Once you get your seller account set up and your product ready to go, then your focus eventually turns to marketing. This is all about persuading your potential customers to buy the product, and good quality images are a big part of it.
There are a lot of tricks and well-known tips you can use to make your product images stand out, look professional and grab the attention of your audience. Most importantly, they’ll let customers know everything they need to know, or just enough to book a sale.
In this article, we’ll be walking you through the best practices you can adopt to make sure your product images are distinct, memorable, and persuasive.
The purpose behind using top-quality images for your product listing
Product photography is primarily about four things:
- Making a good, lasting impression in your audience’s mind. You do this through attractive visuals that actually help reflect your brand in a better light and convey a sense of trust.
- Giving your customers information about the product through the fastest means available.
- Capturing your audience’s attention in a list where you have countless similar products competing.
- Finally, encouraging your potential buyer to make the purchase through a series of honest but persuasive product images.
Tips to take good quality product images for the listing:
Buy a Medium Budget Camera
If you’re just starting out, it’s best to use a decent camera but you don’t have to go overboard and buy a super expensive model just for the purpose of taking good product photos. Set your sights on a camera that’s somewhere in the middle, budget-wise. It’s good to have a few handy features so you can try out a variety of aesthetics. You just don’t have to spend too much on the camera before you even start selling.
You also don’t have to be a professional photographer to take decent pictures of your product. It’s all a matter of trial and error. Practice is key, so keep working on your skills till the results are satisfactory.
Get the Lighting Right
The key element that makes your product picture stand out is your use of light. When you use a sound camera, you have access to professional advantages, such as control over exposure, shutter speed and so much more.
A lot of amateur-looking product images on Amazon have the same flaw in common. They’re all over-exposed. In other words, it gives off the effect of harsh lighting and makes it difficult for customers to ascertain whether or not the product is accurately represented.
If you’re unsure whether the lighting is a bit too much, it’s best to stay on the safe side by under-exposing your images. It creates a better contrast and makes the contours of your product look well defined. In other words, the details become more prominent as opposed to when you have too much light and the product ends up blending into the background.
Besides, under-exposed images tend to look a lot more dramatic given the right setting. This is exactly the effect you’re going for when you market a product. It is also worth noting that under-exposed images tend to have less of a grainy look, which works to your advantage.
Play with Contrast
The background where you shoot is just as important as the product image. Try to frame your product against a background color that either complements it well or creates a pleasant contrast. It doesn’t have to be as exaggerated as black and weight. You can get creative with it too. For instance, if your product is a dark beige T-shirt, set it against a teal-colored bed sheet to really bring out the difference. (Just an example).
Choosing a good background is one of the most fun and artistic aspects of shooting product images. You get to look for really creative combinations and find different ways to make the background look interesting.
It could even be something as simple as setting the product on the windowsill while it’s raining outside or letting it be partially exposed to direct sunlight in the afternoon to give it a warm hue. Whatever you do, make sure the frame isn’t overdone with too many colors. The priority is making it easier for audiences to discern your product and engaging their attention as you do it.
Shoot without filter
Sometimes it is tempting to shoot with a filter and just use the image as it appears but this is a very lazy approach, especially when the product image is going to be uploaded to your listing. Always try to shoot in RAW mode so that all the features you get are as true to life as possible. Save your editing for later. This will give you just the right practical experience you need to shoot better product pictures in the future.
Shoot without flash
Using the camera flash to light your product is a very bad idea. It gives the appearance of hastily done work and might be worse for your business. Customers appreciate it when the seller goes the extra mile to make the product as easily visible as possible.
Product photography is work that you should take your time with. Try out different ideas, features and settings. Experiment with different lights and backgrounds. It’s okay if the image doesn’t turn out as spectacular as you expected it to. There’s always room for improvement. Just don’t resort to shortcuts or lazy ways of shooting such as flash photography.
Tripods are your best friend
It is very important that the framing looks even, deliberate and carefully constructed. This gives off a professional look that makes your brand even more appealing. In order to do that, you need to hold the camera steady when you shoot the pictures or, even better, use a tripod. If you’re already investing in a mid-level camera, it won’t hurt to add a decent tripod to the mix of equipment. Don’t worry, there are plenty of affordable options and it’s worth investing in, anyway.
Shoot up close
While you should definitely keep your background interesting, it doesn’t necessarily have to be in focus. What matters is the product which you place in the foreground. You don’t want your audience to be distracted from the product by something else that occupies space in the frame.. So get as close as possible and capture the finer details.
Prioritize when you arrange
You can add up to eight extra product images in addition to the main product image. This gives you the opportunity to decide how you want to arrange them, which angles are most important and what you need to prioritize. It is best to let your first shot be an attention-grabbing image of your product in full size, preferably from the front view.
