Your branding is the visual representation of your business. It is critical that you position your company in the best light possible and this includes product photography as well. It’s been said many times; if the buyer cannot touch and try out the product in an online experience, then product photos on your website need to go the extra mile to replace the hands on brick-and-mortar experience. Showcasing your products with high-quality images can be the difference between a sale and no conversion at all.
Unless you’re a wiz at photography, consider using a professional photographer. People can spot amateurish photos a mile away. While hiring a product photographer is an investment, it is a worthy one. Make sure you hire someone who has experience in product photography, since it is a different beast from portraits. Maximize your investment by photographing a bunch of products/projects at once. It will save you money in the long run, rather than scheduling multiple photo shoots.
If you need to DIY, make sure you’re prepared. Professional photography can be expensive, which is why many small businesses and/or startups might need to do it in-house. If this is the case, study up on how to shoot products and come prepared. Your product photos need to sell, sell, sell, which is why product photography isn’t as simple as one more thing on your never-ending to-do list. Be thoughtful in your approach. Here’s how.
- At the very least, you’ll need a good camera, a tripod, a white background, and a place to set up that has decent lighting. Shopify has a fabulous online tutorial that goes into the technical details regarding composition and editing. Wix.com, a cloud-based web development platform, provides some great suggestions and examples as well. And Mashable offers 12 video tutorials for improving your product photos.
- Think about what you’re trying to convey. A picture is worth 1000 words, but you want them to be the right words. Is your product’s size impressive? Then the photo should convey this fact. Does your product make people happy? Perhaps you need a shot with people using the product. You get the idea.
- Play with angles. Shoot the product from various angles, even some that might seem strange as you’re doing it. The shot just might surprise you—in a good way—and if it has that effect on you, think about the effect it will have on a prospective customer. Noupe, an online magazine for web developers, even suggests hanging products for an interesting effect in addition to shooting from strange angles.
- Capture the details that will matter to consumers. Remember, you know your products inside/out, but your prospects don’t. It’s up to you to show them the details that will matter to them. When it makes sense show images representing the product in use.
- Know which products might benefit from multiple shots. When you look at our promotional products on the Amsterdam Printing website, you’ll typically see three to four different “views” of each product. One picture isn’t usually enough to capture a product’s different features.
- Make sure the images look good as thumbnails. This is especially important for ecommerce sites where people might search on a product category and then face a list of thumbnail images. People should be able to tell what they’re looking at, even at the reduced size. Then, when they click through, they should be able to see the full-size image (and, ideally, several views of the product).
- Photo Editing
The editing process is just as important as the photo shoot itself. Editing results in the polished final photography. The brightness can be changed, the images can be enhanced, the photos are cropped and the images are sized during the editing process.
- Give each product photo its own keyword-rich file name. Don’t default to whatever the photographer labeled the images. Turn to the keyword phrases you’re targeting on your website and name each photo accordingly. The name should reflect what’s going on in the photo, but it should use keyword phrases when doing so. For example, we might label a picture of a pen like this: custom_pen.jpg.
- Know when video might be better than pictures. You’ll always need some photos of your products, but for a more complicated product, providing a video demonstration can be extremely effective. And by effective, we mean convert visitors into customers. KISSmetrics reports that “viewers are anywhere from 64-85% more likely to buy after watching a product video.” So supplementing product photos with product videos makes a lot of sense. Need more evidence that video works? Here are six retailers that used product videos to improve conversion rates.
- Make sure your photos reflect your company culture. We said the same thing about business headshots. For example, if your business is all about fun and freedom, then shooting products against a white background probably doesn’t make sense.
Thanks for stopping by today, hope you found some useful tips. Here are a few more links for building your list of product photography resources: