store catalog. You might also like to create blog posts, newsletters, tutorials, etc. about the goods you sell. This approach is very wise in terms of sales, as customers like to learn more about the product before purchasing it.
Courtesy of booshboosh.jp
Educational and advertorial content won’t tolerate a soulless pic with a white background, which is always used for catalogs. You need to involve a bit of creativity and add nice surroundings to the pic, including the background. The best method to engage the prospect is to tell them a visual story. But make sure the product intended for sale stands out and draws the full attention.
4. Great Models
Another step to making the online shopping experience more “tangible” is to show the product in use. For this, invite professional models to help you out. It’s quite important to use models that look as similar as possible to your average prospect.
For example, if you sell basic apparel, don’t use tattooed men as your models and stick to average-build men with humble appearance. For example, this brand is targeted at the Sweden-based male audience:
Courtesy of asket.com
Not only clothing items require models. Other product shooting can involve models as well. Beauty products, electronic devices, furniture — human interaction with any kinds of goods contributes to a better feeling of the product’s ownership.
5. Great Editing
Even if you combined all the previously mentioned attributes in a series of great photos, that’s still not enough. You’ll never see a raw photo in an online store.
Each photo requires thorough editing before being uploaded to your website. Be prepared that the editing stage may take even more time than actual shooting. For this, you might need Adobe Photoshop and an at least somewhat decent level of retouching skills. Most popular tools used in product photo editing are:
- spot removal to make sure there are no visible defects on your picture:
- curves for basic contrast and color adjustment;
- hue/saturation and selective color for more in-depth enhancement;
- selection tool to separate image from the background;
To get more tips on photo editing, browse through this website. There you will find info on how the above-mentioned tools work and how to apply them in your product photography.
Following all rules of great image making might seem to be intimidating at first glance. Taking photos for your online store is such a responsibility. But don’t worry: it can be made simple. I bet you will get over that right after you find your unique style and hold your first commercial photoshoot. Good luck!