These easy-to-implement product photography tips from Pixc will help you capture revenue-driving images and spruce up your ecommerce store just in time for the new year.
If you’re an ecommerce store owner, you may be intimidated by product photography. You’ve probably been told that it requires an elaborate set up of strobes, flashes, a fancy camera and the expertise of a professional photographer. Don’t believe that for a second. It’s entirely possible (and pretty easy) to set up a photography studio in your home or office that will produce fantastic product images. Here are six ways to perfect your product photography, which will help you create retail-ready product images to give your online store a more professional look and ultimately increase your conversion rates.
1. Use multiple light sourcesTo produce a well-lit product image, you need to light up your product and the surroundings of the product, meaning you will need to use multiple light sources. You don’t need top-of-the-range lighting equipment — natural lighting, desk lamps and your in-built camera flash should do the trick.
Remember that natural lighting changes in color and intensity as the day goes on, so just make sure you prepare your products before hand and do the shoot as quickly as possible for consistency.
2. Steady your cameraIf you want the sharpest possible photo, you need to steady your camera. A tripod is a great investment if you plan on doing a lot of product photography, but you can just use any kind of surface that is stable, hard and steady. This can be anything from a stool to a box, and you can always create towers of hardback books if you need to adjust the height of your camera slightly.
For best results, set a 2-second timer on your camera. This will allow the camera to really steady itself and re-focus after the downward pressure you apply when you release the shutter button.
3. Shoot on a white backdropWhether you use a professional screen, cardboard, sheets or even a wall, your photos will turn out significantly better if you shoot on a white backdrop. Shooting on a white backdrop will allow your camera’s white balance calibration to be as accurate as possible. Put simply, the white sheet will ensure that the colors in your photograph are realistic, and the product will meet the customer’s expectations when they receive the it.
Another reason to shoot on a white backdrop is that lighter colors reflect light, which means that your product will be well-lit with a nice contrast. Darker colors absorb light and the product itself will look over-exposed against the dark backdrop.
4. Take multiple photosCustomers are more likely to make an online purchase if they can clearly visualize the product. Take multiple photos to show that you’re confident in what you’re selling, so that your customers are confident in what they’re buying. Make sure you take photos from different angles and include close-up shots of any distinct features or textures.
5. Don’t over-editThe more you edit, the more you will decrease the quality of a digital photo, so only do the bare minimum — tweak the brightness, contrast and color slightly. Your main goal is to ensure that the background of your image doesn’t distract the viewer from the product. A white background will draw attention to your product and won’t clash with any website design.
6. Create a templateFor consistent product images, create a template in Photoshop or Canva. Most Volusion store templates have a maximum of 900 pixels wide, and if your store uses the right-side homepage sections like Super Deals, New Products and Top Sellers, go for 600 pixels wide. For more information on the best image size and dimensions for your ecommerce store, have a read of the Volusion support article.
Align your products in the center of the canvas and resize them so that they take up the majority of the template. You can do this by eye, but the best way to do it is to create guides in Photoshop. Go View > New Guide… and create horizontal and vertical lines at 50% to pinpoint your center. Then, create horizontal and vertical guidelines for 90% and 10%, and resize your product so that the longest sides of the product touch the guides.
Great product images will make a great first impression on visitors to your online store, which means that the quality of your product images could have the power to make or break a sale. Following these six simple tips will make your life much easier, and will help you produce perfect retail-ready product images every time.
Holly is the founder of Pixc, a professional product photography service. She has experience in building and running online stores and growing a large social media following. She loves online shopping, beautiful images and unique typeface.