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8 Things to focus on when shooting products to maximize sales

A guest post by Holly Cardew from Pixc (@pixcphotos), a service that turns average product images into beautiful ones by editing and removing the background within 24 hours.

Over 67% of consumers say that product images are more important than descriptions and customer reviews. So, it is important that you focus on producing high quality product photos for your online store.

By providing great product photos, you will create a strong brand image for your potential customers, and will also make the purchase decision easier resulting in less customer support questions and returns.

Here are eight things you should focus on when shooting your products.

1. The setup

The photography setup is important to keep your product images consistent. Set up a photography sweep, which can be a large white piece of paper or fabric.  

For small items, you could create your own DIY product photography table. However for larger products, a wall or photography background stand works best.

You ideally want a place to create a setup that you can leave intact so for any future shoots, the lighting and consistency stays the same.

2. Natural light

Unless you’re a professional, artificial lighting is hard to get right. Instead, I suggest using indirect natural lighting.

Position the product so that the window is on the left or the right of the product. This will light up the product so that the product shows its true colors when you shoot it.

To avoid harsh shadows and to balance the lighting, you may want to invest in a light reflector or create your own fill light with a piece of card by folding it in half.

3. Keep it simple. On a white background

You don’t want to distract the potential customer with anything other than the product itself, so keep your product catalog and product pages clean and clear from any unnecessary distractions.

Remove the background from your product images and give them a clean “on screen” white background (#ffffff).  A white photography sweep will not appear perfect white on screen, so it is essential to post edit your photos. You can use a service like Pixc to make this process quicker and easier.

Marketplaces, such as Amazon, Google Shopping, Houzz etc. all require you to have photos on a white background. This is because they have done testing and know that this is the best way to optimize your photos for increased sales.

4. Multiple angles

There is nothing worse that shopping online and only being able to see the front of the product.  Provide the customer with multiple product photos from different angles.

For example, if you are shooting footwear, you want to take a photo of the sides, top and the sole. You may not think this is obvious but it will show the potential customer what the toe shape looks like and what the sole is made of. Remember, some customers are particular about the fabrics they purchase, and if this is not shown in the photos and they can’t be bothered emailing customer support, they will just move onto their next option - your competitor!

5. Context photos

When shopping online, it is always a challenge to know the real scale of the product without looking at the dimensions. To make it easy for your visitors to visualize the product, provide in context photos.

For furniture, artwork and homewares, place the item in a room. You can always photoshop it or manipulate it into a setting to provide scale.

 

For clothing, it is always best to show it on a model styled with other products so your potential customers can get an idea of how they could style it or what else they may have in their wardrobe that would go with the piece.

6. Size matters

Size does matter on the web. You want to make sure that your photos are large enough so the user can see the detail of the fabric but not too large that it takes too long to load.

The ideal size is at least 1200px on the longest side and make sure that your item takes up 90% of the canvas so it appears large enough on the page.

7. Publish user generated content

User generated content (also known as UGC) is another great way to show your product in context but you don’t need to create it - your customers do it for you!

You can use tools such as Candid or Pixlee that can be integrated into your store to collect and manage these photos.

Another plus is that customers love to be featured, so when you feature them, let them know! They may just share it with their friends.

 

8. Keep it consistent

Consistency is key to make your store easy to browse. Time and time again I see stores with images that are all different shapes (portrait and landscape) and sizes.

To make it easier for the visitor, I suggest creating a template and keeping all the images square, which means that all your photos will sit aligned within your product catalog.

If you are on Shopify, check out this free app for consistent product images - Photo Resize. This tool will automatically give your store a professional look by making your photos the same size.

Product photography and good product pages take time and resources to get right. However if you make it a focus at the beginning, you will spend less time on customer support questions, there will be less returns and therefore, you will increase your sales!

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