When it comes to online sales, professional product photography is one of the factors that play a crucial role. Your product may have amazing reviews and the best description in the world, but if a buyer can’t get a feel for the product, it is not very likely you will achieve a sale. Of course, some things matter more than others. In this guide to product photography,
I am going to share with you my top product photography tips.
Don’t Forget To Plan and Research A Photography Style
Product photography is not only about getting your camera out and starting to take photographs. It is about so much more than that. Take a look at a photograph taken by a professional photographer, and you will find that a lot of effort has gone into the photograph.
The most successful product photographers spend just as much time researching their products and planning the photo shoot.
Planning and thinking about how you can best represent the product is often more important than anything else. You also need to pay attention to the brand. What does the brand say about the product? Is it a luxury item that you are photographing today?
Let The Web Inspire You
One way of getting ideas is to check out how other photographers have approached the subject. A great place to find ideas is on sites such as Pinterest, Amazon, and AliExpress.
Create a folder on your computer and copy images that you like the look of. After you have copied them, go through them one by one and discard the ones you don’t like.
Another good idea is to find out what the competition is doing. How did they approach the subject, and what is good and bad about their images?
Remember you want yours to be better.
Your Main Listing Photo Must The Best Of The Best
The main listing photo is the one the customer is going to see first. It needs to draw any potential buyers in and make them look twice.
Think about it this way. Product photography is a bit like buying a new home. When you look at a real estate agent’s website, the first thing you see is a photo of the house in an attractive setting. That is what draws your attention to the listing in the first place. The other more detailed photographs of the rest of the property are there to build value.
White background photography is the best way to achieve this. Here are a few tips that you should follow:
- 1) Use creative lighting effects including hard and soft shadows
- 2) Group products together or use props to create an association
- 3) Incorporate both high and low camera angles
The Importance Of Secondary Listings Photos
Now that the buyer has been attracted to the product by the main listing’s photo, you need to make sure the secondary photos sell the product. Let’s go back to the real estate agent listing for a moment. Take a look at any real estate website and you will notice that the secondary photos show what is special about the home.
Secondary photos should show both smaller details and the best of the product, similar to real estate agent photos that show how nice the kitchen looks. That is what your secondary photos need to achieve. It is all about making a buyer want to buy the product.
Finer details also need to be clear in the photos. That is particularly important when it comes to selling luxury brands. What makes that luxury watch buying need to be visible in the photos. Yes, the brand matters, but so does the finer details.
If it is a technical product, your photos should tell a story of how the product works or can help the buyer to solve a problem.
Does Image Quality Matter? Yes, It Does Matter
The photo of your product is the first thing a potential buyer will see before they read any text. That is why your main listing photo must rock.
These days, more luxury goods are sold online than in stores. Top-quality brands such as skincare manufacturers have invested heavily in high-quality product photography.
Yes, there are still sites that think photos taken on a phone will do. However, savvy online retailers have realized that high-quality product photographs sell more products. After all, you would not expect a brand jeweller such as Versace to photograph their products using a smartphone.
Would you buy a product online after seeing a poor quality photograph? The answer to that question is no.
Images tell you a lot about the perceived value of a product. A poor quality photograph will make you think twice about buying the product. Make sure that your product looks clean, sleek, and brand-new in all of your photographs. Ultimately, the look of your product is what will trigger a buying response.
Does the image need to go into intricate detail? Not every one of your images needs to go into detail, but some of them do. When we look at a product in-store, we often spend time examining the finer details.
We do the same thing when we look at a product photograph. That is what you need to remember at all times.
Do I Need To Hire A Professional Product Photographer?
One of the best investments that you can make, is hiring a professional product photographer. Sure, your personal photos are okay, but in the long run, you are going to sell more products when you list your products with higher quality photographs.
There is no doubt about it – professionally taken quality photographs speak volumes about your products. E-commerce is a very crowded market place and you have to make sure your products stand out above the rest.
