How to create better eCommerce photosBACK
Online shopping provides plenty of convenience for the consumer. After all, they don’t have to fight for parking spots at the mall. Instead, they can just order something online and sit back and wait for it.
However, all 227 million U.S online shoppers face one significant problem. They can’t touch and feel the object they’re interested in.
Online stores have to replicate this crucial in-store shopping step by providing high-quality imagery to show off their products. Without this, shoppers can’t know what they’re adding to their virtual carts.
Therefore, you should invest a significant portion of your budget in taking top-notch eCommerce product photos.
This article is a guide showing you how to conduct an effective eCommerce product photoshoot. Furthermore, we’ll drop a few tips on how to take eCommerce product photos that increase conversions in your store.
How to conduct an eCommerce product photoshoot
Creating imagery for your online shop doesn’t require you to break the bank. You can still fill your product photography gallery with high-quality images while operating on a budget.
Here’s how you can go about it.
1. Set up your background
You have to put a lot of emphasis on the background because it makes the product pop. This is how you’ll get your audience to focus on the product.
Additionally, the background accentuates some of the product’s best features. Therefore, you have to set up a flawless background that doesn’t steal the shine from the product but rather accentuates it. This calls for a soft background. The most ideal way to craft a soft background is by using a sweep. On a small scale, this is a curved paper sheet that eliminates angles from your background. Additionally, it enables the light to play beautifully around the image in focus. You can make a sweep by simply taking a white paper sheet and taping it onto a wall and curving it down to the table surface. Alternatively, you can do the same thing using a straight-backed chair.
With the background in place, place your product on the flat surface center.
2. Light your product
It’s crucial to properly light your product if you want to attain the highest-quality images. Therefore, you have to ensure that your lighting technique doesn’t take away from the subject.
There are two types of lighting you can consider. You can either opt for natural lighting or choose artificial studio light. Natural light is particularly useful if you’re working on a small budget. It pairs well with the chair-mounted sweep we mentioned earlier. You can easily adjust it to suit your subject, saving you lots of valuable time.
If you have a bit more expertise and resources, you can create your own light in a studio-like setting. The advantage here is that you have more precise control of light flow and shadows.
For instance, if you’re conducting a long shoot in natural light, you’ll always have to adjust for the sun’s movement. An artificial setting is constant, allowing you to focus on shooting after the initial set-up.
3. Shoot from a tripod
While it might be tempting to shoot freehand, it’s better to use a tripod to get consistent results. For a one-off photo, holding the camera in your hand might suffice.
However, if you’re shooting a more extensive product range in one go, you need to mount your camera on a tripod to achieve a uniform look. In other words, you achieve the same stability and focus on all the subjects you’re shooting. And speaking of focus, you need to ensure that your product images are sharp and crisp. This shows potential customers that they’re dealing with a professional brand.
Therefore, you need to ensure that you set your camera to have a wide field depth, ensuring that the whole product is in focus. To achieve this, you need to set a low aperture and slow shutter speed. And this is the ideal time to talk about your camera.
4. Select the right camera
After all, you’re trying to represent your products as best as you can. Therefore, you need to ensure that the instrument you’re using captures them as correctly as possible.
If your budget can accommodate it, you can buy a point-and-shoot digital camera. They return quality images that work for your online store.
Even if you don’t can’t afford the extra expense of buying a digital camera, you can always fall back on your camera phone. Smartphone manufactures have pushed the envelope in camera sensors in mobile handsets to the point where they give professional-grade imagery.
5. Process your photos
Even if you have excellent photography skills, you shouldn’t ignore post-processing. This is the stage where you touch up your photos, giving them that clean, polished look.
So, marrying your excellent photography with competent post-processing makes for a better all-round set of images.
However, post-processing requires some bit of know-how to ensure that photos come out the way you want them. Therefore, if you don’t have the necessary skills, you can always outsource. You can get in touch with affordable online services that can retouch each image for a small price.
Alternatively, you can do a tutorial for one of the many simple post-processing software available.
How to use eCommerce product photos to increase conversions
Now that you know the basics of carrying out an eCommerce product photoshoot, you need to use your final images to reel in customers and turn them into conversions.
This extends to more than just putting up photos on your product pages. You need to optimize them for search engines and implements some tweaks for the best results.
