Product photography is important if you sell physical items via your website. They enable you to demonstrate what your product looks like, set expectations, and convince potential customers that your product will add value to their life.
The importance of product photography has been extensively researched. The human brain is designed to process images 60,000 times faster than text. Therefore, one image can say more about your product than a whole book.
Yet a bad picture or poor placement of it on a website can reduce the effectiveness of the image. If a potential customer doesn’t like your image, then they might not continue browsing on your website or make the purchase.
So, what do you need to do to get it right?
The first thing to do is ensure you have the right set up for your product photography setting. A white background is perfect as it reduces potential distractions and places emphasis on the product itself.
Also, ensure you have a high-quality camera. While mobile phones can give realistic images, they tend not to provide the quality required for website images.
2. Take Numerous Images
The next tip is to ensure you take photos of the product from different angles. This gives depth to your product and helps to establish the customer’s expectations. In this image, your product should be situated on its own.
Some good angles should be front, side, back and inside the product if applicable, (e.g. for bags or jewellery boxes, etc.).
3. In-use Shots
Try to include a picture of the product in use. Some suggestions for this include:
- A vase with flowers in it.
- A bag being worn.
- A toy being played with.
This again sets expectations and demonstrates how the product could benefit the consumer. When you have a product that has an age range, i.e. toys, have a couple of children playing with the toy, one who is at the younger end of your age range and one at the older range.
I’ve seen a few toy sellers who now include a parent in their pictures smiling and laughing with the children. This creates an image of happiness and family unity. Similar images for board games can be used.
While it might be tempting to use crowds in your images to demonstrate popularity, this is generally not advised. One reason for this is that the images become too busy for audiences to comprehend and detract from your main product and message.
4. Use A Wide Aperture
The opening that allows light into your camera is known as the aperture. This is specified as an ‘f-number’ in the trade. A smaller f-number denotes a wider aperture and this produces a narrow depth of field that gives a richer and more professional image.
Jason Lawrence on Practical Ecommerce, suggests a setting of 1.8 or 2.
5. Think Of Shadows
Ensure any light on your product is coming from the same direction as your camera. This reduces the shadow on the product (and should eliminate it). Take your time to position the lighting and camera to ensure you have the product photography setup right.
Remember that numerous potential customers will see the picture and will make their buying decision on your image – any mistakes can limit your chances.
6. Optimise Your Images For Website
In a catalogue, it doesn’t matter about the memory of your product image. However, on the web, it can make a significant difference. For every additional second that it takes your page to download, more potential customers will abandon your website, which costs you money in terms of lost sales.
Read this free downloadable about how you can optimise your images for your website. For the importance of website speed, read this article.
Take Your Product Photography To The Next Level
If you are in ecommerce, you will want to make your products stand out, especially if you sell on platforms like Amazon or Ebay. Even on your own website, images are an important part of the purchasing process. Make sure your product photography is the best it can be and see the results.
Do you have any tips for great product photography?
Let us know in the comments below.