In the highly competitive world of business, it is crucial to understand the significance of ecommerce product photography.
It is a fundamental aspect that cannot be overlooked or underestimated.
While your ecommerce site’s overall design can attract potential customers, great product images can influence their purchase decisions.
Studies suggest that 75% of online consumers consider product images when making purchases:
Unlike in a physical store, online shoppers don’t get the opportunity to touch, try, or feel the products before purchasing.
High-quality ecommerce product photography will show the product's appearance, texture, and appearance from different angles.
But creating high-impact ecommerce product images is no mean deal if you’re not a pro behind the camera.
In this in-depth guide, I have compiled eight powerful ecommerce product photography tips for retailers.
Table of Contents
What Is Ecommerce Product Photography?
Ecommerce product photography is creating clear and attractive product photos to promote your products online.
The Impact of High-Quality Ecommerce Product Photography
Investing in high-quality product photos can increase your ecommerce conversion rates significantly.
According to a recent eRank survey on Etsy’s buyers, 83% of respondents say product images are vital when purchasing products on Etsy:
Here are a few reasons why you should invest in high-quality product photography for ecommerce.
- Offer a professional presentation of your ecommerce store, which demonstrates your seriousness in business
- Great product photos offer a clear and detailed visual representation of your products
- Professional-looking product photos help build trust with your potential customers
- Clear, quality product photos help users understand the product information better
- Reduces product returns
- Great ecommerce product photography conveys product quality
- Attractive product photos improve your ecommerce website’s SEO
- Improves engagement
- High-quality product photography can create an emotional connection with potential customers
- Improved shopping experience
Ecommerce Product Photography Tips to Make Your Products Shine
Following these simple photography tips to produce stunning photos for your ecommerce products without hiring a professional photographer.
1. Choose a Good Camera
Clear, attractive, and accurate photos are crucial for a successful ecommerce product photography strategy.
According to 87.6% of online shoppers in the US, clear product images are crucial elements of a great online shopping experience.
Source: Marketing Charts
High-quality product photos can increase engagement and conversion rates.
But without the right camera, you risk producing poor-quality images, which can make potential customers perceive your website as less trustworthy.
To produce great-looking product photos, you don’t necessarily need to invest in an expensive camera.
Invest in a camera that can take clear and accurate photos, particularly one that can capture HD-quality product photos.
In this case, you can use a point-and-click camera or Single Lens Reflex (SLR).
Alternatively, you can use your smartphone – the most affordable option.
2. Use a Tripod
Whether you use your smartphone or a professional camera, you need to use a tripod.
A tripod helps prevent blurry photos when the camera shakes.
Here are a few reasons why you should invest in a good tripod for your product photography work:
- It provides stability: A tripod holds your camera steadily which helps to prevent the camera from shaking. This helps to prevent blurry or fuzzy product images.
- Helps to maintain consistency: Consistency is key for successful ecommerce product photography. This involves lighting and camera angles.
A tripod will provide your camera with a stable base when taking photos which enhances consistency.
- Enables adjustability: Tripods are designed with adjustable stands so you can position your camera at your preferred height when capturing products.
Additionally, a tripod enables you to capture product photos from different angles and views, which gives your customers a clear picture of what the products look like.
Note that tripods come in different sizes and qualities but you don’t need a costly model.
An inexpensive, adjustable-head pocket tripod can do your ecommerce product photography work.
It’s a handy tripod for impromptu and lifestyle shots and can support the weight of a digital camera.
You may also consider using a studio tripod for better stability and image sharpness. However, these tripods require some additional skills, which makes them unsuitable for newbie ecommerce retailers.
3. Use a Seamless Backdrop
For excellent ecommerce product photography, you must make the product the center of attraction. This is the reason why most ecommerce product photos are taken with a clear background like this:
Therefore, you need to invest in a seamless backdrop. This will help you capture photos of products without any visible seams, lines, or other distractions in the background.