Think about what order looks more interesting when you swipe through the images on the site. Try to get as many good angles as possible, especially profile shots that accentuate what the product looks like from a completely different point of view. Simply think of how you as a buyer would physically examine the product at a store and try to recreate that experience through images.
Abide by Amazon’s quality standards for your photographs
Amazon has set certain mandatory standards for product images that you must fulfill. For instance, the images need to be real shots of the product, not an illustration or any other sort of creative representation.
Remove distracting elements
It would be prudent to remove anything distracting from the frame. If it isn’t related to the product or diverts your attention, even momentarily, then it should go.
Grab Attention With High-Quality
Maintain the highest resolution possible. Make sure the product images have enough clarity and are sharply lit. Moreover, compare the colors of your actual product and the product image. Note if there are any differences. The last thing you need is unsatisfied customers who feel deceived by tricky photography.
If you’re an upcoming seller on Amazon without any staff, it’s best to learn basic photography skills and editing firsthand before you think about investing any money in a pro photographer.
Since this is the testing phase, you don’t want to go out of your way to make an impression when you’re not sure about what the market demand is.
When you do edit the images, make sure you don’t tweak around too much with elements such as saturation because the difference will be very well-pronounced in the product. Customers will not look favorably on misrepresentation. It is always best to make sure what you present and deliver matches their expectations.
Customers do appreciate when you shoot with a realistic perspective. When the products look up to scale, it gives your audience a good idea of what to expect.
Demonstration Builds Trust.
If your product has certain practical applications, it’s best to demonstrate this through your additional images. It gives customers a sense of trust. For eg: Instead of just showing a bland picture of a keyboard against a white background, you could also shoot some high quality images with the piece hooked onto a laptop.This will actually give viewers a sense of scale and usability as well.
Balance the composition
We mentioned how you need to let the product fill the frame. This is so that it can really pop out and be visible when customers browse through the search results. You want to spare them the trouble of having to click the listing to get a good look.
But it’s also equally important that you don’t shoot in an awkward way. Balance the composition between your product and negative space. For instance, don’t crowd the frame or let a more attractive color be present or juxtaposed against the product. This will divert attention away from the central focus of the image.
Use Visual Overlays To Support the Message
Feel free to use icons, text and label overlays to make things simple. For instance, if your product is a dish-dryer, mark each of the levels with an arrow and a designated label. It gives customers better access to your product and let’s them figure it out pretty quickly.
You can also use labels and dimension markers to give audiences a sense of size. For instance, you could add a line along the length of the product’s base to show the precise measurements.
A great way to create a consistent brand image is by planning out the aesthetics of your product images in advance. For instance, choose a good background and stick to it, maintain certain color schemes and keep the size uniform throughout, This can help foster a sense of familiarity about your brand. When customers navigate through your listing, it won’t seem like a random grouping of product pictures.
Why do we use the white background?
There are no hard and fast rules when it comes to what background you use. However, most sellers use a white background for their product images simply because of the high contrast it offers. An empty white space also helps direct all your customer’s attention towards the product in the foreground.
Another reason is probably that white backgrounds are so easy to recreate and have a neutral aesthetic that seems professional. It doesn’t seem like you’re trying too hard but isn’t so subdued as to escape notice either. At the same time, if you have a better idea for the background color that’s more in line with your brand, go for it.
Buy a lighting set-up
If the natural lighting at your home or workplace isn’t too good, you can always try to rent a small artificial lighting setup. It would mainly consist of a reflector, a light-box and maybe a green-screen. With minimal investment and a short budget, you could get just the lighting you’re looking for and put out some great-looking product photos.
Product size and proportionality
If you’re just starting out with your camera, try and take a few test images to find out what the optimal distance is. Depending on the lens, the range of depth may vary for different cameras. This way, you can position your camera just far enough to capture all the fine details. If the product appears too small, on the other hand, chances are it’s going to look awkwardly framed and hard to discern in the listing.
You need to keep in mind that a lot of your potential customers will initially be seeing your product as just one in a long list of similar offerings. With that perspective, think about how close your product image should be to capture the customer’s attention.
White Sheets for Background
According to Amazon’s requirements, your product image needs to have a white background. So it’s important to invest in a white paper roll or sheet so that you can set up the background whenever necessary.
Make-shift studio at home
You can try setting up the white paper sheet against your living room table or something similar to keep the background seamlessly smooth. Needless to say, it’s best to shoot in a space where there’s enough natural lighting.
A lot of the marketing in today’s world is geared towards projecting an attractive visual. You can be certain that your competitors will have already listed some great product images, which is why the goal is to stand out.
It is important to note that customers are very keen on two aspects when it comes to shopping: the product and the price. The images you provide are their only gateway to knowing what the product is actually like. Its what they’ll be spending most of their time on.
A lot of customers make buying decisions solely based on what the product looks like. This is why it is super important to work on your product photography. It is always worth the extra effort.