Too often we have seen websites with pixelated or out of focus product images – it’s a huge turn-off to buyers. Online shoppers want to know what they’re getting and the photos have a huge influence on whether someone decides to buy. The difference between average photos and product photos that appear professional can make or break your ecommerce website.
Here are some tips for turning product photos into assets that drive conversions:
Harry Winston uses a minimalist design to let their products ‘shine’ through.
Camera. Beautiful product images can be achieved with modest camera equipment. The key is having a camera that can shoot a raw image file.
Photo by urbanwoodswalker via Flickr
Lighting. Don’t rely on ambient light because the sun isn’t always dependable. Get a photography lighting kit that can be run in continuous mode—flash can wash out pictures. Having lights running continuously adds depth and gives you a better idea of what the final shot will look like.
Tripod. To get the best images you will need to use long exposures and taking them by hand will result in blurry images.
Background. Use a neutral background such as white or light grey. It gives your photos a professional look while showing off your product. Ideally you will have an infinity curve, but hanging white craft paper to create a sweep can be just as effective.
Products. Give your product a clean, shine, or pressing before taking the photos. They should be as presentable as possible because high-resolution images will show every imperfection. Ensure they are placed in the middle of the surface and that everything lines up perfectly with the camera
Room. Set up your shooting table in a room with big windows to allow the most light in. This will result in less reliance on the lighting kit.
Staging. Use the context to communicate your brand and what your products are about. If you sell clothing ensure that there is an image of someone actually wearing them. If you sell kitchen products, take some food preparation shots. Show what the product does and how it looks when it’s in action.
Barbour provides different angles and colours as well as on – and off-model photos of their products
Angles. Provide a number of different angles and views so that the customer can really see what they’re getting. Consider how you can recreate the experience of a brick-and-mortar store where people can pick up items and look at it.
Aperture. Use a wide aperture (small f-number like f/2) to give your photos richness and a narrow depth of field.
ISO. ISO controls the sensitivity of the sensor and the higher it is the more noise you will get in the photo. Set it is as low as possible.
Photo via Behance
Retouching. You can do everything right but you will still need to do some retouching to get that sleek feel. Unless you have advanced Photoshop or Lightroom skills, on-white photo editing can be the weak link for most business owners.
You can use Levels in Photoshop to make an off-white background disappear. Decreasing the levels will make the background white—the risk is washing out your product. Follow these instructions if you would like to attempt to do this yourself.
Consistency. If you want your ecommerce site to look professional, you photos should have a consistent background, feel, lighting, and cropping. This makes your online store look polished and helps when customers want to compare products.
Notonthehighstreet uses a pop out light box to put the focus on their products
Thumbnails. Provide a selection of thumbnails that customers can scan through and click on to see more.
High-resolution. Be sure to give people the option to get a large version of the photo and enable zooming. These should be as large and in the best resolution as possible to highlight the details of the product. If the resolution is too low, the images will appear blurry and pixelated, and that can really annoy customers.
Variation. Have an image for each colour variation so that customers don’t have to imagine what it will look like.
Metadata. Be sure to get the metadata correct—this will help with image searches on your website and in search engines. Fill out the meta description and meta keyword sections with relevant phrases that people might use to look for your product.