11 Tips for Ecommerce Product Photography

11 Tips for Ecommerce Product Photography

ecommerce product photography

The biggest issue online shoppers have is the ability to see and touch products in person before they buy them. Quality product photos can help shoppers make their decision easier. This makes product photography a crucial element of every ecommerce business.

Since visitors will be judging your products on the quality of your product photos, you need to make sure that your product photos are of the highest quality and that they present your products and your brand in the best possible light.

Here are eleven tips to help you improve your ecommerce product photography.

1) Choose the right camera

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While your iPhone camera is great for everyday shots, proper product photography requires a DSLR camera.

When it comes to lenses for your camera, wide angle lenses are great for lifestyle images while macro lenses can be very useful for showing all the small details in your product photos.

2) Use a tripod

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Even the slightest movement of your hands can impact the quality of your photos. Using a tripod is a must if you want all your photos to be consistently clear and in focus. Apart from keeping your camera steady, a tripod will help you keep the camera in the same position for all shots as well as free up your hands so that you can reposition and adjust the product.

If you don’t have access to a tripod, you can stabilize your camera by using a chair or a stack of books.

3) Prepare and position your products

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Before you start taking photos, examine your products and make sure that they look great. Even though small dents or marks can be fixed later during the retouching phase, it’s easier to take care of these before you start shooting. Remember to also remove any tags or stickers before taking the photos.

Consider including additional items in the photo to provide context for your product as well as show scale. It’s also wise to prepare multiple backups in case something happens to the original product. 

4) Take advantage of natural lighting

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The best times to take your product photos are early morning and late afternoon. Early morning and late afternoon shoots will help you avoid shadows and create that soft lighting effect that you can usually see in great photos.

If you’re shooting indoors and relying on light coming from a window, you can use a reflector to direct the light at your product. If, on the other hand, the light coming from the window is too bright, you can use a white paper or sheer drape to diffuse it.

5) Shoot against a white backdrop

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The trick to getting great product photos is to use a white backdrop. The backdrop will reflect all the white light onto the product and prevent color spills as well as allow you to capture the product’s colors more accurately. It will also help minimize distractions and put your product in the center of attention.

If you can, find a photography sweep, which is a backdrop that transitions from the vertical to the horizontal surface seamlessly.

6) Show details

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Use your photos to show customers all the tiny details of your products, including texture, thinness or thickness. Since shoppers can’t examine your products in person, you’ll need to show them photos that will make them feel as if they’re there.

7) Try different angles

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Capture products from various angles and let shoppers see them from every side. This will help to eliminate any uncertainty shoppers might have about your product or its features.

Additionally, changing the angle of your shot can sometimes produce drastically different results so make sure to experiment with many different angles.

8) Create a consistent look

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Most successful online stores have one thing in common: consistent product photography. Before you start taking photos, you should decide on what kind of background and lighting you’re going to use and try to keep those consistent across all your photos. Think about how you want to present your products and your brand and let that guide your decision.

For consistent lighting, you should try to take all your product photos on the same day, and do it quickly. Deciding on a few similar angles for all your product photos will also help with consistency.

Having a consistent look makes your product photos more recognizable as well as allows customers to compare products more easily.

9) Use a combination of product photos and lifestyle images

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While clean product photos are great for putting focus on your product and showing it in greater detail, they shouldn’t be the only type of photos you create and use on your website. 

Shoppers want to see products being used in real-life situations. That’s why you also need to include lifestyle photos that can grab shoppers’ attention and show them different ways of how they can interact with your products.

10) Retouch the images

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It’s extremely unlikely that your product photos will look perfect straight away. Great product photography always goes through at least a little bit of retouching.

You can use software such as Photoshop or Lightroom to improve your photos. Things you’ll want to focus on when retouching your photos include:

  • Sharpness – Does the photo allow customers to clearly see all the details on your product? If not, you should sharpen up the photo.
  • Brightness – You can adjust the brightness of your photo to fix any issues that might have occurred while using natural or artificial lighting.
  • Color – If the photo doesn’t reflect your product’s true colors, correct the colors using software.
  • Background – You can remove any shadows or imperfections from your background using a background removal tool.

However, be careful not to overdo it and misrepresent your products.

11) Optimize your photos for search engines

Once you’ve shot and added product photos to your website, make sure to optimize them for search engines to improve your chances of attracting additional organic traffic. When it comes to image SEO, you should try to:

  • Compress images – Large images can significantly slow down your website’s loading time, which can ultimately affect your rankings. You can substantially reduce image size without losing too much quality by using tools such as Optimizilla and Kraken.io.
  • Use descriptive, keyword-rich image names – Search engines can’t actually see images, so you’ll need to let them know what your images are about by using descriptive, keyword-rich image names.
  • Add alt tags for all your images – Alt tags are displayed if a user disables images in their browser or uses a screen reader due to visual impairment. Using alt tags helps both people and search engines understand what your images contain.

Improve your ecommerce product photography

Professional, high-quality product photos will help to increase trust in your brand, improve the overall look of your online store, as well as increase conversion rates.

To take the best possible product photos, get a high-quality DSLR camera and pair it with a tripod for extra stability. Take advantage of natural light and try to take product photos in the early morning or late afternoon.

Prepare the products for the shoot by removing any labels or stickers. Shoot against a white backdrop to minimize distractions and focus attention on your product. Take a few close-up photos to show all the details of your product. Experiment with different angles until you find the best one for your photo.

Try to create a consistent look for your photos and take some lifestyle photos to show your products in use. Remember to retouch your images to remove any imperfections.

After adding the images to your website, make sure to optimize them for search engines by reducing their size, and using descriptive, keyword-rich names, as well as adding alt tags.

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