Ecommerce Product Photography for Entrepreneurs

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Get it right or you’ll be leaving a lot of money on the table. We are talking about product photography here. This unique aspect of e-commerce stores uses specific tactics to portray your products in a way consumers won’t be able to resist until they buy from you. It presents your store in an enticing manner to attract visitors who later become paying customers.

Once you’ve set up your e-commerce store, it becomes all about selling products. These products can only be showcased effectively with images and pictures. Good quality images are powerful. They can convert visitors to loyal customers while encouraging your loyal customers to make repeat orders from your store.

The better the quality in terms of size and clarity, the better will the product page convert your visitors to buyers. Product photography can help enhance your conversion rate greatly. With this in mind, this article is directed at helping e-commerce business owners get things right with their product photography.

The Value of E-commerce Photography to your Online Store

E-commerce photography means much to your online store. Good quality images play a bigger role than merely showcasing the quality of your product. It doesn’t matter what you sell online and if it is the best in its product category, if you cannot communicate that to your customers.

Product photography is in another way the window to your e-commerce store, portraying your business in good light if done right. It is symbolic, giving your business the elements of trust and transparency.

Consumers view your product page looking to find assurance of quality and good value. Good quality pictures give this. Pictures seen on the first visit to your store shape the minds of visitors, influencing their decision to either stay and make a purchase or quickly bolt away.

The health of your e-commerce store rests on the quality images you put up on it. More and more people will love coming around your site the second time after a first visit when images are well-taken and optimized. Good quality photos are search-engine-friendly, and this can boost your rankings on search engines like Google.

Product photography is an important part of any online venture such as e-commerce and advertising. Mainly when it relates to selling to customers, photos are crucial to help conversion rates. With most of your store functionality resting on good quality photos, the value of ecommerce photography to your store is undoubtedly enormous.

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Types of E-commerce Product Photography

Experts recommend these two types of e-commerce product photography for your online store. You should use them on all your marketing channels including your product page to boost the conversion rate.

These are:

Product-Only Images

Usually described as a white background, clean-cut product-only images, these images include a variety of product types including the featured products. They are used to showcase products from different perspectives.

When thinking of giving a good impression of your store, use this type of e-commerce product photography to describe your product in different angles but in harmony with your store niche. They are often shot using white backgrounds to enhance consistent appearance all through the product line.

Since you’ll require about a dozen images on a product page, a combination of product-only images and in-context images should be used. Product-only images should be more in number and just a few in-context images to complement.

You should utilize more of product-only images on your online store, especially on your product pages. The reason is they have a better conversion rate compared to its counterpart.

Lifestyle or In-context Photos

These images showcase your product in the desired environment or used to complement other products. In-context photos are better suited to tell a story, for social media, emails, blogs and many other marketing channels you have around. Use them more along the path of your marketing channel.

These kinds of photos are good for emotional engagement. That is why you should include a few of them on your product page.

The lifestyle niche is an interesting one. You can take these photos in many available ways. They simply allow you to enjoy a lot of freedom. You can adopt various shooting styles when it is lifestyle photos. You can go freestyle without the use of a tripod.

How to Photograph Products

You need the right equipment to work with when you plan to take a good photograph of your products. This includes:

  • Good lighting whether from a natural or artificial source like in a studio
  • Quality camera to take the photos with
  • White backdrop
  • Tripod

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Now, to the process. If you’re about to shoot your first product photograph, you shouldn’t get bothered much. This is what happens to everybody who is doing it for the very first time. The first shot may not be the best but with time, you’ll get better and have great shots to showcase your store in a more professional way.

One important thing is that you should follow a process that meets your desired goals, make it better and develop a set of procedures to help you do things consistently.

If you’re re ready to take the bold step for the first shot, these steps will guide you:

1. Set Up the Background

The first step of ensuring the correct background is vital. It is what you need to get it easy with the whole editing process when done with the shot.

Use light or white backdrop. This is because you can easily do away with it when editing the image.

If you’re on a budget, you can improvise and come up with a suitable background for your photography only needing to spend less than $30.

You can use a shooting table. This can be done with the chair in your home. A light tent is another great way to get a good background for your photograph. This is a box-like device containing translucent walls that help distribute light equally around the object to be photographed.

