How Do You Shoot a Product?
An interesting picture of a product can attract as many customers as a thousand words could not.
The use of high-quality product photography can boost your eCommerce website's success. It's likely that the percentage of internet users who prefer to purchase online (51% in one survey) will continue to rise.
However, data also suggests that almost half of consumers may prefer making in-store purchases whenever possible.
The ability to shop from the comfort of one's own couch is simply one of many variables that contribute to an online store's success, and e-commerce isn't everything to all customers.
In order to appeal to the 51% of consumers who would rather shop online, you must present your audience with photographs of your products that are not just clear but also captivating. If you don't, your site visitors won't have the same level of trust in your products that they would if they were able to physically put them on.
However, all it takes to take a great product photo is a point and shoot.
Creating beautiful photographs that persuade customers to buy on the product page itself requires the right equipment, lighting, and space for even the most basic products.
Don't worry; you won't need nearly as many things as you think are on your shopping list. Some of these items you probably already have on hand. Below you'll find a digestible list of suggestions and resources to get you started, as well as actual product photographs illustrating how to put this guidance to use.
Images of your products serve as both a representation of the high quality of your goods and as portals into your online shop, resulting in two crucial outcomes:
- Honesty and confidence
- Customers are looking for proof of a product's worth and quality when they visit the product page.
- The photos serve as a first impression, and that first impression can make or break a customer's decision to continue shopping.
- This manual will show you how to capture images that: Increase the lifetime worth of a customer to your business.
- How to save time and money when making photographs is another topic we'll cover.
- It's important to remember that a hefty expense is not necessary to develop high-quality images of your products.
What Is Product Photography?
Using a wide range of photographic methods, product photography creates visually compelling images of products to entice consumers to make a purchase.
Advertising products to consumers directly through channels including company websites, catalogues, brochures, magazine ads, and billboards all rely heavily on high-quality product photography.
Now that we have that settled, we can move on to discussing the reasons why pictures are so important.
Explaining How Pictures Drive More Sales
Our sense of sight accounts for roughly 90percentage points of all incoming data. Even if the writing on a website is superb, viewers will focus on the images first.
Customers' mental processes and decisions are heavily influenced by the quality of photos, making them the ultimate determinant of conversion and retention rates.
First impressions last, and the credibility of your business is directly tied to the quality of your product photos.
Make the most of your first impression by showing them polished, professional photographs that will pique their interest. The most important memento from your wedding will be the images you took. Need help finding the perfect wedding photographer but have no idea where to look?
High-Quality Images Improve All Points of Contact with the Customer
Ninety-three percent of buyers say images are very important to them when making a selection. Images have a significant impact on how people perceive the worth and quality of your goods.
They make your product page and the rest of your site more friendly and approachable by speaking directly to your target demographic.
As an example, think about Naturally Curly's. They showcase beautiful photographs of ordinary items, which makes those items seem hipper and more desirable.
View the product images provided below. Is it easy to trust them? How clean and well-kept do they seem? It bears repeating that you can get high-quality, professional product shots without breaking the bank.
Visuals Play a Significant Role in the Branding Process
Your brand should inform every business choice you make, even the ones below.
Sharing content from numerous social media platforms.
Any and all promotional activities, including any and all website changes
The pictures you use are the engine that powers your brand. Customers' interest is piqued, confidence is built, and additional research is encouraged all because of these initial impressions.
A picture should have a consistent and relatable tone throughout, from its quality to its subject matter to its colour scheme and saturation levels.
If you want to build lasting relationships with your clientele, which should be your top priority, then you need to take photos.
Some Basics of Product Photography
Since you are probably spending most of your time optimising your Search Engine data feed and penning Online product descriptions that convert effectively, you probably don't have much time to master the art of photography. Your wedding photos from the Yarra Valley will be treasured for years to come.
To get things rolling, I'll provide you five basic guidelines for taking your first product photos.
Don't Compromise with the Quality on the Lights
Let's begin with the lighting for the product photography. The goods and the setting will not look as they do in real life if the lighting is off.