Here are a few reasons to use a white background for your ecommerce product photos:
- Helps to make the product the center of attraction and minimizes distraction
- Helps you produce consistent photos of your products
- Most ecommerce marketplaces prioritize white or lightly colored backgrounds
The good thing is that you don’t necessarily need to spend a lot of money to create a good background for your product photography.
You can use an inexpensive white poster to hang on a wall. This is a great idea when shooting photos of smaller objects like electronics, jewelry, etc.
A white paper version or a fabric background can do the trick. They can create a consistent and uniform background for any type of photo shoot.
4. Get Your Lighting Right
In the case of ecommerce product photography, lighting is a critical component.
Even though you can edit the photos once done shooting, no amount of effort can correct a photo taken in bad lighting.
Furthermore, today’s shoppers will instantly ignore a product if the photo looks unclear or shadowy.
On the other hand, product photos shot in a well-lit environment are attractive hence they can boost your sales.
To avoid the hustle of editing photos captured in bad lighting, you should prioritize good lighting.
There are two types of lighting you can use which include:
Natural lighting gives your photos a natural feeling, which makes your products more appealing to customers.
Besides, when you use natural lighting, the product details including the shadows and curves appear beautiful, natural, and authentic.
Here are tips for using natural lighting for ecommerce product photography.
- Plan your photo shooting in the late morning or early afternoon
- Diffuse the light with a translucent sheet
- Use a black reflector to bounce light back onto the product from a specific direction. A black reflector will also absorb the extra light
- Pay attention to the shadows to avoid hiding important product details
- Take product photos at the same time of the day to maintain consistency
Artificial lighting is man-made. In this case, you can manipulate the light based on your preferences.
You can use this lighting option if natural lighting isn’t available or not ideal for the photos you want to capture.
Here are a few products for creating artificial lighting.
- Reflectors: A reflector can come in handy when you want to create artificial lighting for ecommerce product photography as well. Instead of directing the light to the product, you can get it to hit the reflector and bounce back onto the product.
- Softboxes: Softboxes modify light and diffuse it, which helps to create soft light while reducing harsh shadows.
- Light tent: You can use a cube-shaped fabric structure to diffuse the light and create a shadow-free illumination. This is a great idea when shooting smaller items like food items or jewelry.
Pro tip: For better results, use natural light. It helps produce high-quality, attractive product images and is free.
5. Shoot from Multiple Angles
The main purpose of ecommerce product photography is so that you can showcase your product features, functionality, and design virtually- because customers cannot touch or feel it the way they do when shopping in-store.
Your product photos should make potential customers feel as though they’re seeing the product in front of them.
For this reason, you need to capture their attention and make them decide whether to buy or not.
To achieve this, you need to capture the product from different angles. This will help to highlight the key aspects of the product and create a more compelling story.
Here are the best camera angles for ecommerce product photography:
- Front angle: As the name suggests, a front angle is when you capture the product while in front of the camera. This is the common angle for most product shots and helps to showcase a minimalist product look.
- Overhead angle: You probably have heard of the bird’s eye view angle. This is also another commonly used camera angle where you place the camera directly above the product and capture it from a top-down view.
It’s the best angle for showcasing the product's shape and design.
- 45-degree angle: Also known as the three-quarter view, this angle involves placing the camera at a 45-degree angle to the product. If you want to highlight the product texture, this is the best angle to use.
6. Shoot in-use Product Photos
You have probably seen videos or photos taken by people when using certain products.
GoPro is one of the ecommerce brands that leverages this ecommerce product photography tip efficiently.
Here is a good example of a photo taken using a GoPro camera above the clouds by Lukas Favre:
Showing the product within a scene helps to give the customer a good picture of how it looks like using it.
Instead of just capturing the product on the table on a white background, why not capture a photo of someone actually using it?