Can I recover the cost of professional product photography? Of course, you can and it doesn’t take much to do so. If your product sells 10% more than the other guy’s product who did not use a professional product photography studio, you have probably not only recovered the cost of the photograph but also made more profit.
What about investing in your own photography equipment? You can do but you may be wasting your money. At the end of the day, it is the photographer that takes the photograph, not the camera.
Taking Your Own Product Photographs
When you are only starting out, and don’t have the budget to use a professional product photography studio, you can start by taking your own photographs.
Rushing out and buying expensive equipment is not going to help you. It is only going to eat into your budget. Instead, it is better to make do with what you have. Yes, you can buy gadgets that can help you. But, not only are all of these gadgets expensive, but you also have to know how to use them.
Remember that professional product photographers are trained and have experience. As you may realize from your own photography efforts when it comes to snapping photos of your family, working with the flash on your camera, is not as easy as it looks.
What about natural light? Using natural light is even more difficult than working with flash photography. Of course, it is for free, but by the time you have finished your set-up, the light will have changed. That is why so few product photographers work with natural light.
What Are The Alternatives To Lifestyle Photography?
When you sell lifestyle products, high-quality photographs are even more important. Often you will find that influencers use a lot of lifestyle photography.
For instance, influencers often photograph themselves using a certain product. The downside is that influencers don’t tell you how they achieve their images. Not only that, but lifestyle photography is not easy to learn.
You can take your own lifestyle photographs, but you may have to move the goal post when it comes to sales. Photographs taken on a budget are just that – budget photos. But, if you can’t afford to use professional photography services, there is no reason why you should not go snap your own photograph.
You may not have all of the lighting equipment or that designer kitchen to sell your new smoothie shaker, and you probably can’t afford a professional model. However, you probably have a friend who can help you out. As long as the kitchen is clean and tidy, there is no reason why you can’t use your friend’s kitchen. Maybe she will even model for you.
You can also use composite photography to sell your products. For instance, if you are selling fishing equipment, you could feature what you are selling on a boat or by a lakeside. It is an easy way of creating a photograph that tells a story of what it is that you are selling.
Photos For Digital Marketing
When you are starting out selling your products it is not always easy to know how to “think” of your products. Digital marketing has a lot to offer when it comes to product photography tips. Marketers that work online often see photographs as a tool.
A photograph must be easy to post on sites such as Facebook and Pinterest. It is on social media sites, you are going to come across digital marketers. They thrive on good quality photos.Digital marketers are experts at posting a photo and getting someone to click on it. The link associated with the photo will take you to a product sales site or an article sponsored by Adsense that they want you to read.
High-quality photographs will attract digital marketers.
You should also learn about what is called performance indicators in digital marketing. You have probably heard of terms such as Click Through Rate, Conversion and Click to Purchase. All of these indicators are used by digital marketers to determine how well a product is selling or converting to an action.
Finding out what Adwords work with your photos is a really smart thing to do. You may even want to include an Adword or two in your product description.
Hire The Right Product Photographer For The Job
Not all product photographers specialize in the product that you are selling.
For instance, if you are selling an electric conversation kit for a bicycle hiring a product photographer who mainly takes photographs of perfumes and skincare products, is not such a savvy thing to do.
As with everything, you need to find the right person for the job. Technical photography such as taking photographs of a conversion kit is often much more technically challenging than photographing a perfume bottle.
Creative Photos Sell Products
Creative photos help to sell products. A unique photo is far more likely to sell your product than copying another image.
By all means, you should let images inspire you, but you should not copy them. If you do, your photos may look bland. That is not what you want when you need to sell your products to make a profit.
Buyers like interesting photos and photos that they feel that they can engage with when they look at them.
That is the same thing that happens when we go into a store. When we shop online, engaging with a product is not that easy. But, when you go into a store, that is exactly what you do. You may even watch a product demonstration in the store. Product photography and video marketing go hand in hand. A couple of videos on YouTube will help buyers to further engage with your products.
Easy to follow product photography tips are great when you first start out. However, as your business progresses and your sales increase, one of the first things that you should consider investing in, is professional product photography.