How do I create great product photos?

Product photos are vital to the success of your online shop. They show buyers what they are actually purchasing but more importantly they make the buyer want to own the product in the first place. Thus, a good product picture is as important as the product itself!

Many sellers have a notion that they need expensive photo equipment to take great photos. Trust me, this no where close to the truth! Below is a summary of some key points that can help you to take great photos too.

Background

Make sure that your product is easy to recognize by presenting it in a simple, neutral and full-coloured background. A patterned, grainy or poorly constructed background distracts from your product and has a negative effect on the general look and feel of the image. A good idea to put your product on a large sheet of paper so you have a clean background. White, Off-white or light gray are the most commonly used background colors, but you can also opt for something that matches your product. See these examples below:

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If you feel it’s too boring for your products then feel free to experiment by adding extra elements. Just remember that the background should be favourable to your product and not distract from it. Also make sure that there is clear contrast between the background and your product so that your product doesn’t get lost in it.

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Make sure you use a similar background for all your products. This makes your shop page easier to view and enhances the shopping experience of visitors.

 

Lighting

Whenever there is unfavorable lighting the camera’s automatic colour settings adapt to it and seldom show good results. By reading your camera’s instruction manual, you should be able to figure out how to change the colour settings. It will take just a few seconds to adjust the settings and it will mean that you can photograph in daylight, in the shade, under a cloudy sky or with artificial light.

Another problem can be photos that are taken with automatic colour settings in bad lighting conditions often have a red, green, yellow or blue color cast.This can be avoided if you regulate the colour settings manually (in particular the white balance). Manually changing the white balance makes it possible to get the correct colour reproduction.

Don’t spend too much time experimenting with your camera’s flash when photographing indoors. The bright and direct light coming from your on-camera flash usually introduces harsh shadows and bright reflections and so, taking good photos with flash takes a lot of practice. Instead, try lighting the product with a lamp. A simple desk lamp can be used at a distance to illuminate your product from a different direction while emphasizing the shape of the object.

To avoid harsh shadows you can make the lighting softer by attaching baking paper or diffusion foil to the lamp before taking the photo. Additionally you can place a reflective surface (a sheet of styrofoam or a large white book) on the other side of the subject, bouncing some light back onto the shadow-side of the product you’re photographing. If you have two lamps at your disposal then you could even try lighting your subject from two sides to fill-in any dark areas. Play around with it, practice makes perfect!

Perspective

Perspective is key and choosing the right one can make all the difference in how your products are viewed. Some people choose to photograph their products from the front. Although a photo like this is fine, make sure you also provide other views of your creation. Experiment! so that you find the perspective that makes your product appear the most authentic. A light angle of 45° works very well in most cases. Always ensure your main product image shows the entire product and not a cropped section of it. Take a look at this example below:

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Fashion items look a lot better when displayed on people instead of dangling from a clothes hanger. A nice picture increases the chance that it will sell. We find that relatives, friends and acquaintances can be easily persuaded into a photoshoot. In an emergency you could use a mannequin, but in no case should you just photograph your clothes lying on the ground or hanging on a coat rack. This makes it difficult for buyers to visualise how the item would fit, or how it might look on them.

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On ThricingLocally, you can upload up to four photos for each listing. Take advantage of this! Photograph your product from several perspectives. With extra photos you can eliminate any uncertainty a buyer may have. For example, you can separately photograph individual details, to help convince your buyer to make the purchase. You can also take a picture of how it should be used.

A product photo in 3 steps

With the following three steps you can take a very clear product photo in only a couple of minutes. What you need?

– A shoe box (or something similar)

– A piece of paper

– Two desk lamps

1.Place the box on a table and a paper against it without folding. Place the desk lamps on each side for the best lighting. Position your product on the piece of paper and you are now ready to start taking pictures.

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2.To create a good impression of your product make sure you take several pictures from different angles. Use a large piece of paper to ensure you always get a clean white background.

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3.Crop out the center of the image, removing any unwanted background elements. The final image below is taken from the front.

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Editing

Photo editing programmes frequently come with your digital camera or printer software. You can also find a number of free programmes on the internet. These are quite simple to use and enable you to provide the final touch to your photos.

By changing the contrast, colour settings or brightness, you can optimize each picture yourself.

Examples

We tested how much a good product photo influences customers by offering the same chain twice – once with a good photo, once with a bad photo. Both photos were taken with the item lying flat. Even we were surprised at how strongly the photo influenced the number of hits! The listing with the good photo received 51% more clicks and 61% more visitors compared to the listing with the bad photo. This shows how worthwhile it is to invest some time and effort into creating great photos!

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