Did you know that 51% of Americans with internet access prefer to shop online? And that number is continuously growing. With the growing majority of people that shop online, it’s crucial for eCommerce websites to showcase their products in the best way possible.
It only takes a vague amount of consumer behavior knowledge to understand that shoppers critique product images and base their purchase decisions off of these images. As consumers, we’ve all judged products based on the images we’ve seen online before making a purchase decision.
Turn shoppers into customers with great product photography. And remember that when photographing your products, customers are looking for quality and value before making a purchase decision.
Create the best images for your eCommerce site and increase conversions by following these 5 product photography basics.
What is Product Photography?
Product photography is taking pictures using specific techniques to accurately and attractively represent your website’s products. Great product photography increases conversions by enticing shoppers to purchase your product.
5 Basic Principles for Product Photography
- Use a clean, consistent background
- Shoot from a tripod for photo consistency
- Choose between natural and artificial light
- Include all product details
- Shoot a variety of images
Use A Clean, Consistent Background
Consistency is key when it comes to product photography. Using the same background for your product images will keep your website looking clean and organized. At Groove Commerce, we love using Ortery equipment when photographing small to medium-sized products. But despite your choice of technology, we recommend using a solid colored background, like white or black.
Choosing your background color should depend on the color palette of your products and website. The goal is to make your product come to life by minimizing flaws in the background. Use a sweep to reduce flaws and make your image front and center.
A sweep is a bendable sheet of paper that sits beneath your product and curves up against the wall behind the product. Here’s an example of how taking advantage of sweeps can dramatically improve your product photography:
Shoot From A Tripod For Photo Consistency
Your eCommerce site probably has a variety of products for sale. As we mentioned earlier, consistency is key. Placing each of your products consistently on your website contributes to an aesthetically-pleasing and professional appearance. With the use of a tripod, this is easier than it seems.
Be sure to shoot your products not only against the same background but also at the same distance away from the camera and at the same height. This will guarantee that the products fill the same position and space within the frame of each photograph. Easily accomplish total photo and website consistency by shooting with a tripod. Tripods secure your camera and smartphone (yes, you can use a smartphone for product photography!) which makes it easier to capture products from the same angle and position each time.
Choose Between Natural and Artificial Light
Natural light refers to - you guessed it - sunlight. Take advantage of the light the sun provides when photographing your products, especially if your eCommerce products are meant to be used outside.
Let’s say, for example, you’re selling a garden hose and taking photos of a person holding the product. Take advantage of the sunlight by angling the hose in the sun. This will cast a natural shadow on the person’s body and will emphasize the garden hose. You can always contrast the shadow as much as you’d like in Photoshop to make sure the product is the main focus of the photo.
Natural light softens the image of the product, so be sure to avoid adding natural light to an already artificially lit photo. Doing so will soften the product that was intended to look sharpened and can potentially make the small details of the product unclear.
Use artificial light if you want to to highlight the physical details of your eCommerce products. For example, if you’re selling jewelry with intricate details, we recommend using artificial lighting. Bright light bulbs show all of the product’s details and sharpen them under the light.
Since artificial light sharpens the details of the product, be sure to avoid adding artificial light to an already naturally-lit photo. Doing so will sharpen the product that was intended to look soft.
Include All Product Details
Online shopping unfortunately limits shoppers to only see your product through the images you provide. Shoppers are unable to feel, touch or try on your products like they can in a store. That’s why it’s crucial to clearly showcase all details of the product - no matter how small. Customers that are shopping around on your site want to see everything the product has to offer before making a purchase decision.
Remember, customers are looking for quality and value in your product. Show them your products’ quality and the value you have to offer through basic product photography. Customers are more likely to trust your brand if you show and tell them all of the product’s details.
Shoot A Variety of Images
This may seem like common sense, yet it is so important. Take multiple images of your product! This ties in with showing your customers all of the details. Shoot from many angles and, if possible, show the product being used.
Customers shopping online value not only high quality images but also a variety of images to look through. Be transparent when showing what you have to offer so that customers are satisfied (or dissatisfied) with your product. Hiding flaws in product images can result in customers returning your product and never ordering from your brand again because they don’t trust it.
Whether you’re just getting started with product photography or you’re already a professional photographer, referring to these product photography basics will aid in the professionalism and success of your photography.
If you’d like to learn more about product photography basics or have any questions, reach out to us through the form below, and we’ll be happy to help!
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