Without additional lighting, a white background in a photograph will appear grey.
Lighting for product photography can be done in a studio, outdoors using natural light, or anywhere else with access to artificial light.
The environment you choose for your product photography will depend on the item being shot, the reason for taking the photograph, and the promotional medium you intend to use.
It is highly recommended to use natural lighting when photographing products that involve people, clothing, or food. Photos that appear genuine are also a fantastic choice for publishing on social media platforms like Instagram.
In order to make the most of the available natural light, you should face your product towards a window if you are shooting the pictures indoors.
However, if you can, you should photograph your things in natural light. It's preferable to complete this task while the sun is still weak, either early in the morning or late in the afternoon.
Also ideal are days with a few clouds in the sky. Taking shots of your shoe collection at midday, when the sun is directly overhead, will result in images with excessive glare.
Artificial product photography lighting is advised, however, if your product is intended for indoor usage (like cookware), contains minute features (like artwork), or is being sold on Online stores.
The good news is that you can get over your fear of light by constructing a basic studio and learning a few tricks.
It can be nerve-wracking to utilise artificial lighting for product photos, but it's a requirement for selling on Amazon or Google Shopping.
Take Advantage of a Tripod
A tripod may seem like an odd piece of equipment to use, but it can make a huge difference in the clarity and quality of your product photos. Furthermore, utilising them requires little effort and costs next to nothing.
Without a steady hand or a solid tripod, camera shaking is inevitable. Using a tripod to keep your camera steady is necessary if you want your product photos to look expertly done.
There are various tripods on the market in a variety of price ranges for every sort of camera there is, so it doesn't matter if you have an expensive Slr or a simple smartphone. Get your camera one at Amazon.com. Investing the extra few minutes or so into setting up a tripod will pay off handsomely in the end if you care about the quality of your product photos.
Try to Get in the Edit
When writing a paper late at night, do you ever tell yourself, "I can easily edit this in the morning," even though you know you won't be able to focus. It's morning, and you've finally realised that your first version was so poorly written that it would take more time to edit it than it would to just start over. It's going to take you doing the whole thing over again from scratch.
This is what happens when a photographer doesn't bother to edit their photos. You can't just snap a few quick images of your goods, slap them in Photoshop, and call them good to go.
Although the skills of an image editor can greatly increase the quality of a product photo, there is still a limit to what can be accomplished. Editing is like making little adjustments to a masterpiece.
You'll run into issues if you try to edit the background off of the picture or crop out any part of it. Consider your post-shoot editing options for product images.
With this mindset, you'll snap shots knowing full well that you can improve their aesthetics with minimal post-capture processing. Because of this, the finished product will be more satisfying to use.
Learn the Fundamentals of Photo Editing
Editing is a necessary ability for product photography, even if it should be used sparingly in the great majority of cases. You can greatly improve the quality of your final product by performing a few basic tweaks on your product shot, such as increasing or decreasing the saturation. Adobe Photoshop allows for such manipulations.
The problem with editing is that there is such a wide variety of techniques and approaches that it might be intimidating to try to learn them all on your own.
You should learn the basics from experts so that you don't end up entirely confused while trying to edit your product photos. Having this knowledge is crucial before attempting to use Photoshop.
There's no need to go into debt to learn how to edit images. You should upload it to YouTube immediately. Numerous online resources offer no-cost guides to the basics of your chosen editing programme.
According to data made public by Facebook in February 2019, 83% of Instagram users feel that the platform simplifies their ability to discover new products and services. Another study found that after seeing a product or service promoted on Instagram, 79% of consumers went on to learn more about it elsewhere online.
In order to be successful, e-commerce advertising networks must have a presence on Instagram. If you want to take better pictures of your products, consider the following five pointers.
Find Motivation in Your Favourite Brands
There is no such thing as a wasted effort when it comes to looking to the efforts of others for inspiration. No doubt, you have a few favourite brands in mind right off the bat. Look at the product photos they've used and consider how you may apply similar concepts to the goods you're selling.
