How to Take Product Photos
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You don’t have to be a professional photographer to take product photos. Instead, try some of these short-cuts and photo hacks to connect with your shoppers and achieve higher sales. Great product photos also help with dynamic product ads for your Facebook marketing agency.
Fundamentals of Product Photos
Product images are not only a testament to the quality of your product but also a window into your ecommerce store, creating these two important effects:
Your product images shape the first impressions of your visitors. It can influence snap-decision as to whether they want to keep shopping or find another store.
When taking product photos, there are 3 key elements to focus on:
- Extending customer lifecycle.
You don’t need a large budget to create polished, perfect images. With the right tools, you can make your online store pop without breaking the budget at your shop.
Quality Visuals Improve Buyer Touch Points
When it comes to purchasing decisions, more than 93% of consumers consider images a necessity.
Product images represent not only your physical product, but also provides a potential buyer the chance to evaluate the perceived value.
Let’s look at Studio Proper’s product photos.
They offer real-world images of people in their everyday environment using their products. Take a look at the images below:
When you’re getting your product photoshoot ready, ask yourself how can your products connect with your customers?
Include Branding Elements in Your Product Photos
Branding should be the center of every decision you make at your business, such as:
- Your social media posts;
- Marketing materials.
Your product images serve as a forerunner for your business. They are the first to grab attention, entice browsing shoppers and drive overall sales.
Everything in your product images should have a uniform voice that captures your brand and resonates with your target buyers. This includes:
- Subject matter;
- Color theme;
Take a look at Pipcorn’s style.
They use bold colors on their packaging design and the simplicity gives it a brand-focused look and feel.
There Are 2 Styles For E-commerce Product Photos
In the previous samples, you saw a quick look at the two styles for creating product photos. Let’s dig a little deeper.
1. Clean-cut product-only images with a white background. These are typically used for featured products and can showcase a variety of angles. Below is an example of Snow Peak’s product-only shots:
2. In-context or lifestyle product photos. These show your product being used in its intended environment or alongside complimentary scenery and products. Here’s the same product from Snow Peak using in-context photos:
Which Product Photo Style to Use?
Product-only photos feature your products in the best light using multiple angles. They are usually shot on a white background to keep a consistent look throughout your product line.
When publishing a product to your store, you’ll want to have about a dozen or so images to use on your product pages. One or two is just not enough. Most of these should be product-only shots with a few in-context shots to enhance the emotional connection to your products.
- Product-only Photos. Use these for product pages as they have a significantly higher conversion rate.
- Lifestyle Photos. Use these for your social media posts, blog content, ecommerce emails, and other marketing channels at the top of your funnel.
Lifestyle product photos offer more creative freedom than those resting on a white screen. You can use minimal equipment to snap a few quality shots and feature them on your store right away.
Next, let’s look at some equipment and photography techniques you can use.
Product Photography Equipment & Process
If you’re new to product photography, you might be feeling overwhelmed getting ready for your first shoot.
Here you’ll find some simple steps to take quality product photos without having to spend thousands of dollars on equipment or professional photographers.
Follow these DIY product photography tips:
Set up lighting, background, and product.
These are the 3 core elements needed to capture quality product photos:
- Your Product
Use a white backdrop so that images can be easily polished and retouched after the shoot. Here are a few ways to set up an improvised background:
If you have a chair, you have a shooting table.
Take a look at the image below, with a few household supplies, you can set up a shooting table in just a few minutes.
If you go to your local arts and crafts store, grab a large roll of craft paper. After that, use a pair of clamps or tape to hold the paper in place.
Depending on the size of your products, you may need larger rolls of paper to achieve a white background for your photos.
If you’d rather use a box-shaped device with translucent walls, this design helps to distribute light evenly around your products.
Here’s how to make one:
- First, you need a plastic storage container with a removable lid and placed on its side;
- Next, tape white paper to the bottom. You can also tape white paper or cloth to the sides which will serve as diffusers (this helps distribute light much better and minimizes shadows);
- Then, use artificial lighting and place them on either side of the container. Alternatively, you can use natural light by placing your DIY lightbox next to a large window.
Photography Tip: If you intend to use artificial light, use at least two soft light setups to get the shadow balance right.
Recommend Camera Setup for Product Photos
Advancements in smart phone technology puts powerful cameras in our pockets. However, if you’re looking to capture the best possible picture, here are some DSLR photography tips:
- Don’t use wide angle lens𑁋this will distort your final image.
- Use the right aperture. For example, a wide aperture (f2.8 to f4.5) will narrow your depth creating parts of your product out of focus. If you use a small aperture (f8 to f11) this provides a wider depth, keeping your entire product sharp and in focus.
- Use the correct white balance. Change the setting to suit the same lighting style being used for the shoot.
Remember, if you have a smartphone, you won’t have to worry about these settings. The only thing you may want to invest in to improve the quality of mobile phone shots would be to invest in a tripod.
Polishing and Editing Your Product Photos
If you didn’t get the lighting right and you need to polish your photos, you can use photo editing software to make flaws disappear.
Retouching photos can correct colors, eliminate unwanted spots, and modify shadows for a more natural look.
Photo editing can be very time consuming, however, there are a few easy-to-use tools you can try:
Ready for Your Product Photo Shoot?
The art of product photography takes time and patience to develop. In the beginning, there will be some trial and error until you perfect the pictures you want for your store. Once you have a process down, be sure to create a clear shooting, brand, and editing guide so you can consistently capture and polish the perfect product photo every time.