When it comes to selling your products online, photographs are critical. In fact, in a study of smartphone users in the U.S., 83% of respondents said that product photography is very influential to their purchasing decisions.
In this post, we’ll discuss easy, inexpensive tips to take high-quality, professional product images for your business on the Internet.
1) Use Your Smartphone
Taking professional photos used to be a labor-intensive process that required expensive equipment. Not anymore! Thanks to smartphone technology, we can now take great photos and edit them with the click of a few buttons on devices we carry in our pockets. Newer smartphones have powerful camera lenses and settings to optimize your shots. That’s why, for most products, it's completely acceptable to promote your wares with smartphone photos. If you need more convincing, check out Apple's Shot On An iPhone campaign.
2) Try a Tripod
Holding your camera or smartphone is easy when you need to shoot just a few product photos for your business on the Internet. However, if you need multiple shots for each product – to show different angles or features, for example – it may be useful to have a tripod on which you can attach your smartphone. With a tripod, you can standardize the angle and framing of each product shot, making it easy to replicate for every product you photograph. This will ensure that photos are consistent across your website, making it easier for shoppers to view and compare your offerings. Check out this post for effective, inexpensive tripods.
3) Start with a Simple Background
Contrary to what you might think, the best product photos often have the simplest backgrounds. This is because busy backgrounds can be distracting, especially when the objective is to make your product the focal point of the image. If you’re unsure which background is best for your small business, a safe and elegant choice is the “infinity curve,” as shown below
To create this white background with no edges or seams, take a large piece of white paper or fabric and bend it into a curve. You can prop it up with a chair or cardboard to create a mini-studio almost anywhere! Using this kind of background is another way to present products on your website consistently.
4) Light It Up
Lighting – or the lack of it – can have a huge effect on product photography. There are two types of light you can choose: natural and artificial. Natural light – sunlight or moonlight – is readily available and free. It’s also easy to use – simply shoot your e-commerce products outdoors to take advantage of the natural light. If there are people in your product shots – modeling clothing or showing how something works – natural light is ideal.
Artificial light comes from a camera flash or light bulb in a lamp or overhead fixture. It can be general – like from a ceiling fixture – or focused with spotlights or shades that can make the entire subject or a part of the object really stand out. Artificial light works best to accentuate a product’s physical details.
5) Take Multiple Shots from Varying Angles
One of the great things about digital photography – whether by smartphone or camera – is that it’s easy to take lots of shots of the same subject. With multiple photos from various angles, you can choose the best overall picture as the main attraction and offer your online shoppers other angles and views to give a better idea of the product as a whole. You should shoot from a distance and up close, as well as from above and different sides. If your business on the Internet sells clothing, make sure to show the front and the back of the garment as well as close-ups of the details.
6) Take Advantage of Editing Tools
Photo editing may sound like a highly technical skill, but free tools make it easy – especially with pre-set filters and enhancements. By using an editing tool, you can turn photos from good to great simply by adjusting the light, contrast and cropping. Some popular, free editing tools include Pixlr, PicMonkey, and Canva.
Follow these product photography tips to create high-quality product photos for your small business and give your online buyers the best shopping experience possible.