To ensure that you get the most out of photography on your eCommerce store, you need to install the Kingdom theme for Shopify. The minimalist image-focused theme lends itself well to photography, enhancing your store’s appeal. Download this theme from Krown to take your store above your competition.
Here’s how to make the most of product photography.
1. Make use of props
Although we talked much about a clean, white background, it can sometimes make the image too plain. This can cause potential customers to lose interest in your product pages and general site altogether.
Therefore, sometimes it pays to throw a bit of creativity into the mix. In this instance, you can add some props to your shoot. These can be items that are related to your product. Alternatively, you can use unrelated items that compliment your photo’s general aesthetic. The props make your product stand out, capturing the audience’s attention.
However, you should take care not to use too many props on one product image. They steal the product’s shine, drawing the customer’s eye away from what they are supposed to focus on.
2. Shoot the product from various angles
Like we mentioned at the beginning of this guide, online shoppers don’t have the luxury of getting items off the shelf to examine. Therefore, as an online shop, you need to show off all the different product angles.
This enables customers to see what the item looks like before making an informed decision to add the product to their cart. Even if you aren’t going to add all the product photos, shooting from different angles gives you several options to choose from when selecting the image to upload.
3. Show your product in action
At some brick-and-mortar stores, customers can have demonstrations for the products they’re interested in. This gives them a feel for the item before they buy it.
You can emulate this same situation online by taking photos of your product in action. This shows the customer what the product looks like when it’s in use. For example, if you’re running an online fashion store, you might put up hi-res images of dresses. From this, a potential customer can see the dress’ design and all. However, they can’t really tell how the dress flows with the body.
Therefore, you can add other photos of a model in the dress. This is particularly effective when you’re running a cross-selling campaign. Customers will be more inclined to buy when they can see what the whole ensemble looks like on a model.
4. Be consistent in your presentation
Although you have the choice to let your creativity run wild, you still have to ensure that you’re consistent in the way you present your products. With wildly differing photos on your store, visitors will get overwhelmed when they land. Additionally, they can’t choose between two or more related products because there aren’t any similar photos to choose from.
Let’s take the example of an online store that sells shoes. Customers will want to clearly differentiate between shoes to ensure that they get the one they want. However, they can’t adequately do so because one image shows one shoe from the side, whereas the second shoe is shown from above.
Potential customers should be able to compare items from the same angle. If you want to add several angles, it should be the same angle variety for each item.
5. Pick a leaf from your competition
Whichever niche you’re operating in, there’s always someone successful. When conducting competitive analysis before opening your online store, you’ll have come across brands that were already up and running.
You can look at their landing and product pages to see what they’re doing right. If you see an image layout or theme that appeals to you, you can alter it to make it your own.
Through this, you might discover photography techniques that your competitor hasn’t caught onto yet. However, since you’ve found these techniques successful, you can use them more to make up ground in the market.
6. Optimize product photos for search engines
Just over 6 in 10 millennials prefer image search to search using text.
The vast majority of websites put the most emphasis on text-based search engine optimization (SEO). By doing this, they leave out a sizable market. Therefore, you should optimize your product photos for search engines so that you can capture all markets.
First off, name your image files. The names should clearly and accurately describe the photo. This guides the search engine bots to know the kind of image they’re crawling. This is more effective if you add your keyword of interest to the file name.
Additionally, you need to add alt text to your images. This describes your image, allowing your audience to know what it is. For instance, if a user has a slow internet connection, alt text shows up where the image is supposed to be.
Alt text also gives search engines more information about the image. Therefore, you should add at least one image-relevant keyword you want to rank for.
Search engines give preference to websites that have short loading times. However, hi-res images are usually very heavy, taking up a relatively sizable amount of memory. Consequently, uploading raw, unedited high-resolution photos will make your site slow.
Therefore, you need to toe the fine line between a high-quality image and a small file size. Choosing the right file type can solve this challenge. JPEG files are the most types used because they’re small but don’t compromise image quality.
To complete your photo SEO, you should provide search engines with an image sitemap. This reveals all the photos on your site to bots for indexing.
In a nutshell
There’s no two ways about it. Your online store needs photos so that you can turn visitors into paying customers. However, taking the right photos can be a challenge if you don’t have any experience in the field.
Above, we took you through a simple sequence that you can follow to take high-quality eCommerce product photos. Furthermore, we’ve gone through a few tricks you can employ to make the most of your product photos.