Guy taking a photograph
How to take excellent product photos for your website

Presenting your business online matters. It matters because customers can click away from you in an instant. In another second they can find a competitor's site who do something similar to you. Impressing customers on your website is crucial.

The best way to impress and promote what you do is through imagery and photography.  In particular, eCommerce websites (websites that sell their products online) heavily rely on photographs to advertise their stock. After all, you wouldn't buy an item online if you couldn't see it first! And then if there is an image, you wouldn't buy a product that had a low quality image. In our minds, if something looks bad on a photo, it will probably look bad in real life.

When it comes to buying online, photography builds credibility and is often the factor that influences a customer's decision to buy or not to buy. But with photography, taking pictures is easy whereas excellent photography isn't. To help with this, we have laid out our top 9 tips on how to take good photos for your website.

 

Top 9 tips on taking excellent product photography

 

1. Camera

DSLR camera

You're only as good as the tools you use. Having a quality camera is key to taking great photos. A DSLR (digital single-lens reflex) camera is perfectt for product photography. These days you can get DSLR cameras that are pretty affordable (from around £150-£200). Investing in a great camera is worth the money if you have an eCommerce site with a lot of products. After all, product photos are probably the number 1 factor in a customer's decision to buy. Getting decent lenses is also a must. We'd recommend a 50mm lens for most shots but a macro lens is also great to have for close up shots (like the shot of the bee below).

Macro Lens Shot

If a DSLR camera is really out of your price range then taking photographs on a quality smart phone (e.g. iPhone 6S) is a pretty good alternative. Although it will definitely not have the same quality, camera phones have improved dramatically over the past few years and with careful photo editing you can create decent photos for your website.

 

2. A clear background

Photography studio set up

A background is essential to make your photography look high quality (even if your background is DIY). When looking at products online, they are usually taken in a studio so that the products appear in front of blank whiteness. Shooting products in front of a continuous white background will help you achieve this - it makes your images look professional and makes your products stand out. 

Buying a full professional studio or photography studio equipment is the best way to achieve a great background for your photography.  However, you can make a DIY setup where you take a large sheet of thick white paper over a large table and position it like a ramp, clipping or taping the top end to something that is higher than the table (see example here). Once you have done this, place your product on top of the paper and you're ready to take your photos. For the greatest quality, having studio equipment is best but doing this DIY setup can work wonders too.

If you have products that are too large to show on a studio table, creating a full studio is essential. This is especially the case if you need to use models (e.g. to photograph clothes).

 

3. Lighting

Lighting is essential. Buying studio lights is a great investment and it will make your photographs clearer, brighter and sharper. An alternative is to use natural light, where you will need to set up your photo shoot space next to a big open window on a sunny day.

 

4. Tripod

Get a tripod. Having a tripod for product photography is a must. It helps to keep the camera stable so that the photos are sharp and clear. If you try to hold a camera yourself, your photos may appear out of focus and a bit fuzzy - especially if you're shooting a lot of photos over a long period of time!

 

5. Consistency

Product photography of notebooks

Ensure all your photos are consistent. A successful eCommerce website will have consistent product photos throughout the site. This means that all your products should be shot using the same lighting, the same background and the same editing. Sites that have images that are all over the place look messy, unattractive and unprofessional - not the vibe you want to be portraying when trying to sell your products.

 

6. A range of angles

Range of product photo angles

It's great to show various images of the same product from different angles. For instance, if you sell clothes it is good to show them on a range of angles to show the back of the item, the side and front. This gives customers confidence in the product as it allows them to gain a good understanding of the entire product.

 

7. Image magnifier functionality

a Zoomed in image of clothes

 

We recommend adding an image magnifier (or Zoom option) to your product photos as it lets customers view the details of your products. This is important as it allows customers to zoom into areas of the product they are interested in. For example, on a shoe, customers might want to zoom in to see the laces in detail. Adding this to your website requires an extra module or plug in which is definitely worth the extra cost as it satisfies customers and enhances credibility of your product's quality and features.

                                                                                                           

8. Size

Having small images will not be effective when it comes to selling your products. It's vital that your photos are the correct size as well as having a high resolution to ensure they have the highest quality. As a guide, Amazon state product images must have at least 1280 pixels on the longest side but 2560 pixels or larger are preferred. The optimal size of your product photography will differ depending on how your website is built but as a general rule the Amazon guidelines are great.

 

9. Editing

 

Editing an image on Adobe Photoshop

 

Once you have taken your photos, editing them is important so that the white background looks perfect. Having a background whilst shooting your photos helps with this but editing will make the background look completely white. In the editing stage, you can also refine product edges, erase product scratches, erase reflections (if your product is shiny) and any other imperfections so that your image looks the best it can. We recommend using the Adobe Photoshop software for editing as it has all the best features and tools to edit photos. The popularity of the software means that there are a lot of online tutorials that will help you to edit your photos if you are a beginner. However, there are some free photo editing software if Photoshop isn't for you - Techrader did a great post on the 10 top free photo editing software.

 savonclaire1

Having excellent product photography is crucial to the success of your e-commerce website. As a bottom line it helps to enhance credibility and customer confidence in your products. Without great photography no one will buy your products.

If you sell a lot of products it is worth investing in some quality equipment as the return on investment will definitely be worth it! If you're a smaller company, the DIY tips we have suggested will help to increase the quality of your products.

We also offer a product photography and editing service. If you would like to chat further about improving your product photography or if you would like to learn more about our photography services call us on 0114 266 900 or email us at info@dscreative.co.uk and we'll be happy to help!

 

alice

Created by, Alice

 

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