How to take great product photos

product photos

Published in Product images

For any online shop product photos are key to selling your items. Potential customers aren’t able to see products and pick them up to decide if they wish to purchase, so it’s essential to provide high quality, clear images to showcase the items. We’ve put together some basic tips on how to get started with product photos, and some extra advice to make sure your pictures sell your product.

Why are product photos important?

High quality product photos not only make your website appear more professional, they will give potential customers a good idea of what your product is, and whether it’s suitable for them. It’s important to have several, clear photos for each product so that shoppers can see your products from all angles - the better they know the product the more likely they are to buy it, and not return it.

The basics of good product photos

You don’t need to spend a lot on an expensive camera and equipment to take some great product photos, a good smartphone camera will do, just make sure you’re following these basic steps to get started.

Clear images
The most important thing for any photograph is that it’s clear and in focus. To avoid any blurry photographs, rest you camera on something to take the picture, or consider investing in a cheap tripod - it can make all the difference to your product photos.

Lighting
The other basic element to a photo is the lighting. Natural light is the easiest and cheapest way of making sure your product photos are light enough - ideally you want to try and take photos in the early afternoon by a big window to minimise the shadows. If you need to use artificial lighting then take a look at this article

White background
For most product photos a white background is the best way to clearly display your product without any distractions. The simplest way of creating a flawless white background is to buy a large piece of white card and hang it up so it curves onto the floor to create a backdrop. For white or clear products photograph them on a black background.

Consistency
Once you’ve decided how to photograph your items, stick to the same style and set up to make sure your photos are all consistent, this helps your website look organised and professional.  

Editing
When you’re photographing your products try to avoid looking through images on the camera and deleting them, it’s always best to view them on a computer to figure out which shots are best. After you’ve taken your product photos you’ll need to do some editing - you can fix small mistakes, adjust the lighting and crop the image so it’s perfect before uploading to your website. For a more detailed guide about editing your product photos take a look at this blog post

What to photograph

If you’ve already mastered the basics of how to take a good photograph, then make sure your product photos give your customers enough detail and context:

Scale
If it’s not obvious what size the product is, or it’s a different size to what you might usually expect, take one photo of it alongside something else to give a sense of scale.

Model
Take a picture of someone wearing or using the item, this helps customers get an idea of how they would wear it or how it would fit into their life.

Customisation
When you have a range of options, for example the same product in different colours, make sure you photograph each different option - people are unlikely to buy something just based on the description of the colour, they want to see it.

For more information and advice about improving your product photography take a look at these links:


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About the author

Verity is a journalist and content producer at Zenstores.

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