As a merchant, your products (and selling your products) are the key to your success. How you visually showcase them online can make all the difference in converting visitors into customers.
In general, there are several senses that draw people into a store or experience — whether it’s a bakery that lures people in through the aroma of fresh pastries, a music store playing a cool new album, or a cosmetics counter offering a sample of a new hand cream — all these attributes touch on human senses that can make shopping more enjoyable and convert shoppers into buyers.
When you sell online, the visual appeal of your products is your best tool to draw in customers, so it’s important to make your photos look as professional as possible. This not only enhances the value of your products in the eyes of customers, but it also builds credibility for your website.
If you’re just starting your business, buying expensive equipment or hiring a professional photographer may not be in your budget. So we’ve shared a few e-commerce photography tips to help you take great pictures of your products with the equipment you have (even if you’re shooting from your phone).
Use Lighting Effectively
The main secret of good photography is lighting. Without sufficient light, capturing a clear, bright picture is almost impossible. The lack of light causes a long exposure as the camera tries to focus, which will make the image blurry. Instead, you want a photo that shows the details of your products well.
Tip: use the natural light from a window. Winter lighting is ideal with the sky covered by an even layer of clouds. Direct sunlight is less suitable, because it gives too much contrasting variations of bright light and deep shadows. Also, avoid using the flash of a camera as built-in flash provides sharp and unattractive lighting.
Olga Agafonova, the owner of www.long-cats.com often takes pictures of her products — bracelets and pendants — for her store. To get detailed pictures, she uses white drawing paper as a background and a softbox, which can easily be replaced with light from a window.
We recommend sticking with a monochromatic fabric, a wooden board, or a simple sheet of paper for your background. Avoid using a background that has distracting patterns or strong textures, which diverts attention from the product.
While white is a universal background color, there are exceptions. If your site has a predominantly white background, then you may want to use a background with a different color. Otherwise, pictures can lose the rectangular border and your items may look like they’re floating on the page.
Keep Photos Consistent
Make sure that the photos of your products have a consistent look and feel by keeping the background, size, and pattern the same. A uniform style ties together the aesthetic appearance of your entire store, as well as provides a simplified view of your products for your customers.
Use a Variety of Angles
Most online shoppers want to see and learn about your product before committing to a purchase — so show a few different angles of your products(and provide good descriptions). If you have access to a professional camera, then it’s easy to capture high definition images, but if you don’t, then make sure to take a photo of the individual elements or angles as close to the product as possible.
Close-up photography, or macro shots, provide the perfect solution for showing off the details of your items. If you have a smartphone, chances are that you already use the camera to capture great photos of your family and friends. There are certainly limitations, but for macro shooting, the quality of photos can be very good.
Another way to show your product is to place it against something that can show its scale. For instance, a close-up shot of your product in the context of a person, or other object, will give your customers a better understanding of how big or small it is.
Demonstrate the Product in Action
Upload a few photos that show where or how your product is used. If you sell items for home, take pictures of those products within the context of a home. If you sell fashion accessories, ask your friends to model! Customers will be able to better understand the size and characteristics of your products after seeing them within a familiar context.
By showcasing your products in the ways they can be used, you can shape your unique identity through photographs.
There is nothing better than new, unusual product presentation to help differentiate your products and store from competitors. Take photos with unusual camera angles, use the environment around you, or look for a unique moments to showcase your products.
Olga found herself one day at home, surrounded by her bracelets and pendants, when suddenly her cat jumped on her lap. It was the perfect moment to experiment with photography, so she grabbed a few of her products, placed them on her cat, and snapped a few unique photos that she used to help promote her products!
You never know initially what angles will be the best shot or make the greatest impression, so try different options. With some energy, time and patience, you can create beautiful pictures for your online store that will help showcase your products and entice your customers with compelling visuals.
Take the time to find the right natural light, use a uniform background, take a few pictures of the same product from different angles and in different environments, and be creative! Your goal is to sell — and you can do so beautifully.