April 4, 2017 ByCheryl Dykstra
At Sales & Marketing Technologies, we are all about
innovation and discovering new digital technologies that can help grow your
business. But there’s one simple aspect of marketing that is essential when
selling products online – quality product photos.
Did you know that 90 percent of all information our brains
process is visual? Our brains process visual information no less than 60,000
times faster than text, which is a major reason we tend to remember 80 percent
of what we see, but only 20 percent of what we read.
These stats are very important to keep in mind when you
think about trying to sell a product. Even service-based
businesses can benefit from quality photos on their website, such as
before-and-after photos. And in a time when social media networks revolve
around photos and videos, it has never been more important to have quality
visual content for your business.
No matter how great your product’s features are or how many
benefits it offers to consumers, you’ll make very little sales without quality
There’s a lot of flexibility to be had when deciding the
exact aesthetic of your product photos, but there are some things that all
great product photos have in common, including:
High quality –
It’s so important we’ll say it again. High quality photos are essential. You
want your customers to get the clearest picture of your product possible, both
literally and figuratively.
Alternate views –
Product photos showcasing alternate views are another must-have. Different
angles and from different proximities give customers a feel for what the
product will be like in person.
Color variation –
If your product comes in multiple colors, you’ll want a photo for each
possibility. Customers really appreciate when they can see exactly what that
product will look like in a specific color, as opposed to having to imagine it
themselves and have it show up on their doorstep looking completely different.
Consistency – In
order to enhance your brand and give your site a cohesive feel, your product
photos should be consistent. Whether you use flash or no flash, have a
background or no background, use a model or mannequin; the important part is to
apply the same appearance across the board.
In order to get consistent photos, most business owners get their product
photos one of three ways:
the manufacturer’s images
someone to take your product photos
your own product photos
Hiring a Photographer vs. Taking Your
Own Product Photos
There are several advantages of hiring a professional to
take your product photos.
don’t have to pay for expensive, high quality camera equipment
don’t have to spend time learning photography
- You don’t
have to spend time shooting your products and can focus on other aspects
of your business
But there are a few negative aspects as well.
may not get exactly what you want
cost of a professional photographer can be high
on your photographer, you may not own the rights to your product image
Taking your own product photos, on the other hand, can provide the same high
quality product photos that hiring a professional can.
know your products better than anyone and what exactly to highlight
back-and-forth between you and a third party
in complete control of the branding and aesthetic
own full rights to your product photos
likely spend a lot of time learning and practicing your photo taking and
may need to buy a quality camera and camera equipment, like a tripod,
lighting and different camera lenses
- If you
don’t invest the proper time and resources, you may end up with product
photos that look unprofessional
Quick Tips for Taking
Your Own Product Photos
Plan out your shoot
– Have a vision for how your photos should look.
Decide on your background, angles, lighting prior to starting and you’ll be
able to stay consistent throughout.
Use a neutral
background – You want your products to stand out in your photos. White is
an especially great starting point, since it looks very clean and is easy for
beginners to shoot. If you’re running product-listing ads through
comparison-shopping engines like Google Shopping, white backgrounds are a
Pay attention to
lighting – It’s a wonder how much good lighting can mean for quality
product photos. Bad lighting can ruin an entire shoot even if everything else
is perfect. Diffused natural light is your best bet.
For smaller items, a lightbox can make a world of a difference. While there are
plenty of inexpensive options available for purchase, you can also make your
own fairly easily. Check out this simple video from Skillshare:
Keep it steady –
Using a tripod is the easiest way to get clear, focused shots. Another tip
would be to set a 2-second delay on your camera. That delay gives your camera
time to refocus after you press the button to take the photo.
Take A LOT of photos
– Just because it looks like the perfect shot in the moment doesn’t mean it
will when you start editing. A good start would be to make sure you have three
or four good shots to choose from later.
Also remember to take photos of the different angles,
different proximities, and in use if possible. Wide-angle shots will give you
more leeway when editing and give you the freedom to add text to them for
Don’t rush editing
– If Adobe Photoshop or Lightroom are out of your budget, there are a few free
photo-editing services such as Picasa, Gimp, PicMonkey, or Canva. When editing,
pay close attention to properly cropping your images, adjusting the brightness
and contrast, without going overboard.
For cropping, keep in mind that square, consistently sized
product photos look more professional than irregular, rectangular ones. Also,
it’s a good idea to always save your unedited photos in the event you make a
mistake or you have computer issues. Backups are always handy.
Product photos are an important part of putting your online
business at the top – whether they end up on your website or social media,
these photos are so important to your business’ success.
If you’re looking for help creating a beautiful,
visual website with glamorous product photos, give us a call at (407) 682-2222.
We can help get you on the right track to having the best visual content for