Best Practices for Ecommerce Photography

A picture is worth a thousand words. This maxim could not be truer in the digital age. From memes to short video clips, people are sharing and responding to visuals more than ever before. It’s no wonder they are an essential aspect of ecommerce.

But it’s not just any images. As one study proves, up to 67% of consumers say the quality of a product image is “very important” in selecting and purchasing the product.

Good product photography is essential for any business owner selling their products online. Here are some top tips for producing attractive ecommerce images that help convert website visitors into customers.

1. Keep the Brand In Mind

A quick scroll of various ecommerce websites will show you that there are many types of product photos out there. Some feature only the product against a simple white background, while others make use of color, moody lighting, props, and more—product photography is a great way to showcase your brand.

Determine the images that will fit your brand best in the planning stage. Some questions that can help you brainstorm relevant ideas include:

  • What kind of photos have been used on the website in the past?
  • What is the most important aspect of the product we need to capture?
  • Does the label need to be visible in every shot?
  • Is there an allowance for props in the shoot and if so, what story do you want to tell?
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Questions like these will also help you with setting up an appropriate photoshoot.

2. Use High-Quality Camera Equipment

Speaking of setting up, producing professional-quality ecommerce photos is all about using the right equipment.

It goes without saying that a good camera is essential. This doesn’t have to be a high-priced digital single-lens reflex camera (DSLR), even a high-resolution smartphone camera can take great photos. However, most professionals prefer DSLR cameras for their wider range of settings and features.

If you choose to use a DSLR, shorter lenses are better for close-up images. The standard focal length is 35mm or 50mm. In addition, have a 20mm lens ready if you need wider-angle shots and a macro lens to capture the product’s fine details.

3. Use Proper Lighting

Even the best cameras and lenses in the world will produce mediocre product photos if the lighting is bad. Proper lighting is essential for capturing the product exactly as you would want it to appear, without distorting colors or hiding features.

While it’s possible to use natural lighting for product photography, the best way to ensure consistent results is with artificial lighting. This is because natural light is changeable and different to replicate at different angles.

Artificial lighting like strobes and reflectors allows you to shoot as long as you like without the worry of the light changing. While at it, don’t be afraid to adjust your exposure settings. Taking shots at multiple exposures will help you find the best light and highlight different details of the product.

4. Use a Tripod

Product photos need to be as sharp as possible, so you should never use the autofocus function on your camera. Instead, use a tripod to stabilize your camera and give yourself more control. Also, using a shutter release cable ensures you don’t move the camera while pressing the shutter button.

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Shooting a stationary subject also allows you to use manual focus which increases your camera sensitivity for higher image quality.

5. Employ The Rule of Thirds

The rule of thirds is a guideline that helps photographers create balanced and well-composed shots. To incorporate it into your shots, visualize a grid that splits your image into nine equal parts: two horizontal lines that divide it into three even horizontal parts, and two vertical lines that divide the image into three even vertical parts.

Placing your product at the intersection of two of the lines, leaving the other two-thirds of the grid open. This will guide viewers’ eyes to it when they first look at the photo.

5. Show Different Perspectives

People shopping on a website like to view all angles of an item to gauge qualities such as size and extra detail, thus trying to take photos from numerous perspectives to highlight everything important. This is especially true for things like apparel, where models use different poses to showcase a piece of clothing.

The more confident a potential customer is about the look and feel of your product, the more likely they are to buy it.

Elevate Your Ecommerce Website

Hopefully, applying these ecommerce photography tips will help you take photos that showcase your product and create an appealing website. Don’t forget to do post production editing, it’s just as important for good-quality images!