If there’s one thing I’ve learned from e-commerce is that images communicate with potential buyers in ways that words just can’t. It was an important lesson to learn, and I learned it the hard way. I started my site several years ago. I pictured the money rolling in. I pictured myself selling to millions.
I did what every enthusiastic dreamer does. I found a lovely looking template for my site. I wrote beautiful descriptions of my product. After three months online I had closed almost no sales. The bright shiny sheen of success started to rust, and I became discouraged. My product sold beautifully at in person shows. People would enthusiastically gaze at my work. They asked questions and complimented me on the craftsmanship.
What was I doing wrong? I had a great shop title. I promoted my site using Facebook. It wasn’t until a friend of mine made a comment. She looked at my site and said “It’s too bad that people can’t see these in person. You are so good at what you do; these pictures don’t do your work any justice.” Now she didn’t know that I was making huge sales at craft fairs. All she knew was that the pictures on the screen didn’t reflect the product she saw before her. I remember that moment quite clearly. I had a “lightbulb” moment. I suddenly understood what was wrong. My images weren’t communicating the value of my work to my audience.
It’s all well and good to have a fantastically written copy and catchy titles but if you don’t have the product photography to pair with those beautiful words your site will fail. To help you on your way towards success I’ve compiled a list of helpful tips you should consider when designing images for your site.
Tip #1: Invest in the right photography gear
There’s no way around it. You’re going to need to invest in some decent quality gear. Purchase a DSLR. The entry level versions are more than enough for your needs. They will cost you in the range of $400 or $500. Below you can see an example of a great product photography caemra: Canon Rebel…
You should also purchase a good quality lens. The wide angle kit lens that comes with most cameras will work quite well but remember that if you use the wide angle part of the lens, you will distort your product. You should buy products with a focal length of approximately 50mm. This length is closest to view produced by the human eye and will accurately depict your product.
Having the right gear also includes making sure your shots are well lit. You need to purchase good quality lighting. Using a table lamp just won’t cut it. You won’t regret purchasing a studio light or two. You don’t have to purchase the high-end lights, but a professional quality starter kit is a good choice. These kits will contain one or two light stands and softboxes that help soften and diffuse the light. Try purchase a kit that can handle stronger wattage bulbs. You want your product brightly lit. Continuous lighting kits are much more affordable than strobe lights, and we recommend using these types of kits. Cowboy Studio offers very affordable kits that will suit your purposes.
Tip#2: Design a product photography layout
Sketch out a concept for your product images. Make the images interesting and eye catching. Write out a list of all the things you will need to have to create your set. What color background will you use? Usually, a white background is best. Think about your product brand and try to design images that will reflect your brand. You want to create a cohesive look that will be easily identifiable for buyers. Think about all of the major brands of clothing. They have a distinct logo. They appeal to a specific population, and their advertising campaigns reflect the personality of the market they wish to target. You should do the same when designing your product photos. If your target is young hip individuals just graduating from college or university you are not going to create playful, child-like sets full of stuffed animals and toys.
Whether you shoot with a colored or white background, send us your product images and our pros will manually remove the backgrounds for you!
Tip#3: Always include alternate views of your product
When shooting your product, be sure to take shots from a variety of different angles. Let buyers see the front, back, sides, top and bottom of your product. Take all sorts of angles. The trick is to arrange the product in a pleasing way for each view. Think about how you prop up your product for the shot. Have you chosen a view that might distort the look of your product? Try several different angles and when you find a pleasing view, make sure to document the position of your product within the set so that you can replicate the shot with another product.
Tip#4: Don’t forget to take close up detail shots
If your product is a beautifully hand knit sweater, then take a shot that shows the beauty of each purled stitch. Show the intricate lacework on a sweater or the smooth lines of your product. Give buyers the details they need to appreciate your product. You may need to zoom in quite close to the product to produce a detail shot. In this case, you may need to use an inexpensive extension tube to convert your kit lens into a macro lens. These extension tubes allow you to get in close to your product and capture the details clearly and effectively.
After taking your product images, you can send them to Picsera to add more texture and definition where it’s needed. Our texturizing services are ideal for fabrics, leather, or any other products that can benefit from added details. See before and after images of our work below…
Tip#5: Take images of your product in the natural environment
If you are selling high-quality running footwear, then show buyers how your product performs in the natural environment. Yes, you need the detail shots of the shoe but then think about taking photographs that show how your product is used. Runners want to know they will be comfortable while they train. Prove it to them. Show how your product performs.
Good product photography is essential to a successful e-commerce site. You can’t afford to risk your income and your passion by using images that detract from your product. Use our tips to help you photograph your product. We see thousands of shots from clients each year, and we know how important it is to communicate value to buyers. “A picture is worth a thousand words.” This old saying seems even more relevant in today’s society. Don’t make the same mistakes I made. Communicate value to your customers through both images and words.
We can help with the editing stage of your image creation talk to our experts today about how we can save you valuable time.