High-quality product photography can make all the difference when selling online. After all, you know that they say about first impressions. Would you ever buy a product without seeing an image of it first? No? Neither would the majority of people on the Internet.
An image is the first thing that a customer will see when searching through an online store. It is what grabs a customers attention, so, as a small business, it’s important to master small business photography. In fact, studies show professional product photography can increase your eCommerce conversion rates by as much as 30%.
Taking product photos can seem like a daunting and possibly expensive task to a small business that is still trying to establish an online presence. Luckily, there are many products and tips available to help your business take the perfect product photos. Here are some tips and suggestions to help you master the art of small business product photography.
Pick the Right Camera for Product Photography:
The right camera can make all the difference. There are several different consumer-level cameras that you can purchase to improve your product photography, depending on your budget. For those businesses with almost no budget, smartphone cameras have come a long ways and with this great guide from Shopify, you’ll be able to take some pretty decent product photos.
If you’ve set aside a modest budget for in-house product photography, one thing you’ll want to consider is what kind of camera (DSLR or point-and-shoot) you think would best suit your needs. A DSLR, or digital single-lens reflex camera, is a digital camera that can be used with a wide assortment of different lenses.
If you don’t want to invest in several different lenses, a point-and-shoot camera is probably what you’re looking for. Point-and-shoot cameras are smaller and easier to tote around than a DSLR camera. They might not be as powerful as their counterpart, but they come at a cheaper price and many are more than capable of taking high-quality photos.
Here are some cameras that you might want to consider:
As mentioned above, DSLR cameras can be quite pricey, making the Nikon D3300 a bargain, coming in at $899. It features a video resolution of 1080p and the ability to shoot with 24.2 Megapixels. The viewing screen is 3-inches wide and features 921,000 dots.
Canon EOS Rebel T6i / Canon EOS 750D
If you have the budget you might want to consider the Canon EOS Rebel T61 / Canon EOS 750D. The camera costs a whopping $1631.88, but it is quite powerful. Its best feature is its screen which uses a 3-inch articulating touchscreen and a resolution of 1,040,000 dots. Along with its incredibly powerful touchscreen, this camera features a 24.2 megapixel lens and a max video resolution of 1080p.
Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS
The Canon PowerShot ELPH 360 HS is quite a powerful camera despite being a point-and-shoot digital camera and it comes at a price of only $209. It comes with a resolution of 20.2 MP resolution, 12x optical zoom, and a 1/2.3-inch image sensor.
Buy a Tripod:
No matter how steady you think your hands are, they are not steady enough to be taking professional product photos. Typically, when taking product photos you’ll need to use a slower shutter speed to allow more light into the photo. Unfortunately, with a slower shutter speed your camera will need to be held still for a longer period of time, or else your photos will turn out blurry.
A tripod offers the perfect solution to take stable product photos. A tripod won’t add too much cost to your budget, typically $20-$30. Shop around and find a tripod, so your product photos are stable and clear.
Watch Your Backgrounds:
When you take a picture of your product, it can’t be done on any old background like an ugly eBay shot. If you look at almost any professional product photo, it’ll be taken with a flat, blank background. The simpler the background, the more the product can really shine on its own.
There are several ways you can go about taking photos that have a blank background. Some businesses rent out a small, local professional studio, but, for those businesses with a tinier budget, (and the determination to do it on your own) you can invest in your own personal photography station.
These personal photography stations are easy to set up and are available in a range of prices from under $100 to over $1,000. With one of these stations, you’ll be given the tools to make a proper backdrop for your product photographs.
General Product Photography Tips:
Once you have all of your equipment it’s finally time to take your product shots. Lighting is something that can make or break a photo. When you’re taking your photos, consider using natural lighting. Flashes and artificial lighting can be harsh. The same goes for direct sunlight, which can create bad glares and giant shadows. Find a modestly lit room and take as many photos as possible from as many angles as possible.
After your photos have been taken, the best thing you can do is, well, cheat. No photo is ever perfect, no matter how much time you spend setting it up. Fix any imperfections with free editing software, like GIMP and PhotoScape or premium editing applications like Corel Paintshop Pro and Adobe Photoshop. Use these to crop, center, and correct the brightness/contrast of your product.
There are several tutorials available online that can help you take the perfect photo. Take the time to learn as much as you can, so that your photos look as professional as possible.
Content with relevant images get 94% more views than content without images. So, remember, once you’ve taken your shots share them on Instagram to start building your customer following. Here’s how to get started on Instagram. Product photography is best kept simple, you don’t need to add too many things to your photos to catch a customer’s attention. Just showcase your products in the best light possible.