E-commerce Product Photography - 3 Tips for Taking Product Photos that Convert
79% (and growing!) of people shop online. Take a minute and soak that in.
If you are an online retailer, there is no doubt that you want a significant amount of that 79% to visit your store, right? So, what’s the best way to attract them?
Photographs. Beautiful photographs.
We are a visual species by nature. Humans are innately attracted to beautiful images. So if you are an e-commerce retailer, you need to have product photos that wow! In fact, 93% of consumers consider visual appearance to be the key deciding factor in a purchasing decision (source).
Whether you are a 1-woman-show or a company of 100, beautiful product shots have to be a priority.
Here are our three tips for getting the best product photos on any budget.
It’s all about the light
The #1 most important aspect of shooting good product photos is light. The light has to be right or you risk misrepresenting your product. Light is the difference between a good photo and a great one and could be the difference between a sale or no sale.
Unless you have a professional studio photographer shooting for you, avoid artificial light. There is an art to artificial light direction and it’s not something that can be learned overnight. Your best bet is to use natural light. Pull a table up to a window or door and shoot the product with your back to the light. Shooting into the light will make your subject too dark. Light entering sideways will produce shadows.
Once you get that perfect shot with the most perfect light, avoid over editing. Sure, our current instagram reality if full of filters, but you want to represent your products as accurately as possible. It’s ok to adjust brightness a bit, or lighten any shadows, but be sure your product is as true to form as possible.
A close second to having the right light is setting up your photo correctly. Photographers have many composition rules that they follow, but as an amateur photographer and an expert e-commerce entrepreneur knowing the most important of the composition rules will take you far. That one rule is the “Rule of Thirds”.
What is the Rule of Thirds you ask? Imagine that your image is divided into 9 equal segments using 2 vertical and 2 horizontal lines. The rule of thirds says that you should position the most important elements in your scene along these lines, or at the points where they intersect.
By using the rule of thirds you will add interest and most importantly, balance, to your photo. Most phones and cameras come with a “grid” setting that adds these lines to the screen so they are automatically there every time you go to take a picture.
If the goal of your photos is to highlight and ultimately sell a product, make sure that the photo highlights your product properly. There should be nothing competing with the product and a consumer looking at the photo should know exactly what he or she is buying.
To do this, consider your background. There are a few options when it comes to e-commerce product photography. You can go the route of a plain white background or you can incorporate your product into lifestyle shots.
When choosing a plain white background, be sure to shoot your product from multiple angles. When shooting lifestyle shots, shoot your product in its intended environment or with products that compliment it.
Here are 2 examples from REI and their Manduka Yoga Mat.
Like we said before, 93% of consumers consider visual appearance to be the key deciding factor in a purchasing decision. Making sure your product photos follow the 3 above guidelines, will certainly lead to more conversions and more revenue for your e-commerce company.