Getting started with your own e-commerce business can be an exciting and overwhelming experience. Once you have your products to sell, you’ll need a way to make them stand out amongst all the competition online. One way to do this is with thoughtful, attractive images of your product.
For your next e-commerce photoshoot, use floatation to give your product the illusion of action and see how it compares to your competition with a Listing Lineup. Also, keep your image clean and simple without overusing props.
In the rest of this article, we’ll look at the top six tips to help bring your product photography to the next level. All of these tips are easily accessible and don’t require any major investment or expensive equipment.
So let’s get started in learning how to take better product photos today!
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What Are The 2 Types of Photography for E-Commerce?
Ever since the first mail-order catalog was created in the mid-1800’s, product photos have been essential in visualizing offerings and making commerce more successful.
The 2 types of photography for e-commerce are the clean, white background only images and in-context, or lifestyle, product photos.
- White background product photos serve the purpose of being non-distracting as well as able to fit into multiple different types of designs, whether they are on a website or in a catalog.
- In-context lifestyle photos make up for this by showing how your product will be used in real life settings. These types of photos are more engaging and will connect better with potential customers than a bland white background photo would.
But what if I were to tell you that there is actually a third type of E-Commerce photo?
Of course, I’m referring to the infographic. These types of product photos are popular because they show the product in a way that provides more engaging information.
They are typically created with design elements combined with either in-context/lifestyle images and white background product photos, and we have an entire template pack designed around this which you can use for your own commercial projects.
7 Tips For Your Next E-Commerce Photoshoot
You can find many e-commerce businesses with a variety of products to sell, all vying for your attention online.
Importantly though, you’ll need photos which showcase the product in an attractive way so that it is more likely somebody will buy it from you instead of from someone else.
In order to do this, we need to follow some basic guidelines.
1) Keep it Simple
Simplicity is key when it comes to e-commerce photoshoots, especially for online retailers. A complicated background or setting can distract from your product that needs showcasing.
In many cases, overuse of props can confuse viewers into wondering what exactly your product is or what’s included, so it’s best to keep things simple.
2) Use Your Competition To Create A Lineup
One of the double-edged swords of the e-commerce world is its accessibility to everyone. While the market is open to you to set up your own store, it is also open to every other entrepreneur around the globe. When it comes to the product you are trying to sell, you may easily feel overwhelmed by the competition.
However, you can use this competition to your advantage. Search for the product you are looking to sell on your platform of choice. When the results pop up, spend some time analyzing the top results. How are the images? Which designs are appealing? How could you arrange and photograph your products to be more eye-catching and attract potential customers to your listing?
Once you have used the existing listings to spark some new ideas and innovation for your photoshoot, you can continue to use these listings to help you make some final decisions.
One of our favorite techniques that we use to create eye-popping hero photos is to use the “Listing Lineup” where we take our photo and overlay it within the results to see how it compares.
If you’re trying to choose the main photo to use for your listing, try placing your top choices next to the existing listings and see what grabs your attention. You can take a screenshot of the search results to place your photos side by side easily and see what works and what doesn’t.
3) Choose the Right Background
When it comes to your background, the right choice will depend on the product you want to sell. A plain white background can be ideal to allow your product to be shown clearly and attractively. However, you may opt for a more lively background instead.
You can also create a scene showing how your product would be used in real life. Let’s take a look at a few options for the perfect background, depending on the product.
Use an Infinity Curve
If you’re struggling to choose a background for your product, you can’t go wrong using an infinity curve. This is the name given to a plain white background that gently slopes from the wall to the floor, avoiding any harsh lines where these surfaces would meet.
Of course, it doesn’t necessarily have to be white, but any other color that would be complementary to your brand.
You can easily create your own infinity curve using household items. You might try white paper or fabric and fasten it in a way that gives you the soft curve often used by professionals.
Create a Scene
If you want to bring your image to life, you may choose to create a more realistic background than solid white. If you choose to create a scene for your product, you can let your imagination guide you.
Remember to keep it simple, as you don’t want your product getting lost in a chaotic mess. This kind of background could be a simple prop that you use to display your product. It could also be photographing your product in its natural environment.
For example, you may photograph your mason jars in a clean, bright kitchen environment. You may also choose to photograph in nature, letting stones, sand, or grass create a realistic backdrop.
You may even hire in a model for this kind of photography. By using someone who can bring the product to life, you may be able to attract more attention to your listing. This will all depend on the product you’re looking to sell and your resources available to accomplish your goal.
4) Make Your Product Float
One way to transform the composition of your photo is to lift the product up a bit to give it the sense that it is floating in the frame. This effect can be achieved with household products, such as a bit of wire, tape or some sticky wax. Using wire can help you suspend your product at an angle, and the tape or sticky wax can be used to tilt your product at its base.
No matter the material you use, adding some lift or tilt to your product photo can make the composition more appealing and dynamic. This effect can really help your listing to stand out against the competition.
5) Maximize Listing Real Estate With A 1:1 Crop
At the end of the day, it’s the little details that can significantly improve your visibility within the listings, and making sure you maximize your “real estate” is one way you can get the most out of your product photos.
Most cameras are able to set the sensor crop to 4:3, 16:9, and 1:1. And since most product images need to be in a 1:1, or square format, you can ensure you have the perfect composition and angle for your photo.
So set your camera sensor to 1:1 and make sure every area of the photo is filled as much as possible with your product, and you’ll have a fantastic listing image that is as large as possible.
One of the great things about doing your own photoshoot is your ability to experiment. If you’re a novice when it comes to photographing products, you can learn a lot through trial and error. You may try shooting the same product with both a white infinity curve and a more life-like background. You may try with natural light or with artificial lighting. Afterward, you can easily look at your photos and see which ones work the best.
The ability to experiment freely will let your creativity play while creating a wide range of images to choose from. Don’t be afraid to try new things– new angles, background, perspectives– whatever you can think of doing. This experimentation will help you become a better photographer while giving you great options for your product listing.
7) Learn How To Edit
Almost no product photo is perfect straight from the camera. In fact, almost all of them will require at least some level of cleaning up, whether it’s removing dust & scratches or ensuring your background is perfectly white.
Although it will require a small investment of time to get started, learning your way around a comprehensive photo editing program is a great way to raise the quality of your images. By learning how to make some simple edits to clean up your photos, you will be able to eliminate any distractions or undesirable areas in your original photos.
With resources online, such as Youtube, you can get started right away learning the basics of these programs. Of course, you can always outsource the editing to a talented friend or employee. However, if you are looking to handle all aspects of your e-commerce business, this will be a valuable skill you can apply every time you have a new product to photograph.
Through trial and error, you can experiment with creating the ideally edited photo for your business. Remember, you can always compare your photo to the other top listings for your product and notice how you react. Where is your eye drawn? Would you be enticed to click on this listing? If you’re not sure, show the images to someone else and ask for their opinion to help guide you.
By following these six tips, you can easily improve the quality of your next product photoshoot. Remember that taking the time to create stunning product photos is an important investment for your business. Eye-catching, attractive photos can help generate for you and your business in the long run.
For more in-depth information on taking better product photos, check out our article on best practices.