They say you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, but when you’re shopping, you have no other option. That’s why it’s so important to make sure that your product photos are high-quality and eye-catching. Changing a product’s photo can immediately increase sales – or it can turn buyers away.
It’s best to hire a professional to take your product photos, but if you’re strapped for cash, these tips can help you take better product photos.
Lighting Is Everything
Think you need a fancy camera to take pictures? Think again. Lighting is the key most important thing when taking a good photo.
Always shoot in daylight – unless you’re able to work in a studio with professional lighting options – and shoot away from the light source. If you’re shooting outdoors, find a shady spot to set up your products.
When limited natural light is available, you can use household lamps to add more light. If going this route, you’ll want to diffuse the light with copier paper or sheets of baking paper.
Avoid using flash. It washes out colors and generally produces a poor quality photo. Also, be aware of reflections and backgrounds. Otherwise, you may be visible in the distance behind your products or reflected on a shiny surface in the background.
Have The Right Tools
Aside from a camera, there are a few tools you should have on hand to ensure that your photos come out as professional as possible.
As a general rule of thumb, you’ll want to use a white background. Paper sweeps are great to use as backgrounds because you can tear away the dirty parts of the paper and roll down a new sheet.
If you’re on a tighter budget, you can use white poster board. Just make sure that it’s pure white. An off-white color can set things off.
Add Props To Make Things Interesting
Depending on your products, you may want to add props to make the photo more appealing to buyers. Experts will tell you that isolating the product is crucial, and this is true for the most part, but if you’re selling clothing, pairing the item with props can make it more interesting and even give potential buyers ideas on how to pair the item with accessories.
Online clothing store Zaful does this well. They pair their clothing items with shoes, sunglasses, and hats to help buyers visualize the complete outfit.
Get Your Photos Retouched
If the lighting and exposure are correct, you’ll take a great photo that could probably be used right away and without any editing. But getting your photos retouched will make them look more professional.
You can outsource the photo editing, or you can take on this task yourself. Photoshop is the industry standard for photo retouching.
Product photography is both an art and a science. If you don’t get the absolute perfect photo the first time, don’t panic. Remember that your online store is a work in progress. In the very early stages, it’s okay to get a mediocre photo up there for the sake of building up your shop. Just make sure that you work on improving the quality of your photos ASAP.
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