Take for instance the fact that you run a women's clothing store in your community. The best way to make sure those moments are preserved for posterity is with a professionally made wedding film. Get in touch with us at Wild Romantic Photography right away to talk about our wedding film videography services.
You should check out Instagram, find some of your favourite women's apparel brands, and consider what it is about the photographs of their products that appeals to you. By employing a monochromatic colour palette and a minimal background, the product is pushed to the forefront.
Learning the "Rule of Thirds"
The rule of thirds is addressed in many art programmes and the vast majority of beginner photography courses due to its widespread applicability.
According to this guideline, you should mentally partition your canvas into nine sections.
The "rule of thirds" was devised so that artists would have a practical guide to use when attempting to create balanced compositions.
Finding the sweet spot of your work, in this case your product, is also a useful exercise. The goal is to place the product so that it lies on one of the intersecting lines.
Numerous studies have shown that viewers' eyes are drawn to the picture's edges rather than the middle. That's what they say, anyway. [Footnote needed] The rule of thirds doesn't try to change how we naturally process images; rather, it exploits this tendency.
Create Basic Set Pieces
Don't overcomplicate things by trying to do too much with the product photography props. Be mindful that the product itself should always be the focus of any product photography.
However, braces aren't necessarily a terrible thing and might enhance your presentation in some cases. But now the challenge is, how to decide which props to use? Always err on the side of caution when using braces; make them simple, consistent with the colour scheme, and relevant to the action taking place or the object being sold.
Get a Lot of Shots in from Different Vantage Points
The temptation to merely photograph one or two of each product before moving on to the next may be great if you need to photograph a relatively extensive line of products. But this will not help in any way with filming the video for the cut.
Shooting your product from different angles will help you provide your buyers a more realistic impression of it. Doing so will also give you more to work with during the editing process, reducing the likelihood that you'll be left asking, "Should we rework this one entirely?"
The ability to take numerous photos and choose the best one gives product photography its flexibility.
Give Your Product Some Value
Clients must be able to mentally "use" your goods. If a buyer has problems seeing how your product would improve her life after viewing the pictures of it on your website, she is less likely to make a purchase from you.
A person with a smaller quantity of disposable income will usually think twice about making a purchase unless they are confident that it will improve their quality of life.
It might be challenging to envision potential uses for things removed from their original context. For instance, a couch shopper definitely won't purchase a sofa that's described as "just sitting against a white background," as this doesn't help them see the sofa in their own home.
Don't Be Afraid to Use Your Smartphone Camera
Here's where I'm supposed to convince you to shell out the cash for a high-end camera with 50 megapixels (MP) of resolution and a 100 mm-diameter screw-on lens. But I won't be participating in such activity.
Use the features to their fullest if you already have a camera that fulfils this criteria. On the other hand, using a smartphone to capture images of a wide variety of things is entirely acceptable.
Some of the earlier smartphones featured cameras that functioned on less than 4 megapixels, making it impossible to capture crucial visual features of products where detail was key.
However, modern smartphones like the iPhone 7, Google Pixel, and Samsung Galaxy S4 have lenses with resolutions of 12MP and 13MP, as well as a range of "temperature" settings that let you optimise your images for the many types of light in which you may shoot them.
Shoot from a Tripod for Photo Consistency
The first rule I must lay down before explaining tripods is that you must never try to point your phone's lens at the subject by putting it up against something firm.
Because of how easily this improvised arrangement might move about as you shoot, you can expect noticeable irregularities in the look of your photos. If your camera is resting on something, like a pile of books, be sure it doesn't move about when you take pictures.
If you only need a few pictures of your products for your online store, it isn't a big deal to take them yourself. However, if you're shooting handheld and your product photography needs to grow as your business does, it might be difficult to keep objects consistently oriented from shot to shot.
If you value consistency in the quality of your output, investing in a sturdy tripod is a must. And, thankfully, the price of buying one is no longer an impractically high outlay of capital for a firm.
