Product Photography

This may be old news, but many people have taken up Shopify online storefronts to sell products.  Many of them use drop shipping where no stock is kept and products are shipped directly from the manufacturer to the customer.  There are those however, who chose to resell products by keeping stocks, given supply chain uncertainty, or those who create their own products.  There are also those who do drop shipping but still prefer to take more flattering photos of the products than those provided by the source manufacturer. 

Here are a few tips when considering photoshoots or more flattering product pictures for online stores:

  • Background – many of the manufacturing photos have a white or no background to the products.  Although that was traditionally the preferred approach, it is a little aggressive and stark when such photos are added to the online store.  Having a blurred out warm coloured background creates a more inviting photo that attracts most users.  The white background can be a little clinical and mechanical – in the end, part of selling a product is creating a story behind it and why people need to buy it.  Even if a background is blurred, some thinking is needed behind what complementary images in the background are needed to give a sense of completeness.
  • Angles and lighting – much like any other photo needs to be considered.  More so, for products, particularly those with labels, to insure that all the product information and design is shown clearly in the photo.  Which means that the much-coveted sunlight is not the best lighting source for products, as it would easily reflect from bottled products, be sure that the entire product is clear, its name and labelling is also considered.
  • Do not overcrowd multi-product photos.  If you are selling a group of items place them in a way that is calculated to ensure each product is shown clearly and keep in mind spacing (or lack thereof) between the items need to be done in a way that makes it look abundant.  You want to make sure that people get the sense they are getting a lot for the price. 
  • If you are taking photos of people using the products, make sure that they are clear, their clothing is plain, and their facial expressions are reflective of what you want the customer to feel when they buy and use the product.  Again, you are selling the story behind the product and how it can benefit the customer all in one picture.
  • Quality is more important than quantity – most customers perusing through the online store will scroll a few photos before moving on.  If you can minimize the number of photos and make sure the ones you upload have the most impact, which will go a long way.  If you put 8 pictures of the product to convey the message which can be done in 3, opt for the lessor number.  Customers have short attention spans, and the more you can pack into a photo in terms of messaging the better.  Less is more!

Would love to hear if any professionals have any tips on this.  If so, please leave a comment below.  When in doubt a professional product photographer is always a great investment if you are finding your photos uninspired, you’ll be amazed what a professional photographer can bring out with their experienced skills!


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