For instance, if your ecommerce store specializes in selling clothes, you can capture a photo of yourself while putting on the clothes.
LuluLemon, a global athletic apparel retailer that focuses on leggings and yoga clothing leverages this tactic efficiently as well.
In the image below, the brand captures a photo of a client donning LuluLemon garments:
Here are a few benefits of capturing in-use photos:
- Improved product understanding: In-context photos allow shoppers to get a vivid picture of the real-world experience of using your product. This enables them to understand the product features and functionality better.
- Increased customer trust and confidence: Product photos showing the product in use improve customer confidence and trust. It’s a powerful tactic for humanizing the product and making it more relatable.
- Improved engagement: In-context photos can grab shoppers’ attention and make them stay longer on your ecommerce store. This improves engagement and conversion rates.
7. Edit Photos Efficiently
Using the right camera to capture product images isn’t enough to produce excellent product photos for your ecommerce marketing. In most cases, you will need to do some little editing to fine-tune the photos before uploading them to your online store.
Sometimes the little editing and cropping can make a huge difference between a blurry product photo and a sharper one.
Editing plays a crucial role in boosting the quality and effectiveness of product photos.
For instance, things like color correction, removing unwanted objects, adjusting brightness, contrast, and other aspects of the photos can improve the visual appeal of the product and make it attention-grabbing.
Editing can also enhance the consistency of your product photos across all product lines.
Furthermore, editing can boost the accuracy of the photos, reducing the risks of returns caused by incorrect expectations from customers.
Using a photo editing tool can be a great idea.
Here are some of the best photo editing tools for ecommerce product photography:
- Adobe Photoshop Express
- Adobe Lightroom
Most of these ecommerce photo editing tools are affordable or come with a generous free version you can use to edit photos efficiently. They are also easy to use for both beginners and experts alike.
8. Optimize Your Product Photos
Product images add beauty to your website. They make it attractive, and engaging, and can increase conversion rates.
However, they can be the source of a poor-performing website in terms of sales.
According to Digital, 1 in 2 online shoppers will abandon their cart if pages load too slowly:
And you know what?
One of the key culprits of a slow-loading website is unoptimized product photos.
You need to optimize the file size, type, and other aspects of the product images.
For ecommerce product photos, you need to keep them under 70 kb. You can free online image compression and editing tools to optimize your images effectively.
Also, use JPEG to strike the balance of file size and quality.
Ecommerce Product Photography FAQs
How to do product photography for ecommerce?
To ensure effective product photography for ecommerce, you need to choose a good camera, use a tripod, use a seamless backdrop, get your lighting right, shoot from multiple angles, shoot in-use product photos, edit photos efficiently, and optimize your product photos
What equipment do I need for DIY product photography in ecommerce?
To capture great product photos for ecommerce, you need a digital camera or smartphone with a good resolution, a tripod to keep your camera steady, a seamless background paper or cloth for clean backgrounds, softboxes or diffused lights for even lighting; and reflectors that bounce light and reduce shadows.
How can I make my products stand out in photos?
To take stand-out product photos, use contrasting backgrounds to highlight the product, employ creative angles and perspectives, focus on unique product features, and utilize props that complement the product.
What lighting setup is best for product photography?
- Soft, diffused lighting to minimize harsh shadows
- Place lights on both sides of the product for even illumination
- Use reflectors to fill in shadows gently
How do I edit product photos to enhance their appeal?
To efficiently edit ecommerce product pictures, adjust brightness, contrast, and saturation, remove the background or replace it with a clean, consistent backdrop; and focus on enhancing product details without over-editing.
In today’s digital world where first impressions matter, great ecommerce product photography can help to make your online shop stand out and generate more sales.
Stunning product photos not only make your online store attractive but also improve product understanding.
Whether you’re an established ecommerce retailer or a seasoned entrepreneur looking to take your digital store to the next level, mastering the art of productive photography is your ticket to attracting, engaging, and converting customers.