One of the following equipment, in addition to one of the following tripod types, is required while taking images with a smartphone:
Traditional vs. Flexible Mobile Grip
The adapter encircles your phone and contains threads so it can be attached to a standard tripod or a GoPro gimbal. This allows you to operate the camera in both portrait and landscape orientations, regardless of whether the screen is facing you or not.
Put the mount in front of the product once you know which one you'll need, and then consider taping three pieces of tape to the floor to indicate where you want the tripod's legs to stay for the length of the shot.
Natural Light Vs. Artificial Light: Choose One
Remember that variable lighting can significantly alter the final outcome of your product photos. A buyer should remember that seeing an item in person is the greatest approach to analyse it because it provides the buyer with the most information. When a photo is a website visitor's only point of reference, it's important to set the scene so as to highlight the elements that will ultimately influence their purchase choice.
In some cases, the best lighting for one product might really detract from the attractiveness of another; conversely, the best lighting for one product might actually improve the appeal of another. The principal source of illumination can be either natural light or artificial light:
When people refer to "natural light," they typically mean sunshine. This sort of lighting is also known as "soft light" since the sun's rays produce a softer and wider spectrum of illumination than, say, a lamp shining directly on the goods. Online businesses can considerably benefit from using natural light when shooting product photographs if,
The product was either shot in a natural outdoor setting or is meant for usage in the great outdoors.
The item can be used by the consumer, worn as an accessory, or even used as a weapon (people tend to look better in natural light).
You are focusing less on the product itself and more on the context in which it is used.
There are many different types of artificial light sources, including candles, fire, and, most often, light bulbs. Because of the smaller and more concentrated surface it produces, this kind of light is sometimes referred to as "hard light." This type of lighting is ideal for products with physical details that need to be highlighted to impress an online consumer.
Never use more than one source of artificial or natural light for a single photo. Doing so is the standard of care.
An artificially lit photograph can appear softer when exposed to natural light, whereas a naturally exposed image can appear sharper when exposed to artificial light. You wouldn't like any obstacles, would you?
Fill or Bounce Your Light to Soften Shadows
Whether you're using natural or artificial lighting, you'll need to mitigate the shadows that the other end of a product casts. The situation can be tackled from one of three perspectives:
The primary source of light should be supplemented with a secondary, weaker source.
In order to counteract the harsh shadow cast behind an object by your leading light, you can employ a secondary source of illumination known as fill light. In order to do this, you need to direct your fill light in the opposite direction of your leading light.
Flashbulb Bounce Card
Small cards known as bounce cards or reflector cards redirect the leading light onto the surface below your product, minimising the quantity of shadows cast by it.
Certain bounce cards that go over the flashbulb of a professional camera can soften the intensity of the flash's brightness. By bouncing a softer light down from above your set, rather than directly at it, this card helps you avoid harsh shadows behind your subject.
Standalone Bounce Card
There is no way to use a flashbulb bounce card with a smartphone camera because there is no actual flash to attach the card to. You should turn your solo bounce card so that it is facing away from your main light source.
If you are just starting out with product photography, you can use this bounce card in place of a fill light. If you point a camera flash or a bulb at the front of your product, you'll need fill light to diffuse the harsh light.
Light counters come in a variety of shapes and sizes, but ultimately, it's your job to minimise shadows while highlighting the features that make your product appealing to online shoppers. If you take the shot correctly, you'll see a big change:
Use a Sweep or Portrait Mode to Emphasize the Product
It's important to keep in mind that the ideal positioning of your goods, lights, and bounce cards might vary greatly depending on the surroundings.
But don't choose a spot based on how straightforward it will be to implement. Grounds should mirror the way you want potential customers to feel after viewing your goods online.
Before deciding on a background colour, consider whether you'd like something simple like white, or something more lively and true to life. Getting each one done is a breeze.
White Background: Sweep
Setting up a table against white drywall isn't your only option when you need to deal with white backgrounds. Marks on a white wall that aren't apparent to the naked eye are picked up by the camera on even a smartphone. If you need your background to be totally blank and free of any smudges or sharp edges, a sweep is the tool for you.