2. Set Up the Product

Your product should be set up on a flat and stable surface in front of the background. Get the lighting set and you’re ready to shoot.

3. Put Up your Lighting

The quality of the image you get with your photography is defined by light. Lighting may be very hard setting up, but you shouldn’t relent. Once you’re familiar with the process, you can easily get it done in no time. Lighting brings out the beauty in your shots, an element you need for the post-processing.

You can choose to go with any of the natural lighting or the artificial lighting systems. They are both good for your photography.

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4. Use a Tripod Stand

A tripod helps your stability and enhances good focus. You may not find it convenient or come up with a good shot while holding your camera in your hand without support like a tripod.

You can improvise for this if you’re on a budget or want to get your shot done outside your usual location where not all of your equipment is available. Use a pile of books. A stool can also help to keep your camera in position. You can still find a good tripod for less than $30 on the market.

5. The Right Camera for a Good Shot

You can’t have a shot without a camera in your hand. Cameras are key and good quality ones should be the case. You can use a smartphone camera though. But it may not give you the best quality for shots like the Point and DSLR cameras.

6. Post-processing

Taking a good shot of your product doesn’t end there. Editing or retouching to meet the best quality is required. This is what sets the professional apart from the amateurs. There are lots of photo editing software tools, both free and paid ones. Find one and use it to improve the quality of your shots.

Retouching your shots should not leave anything behind. It covers getting rid of the background to model removal, correction of color and shadows. Don’t just brush through this process. As a matter of fact, it takes a lot of time to get this aspect right. Be patient and do all the corrections.

Also, keep in mind the Shopify themes you’ve chosen, or the theme in general, so that your product photography doesn’t contradict your store’s appearance and vice versa.

Hopefully, you should be able to take a good shot of your product by now. An important aspect to still look closely at is the lighting system.

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Product Photography Lighting Options

There are two options for product photography lighting. They are:

Natural lighting

Natural lighting is good for beginners. This is the use of free lighting from the sun. You can easily manipulate natural lighting just as you can with studio lighting. Small shots are better managed by using natural lighting because it saves you lots of stress and time.

You can easily regulate the amount of sunlight that you allow. You can reduce it to the level you want. Avoid shooting under direct sunlight. Direct sunlight will result in harsh shadows on your shot.

Artificial lighting

Artificial lights are the ones you create for yourself. For instance, the studio light is an artificial light to enhance good shots. More than the natural lighting system, studio lights hand you more control during the whole shooting process. All you require is to get the set up right and coming out with a professional snapshot will be an easy one to achieve.

Product Photography Ideas and Tips

Some products are difficult to shoot. For this type of products, you need to come up with some ideas that are effective to give you the needed shots. For instance, if you’re photographing earrings which are often smaller in size, use fishing lines to suspend them to enable you to take a good shot. The lines can be edited out later during the post-shoot process.

Similarly, use tapes to hold little items in position. A dummy or model is best suited for clothing. There is no one fixed method for product photography. Just be open-minded and be creative. Think of how best you can take a shot and go ahead and give it a try.

Shooting large products such as furniture, you will require the use of a stand mounted sweep. This may cost some money. If you can afford it, go ahead and get it done. Tape rolls of craft paper on the wall for some of these types of items and gravity will take care of the rest.

If you’re a newbie who’s just starting out with an e-commerce website, you will need some helpful tips to improve your store. So don’t shy away from asking for help.

The first most important tip of all is to invest some money on a very good camera. This is key to the outcome of your photos. White backgrounds on product photos should not be compromised.

It is not proper to use filters. Usually, photographers use this to alter the look of an image. Using filters won’t give the right representation for your product. You want real representation, something genuine.

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To capture the right emotions, you should learn how to use color psychology. Different colors have a message undertone, use them right.

A flash diffuser will come in handy to help your photography. This is an accessory that spreads light to prevent hard photography lighting.

Never try to have a mix of the lighting options for your photography. A single source of lighting makes images look good more than when a mixture of both is tolerated.

Be creative, try a variety of photo styles to spice up your product photography. There are so many ways you can adapt to get the perfect snapshot for your product to fully give a good representation of your store. You won’t know you have many ideas on how to get the best shots until you start experimenting. Be consistent and you’ll discover that in no time, you’ll become a pro in taking shots of your products.