A sweep is a broad, flexible sheet of paper that serves as a base for your product and bends up to make a white wall behind it. Its base will serve as the floor for anything you're selling.
The camera is unable to capture the arc of the sweep, drawing attention to the most crucial aspects of the product and ensuring that the viewer doesn't become distracted. The necessity of a sweep can be seen in the following side-by-side comparison:
Real-World Background: Portrait Mode
Photography of functional or modelled objects looks best against active, natural settings. Case in point: the briefcase photo earlier in this article, which was taken against just such a setting.
In contrast, it is simple for a real-world background to detract from the focus of the photograph, making it unclear whatever item in the picture you are attempting to sell.
The "portrait mode" feature is featured on many of the newest smartphones and on many professional cameras. Using this stage, you can give your product more nuance and intensity. This tweak mutes the setting, which clarifies the product's setting without distracting from the item itself.
Shoot a Variety of Images
As a final piece of eCommerce photography advice, I recommend shooting many shots of each product. To give online shoppers the same feeling they get in a physical store, it's a good idea to showcase a wide range of product shots that let them virtually interact with the things (by looking at, touching, and even trying them on).
Besides snapping images of the garment laid out on a white background, you should also photograph it being worn by a mannequin whose skin tone contrasts with that of the product. This is recommended, for instance, while photographing garments.
Take more pictures of the clothing once it has been modelled. The model's mobility will allow you to capture images of the product in a wide range of settings and settings.
Please don't feel pressured to go out and buy every piece of information and tool at once.
By putting these suggestions for product photography into practise gradually, you can see which alterations have the greatest impact on your store's visual attractiveness. Now that you've learned a thing or two about photography, you might want to rethink your approach.
Should I Invest in Professional Product Photography?
Of course, this assumes you have the means to do so.
Take images of your products in use as well as in isolation; these will be invaluable when it comes to merchandising and selling your internet brand. Customers can't try it on or examine it in detail before buying, therefore your product photos must convince them to make a purchase.
A photo is a website visitor's only point of reference; it's important to set the scene so as to highlight elements that will ultimately influence their purchase choice. The principal source of illumination can be either natural light or artificial light, which creates different lighting effects for different products. It's your job to minimise shadows while highlighting the features that make your product appealing to online shoppers. Certain bounce cards that go over the flashbulb of a professional camera can soften the intensity of the flash's brightness. If you are just starting out with product photography, you can use this bounce card in place of a fill light.
Photography of functional or modelled objects looks best against active, natural settings. If you need your background to be totally blank and free of any smudges or sharp edges, a sweep is the tool for you. The camera is unable to capture the arc of the sweep, drawing attention to the most crucial aspects of the product. To do this, take product photos that let them virtually interact with the things (by looking at, touching, and even trying them on).
- Remember that variable lighting can significantly alter the final outcome of your product photos.
- In some cases, the best lighting for one product might really detract from the attractiveness of another; conversely, the best lighting for one product might actually improve the appeal of another.
- The principal source of illumination can be either natural light or artificial light: Natural Light When people refer to "natural light," they typically mean sunshine.
- Online businesses can considerably benefit from using natural light when shooting product photographs if, The product was either shot in a natural outdoor setting or is meant for usage in the great outdoors.
- Fill or Bounce Your Light to Soften Shadows Whether you're using natural or artificial lighting, you'll need to mitigate the shadows that the other end of a product casts.
- Standalone Bounce Card There is no way to use a flashbulb bounce card with a smartphone camera because there is no actual flash to attach the card to.
- A sweep is a broad, flexible sheet of paper that serves as a base for your product and bends up to make a white wall behind it.
- The "portrait mode" feature is featured on many of the newest smartphones and on many professional cameras.
- Shoot a Variety of Images As a final piece of eCommerce photography advice, I recommend shooting many shots of each product.
- To give online shoppers the same feeling they get in a physical store, it's a good idea to showcase a wide range of product shots that let them virtually interact with the things (by looking at, touching, and even trying them on).
- By putting these suggestions for product photography into practise gradually, you can see which alterations have the greatest impact on your store's visual attractiveness.