In the e-commerce industry, no amount of words can convert a visitor into a user like a good product picture can. In today’s age of scrolling and swiping through everything, product photography has a vital role to play. It would be true to say that
A picture is worth a thousand words!
With the exponential growth in e-commerce and online shopping becoming a major hit among the buyers and sellers alike, many small businesses are also resorting to establishing their online presence. Although setting up a website is no longer a tough task, specially with the number of website hosting companies in the picture. The real challenge would come up at the time of cataloging products. As an e-commerce website owner, you might have finalized the attributes, categories, and even the names of your products, but how will you make them appealing enough to your buyers?
The image of the product will win more than half the battle for you if they are exceptionally well. No matter how good your product may be in reality, it will look just as good to the potential buyer, as good its picture will be.
The Ideal Product Photo
The perfect kind of product photograph is the one where the product has a white background with plenty of space on all sides, and a well-lit ambience. The importance of a white background is that it makes your product the center of attraction and gives the close impression of relative size even in the image. Though it is good to have multiple pictures of your product on the product page, the first one should share the aesthetics of the product quite neatly.
If you are new to product photography and e-commerce, then this simple guide to click the perfect product photo can come handy for you. It doesn’t matter whether you have a DSLR or not; you can still make the product photoshoot work if you follow some simple guidelines. For starters, here are some things that you require.
Things You Will Require For Product Photography (Material Required)
In case you are using a high-quality digital camera or a phone, then it’s fine. However, if you are using a DSLR with multiple lenses, then make sure that you pick one which is not wide angled. Your camera should allow you to take pictures from a little distance since you don’t want product images to look distorted.
Having a tripod works well for all kinds of camera equipment. A tripod helps in keeping the shots steady, which is very crucial for a decent product photo shoot.
First, Set your Background and Check the Light
Setting up a background and finding a location with good light are the first two things you must be doing. Both of these things will largely depend on the size of your product and space where the shooting will take place. For most of the products, a window-side set-up is a perfect choice for photography as it will provide natural light. You can also click the pictures under strong studio lights to get a daylight illusion. Maybe I should explain the set-ups a little.
Two kinds of product photography set-ups can be used:
1. WINDOW-SIDE SET-UP
In this set-up, the daylight will take care of the lighting for you. The only thing that you need to ensure is to leave some space next to the window. Keeping the products parallel to the window is considered as an ideal position for the product shoot. In case that is not possible, then make sure the light comes in from the window at a 90-degree angle.
Make it a point that your product has a horizontal flat surface next to the window. I would suggest you cover a table with something white, which creates the illusion of a white background. Or you could get yourself a roll of Seamless Background paper, which you can pin/stick against the wall. This is a good and cost-effective alternative to white walls next to a window.
2. LIGHTBOX SET-UP
A good substitute to Window set-up would be this set-up. The Lightbox set-up would be ideal to avoid reflections and also for products that need intense lighting. The light box must diffuse the lights from above as well as the sides while keeping the back and the bottom in isolation. There are several lightbox tutorials available online that you can go through to make your very own light box easily.
Preparing the Product for the Photoshoot
Now that you have your material and set-up in place, it is time to arrange your product for the big event. Start by placing the product in the centre of the window- set-up or the lightbox you created. However, before putting the product there, make sure it is clean and dust-free since other particles could be visible in the photo. Clean your camera and lens beforehand to get rid of any dust particles.
If you think that the product is not looking appealing enough on its own, then you could try adding some props to the frame and click pictures. You can place something either at the back or try different angles. You can be as creative as you want to here since it adds a dash of quirk to your product shoot. Just make sure that the props don’t overpower the products. The product should grab the most attention regardless of the accessories.
Camera Settings For Product Photography
The DSLR needs specific adjustments, but if you are unsure about which settings to use, then starting on the ‘auto mode’ is the safest option. In this particular mode, the camera changes settings automatically according to the set-up and light. In case you are well-versed with camera settings, then make sure you keep the ISO low, focus on the product, and keep experimenting with the aperture until you get the desired shot.
If you are using a smartphone, then don’t zoom in as it may distort the image. To keep the frame right, go up close to the product since the smartphone camera lens is not as wide as the DSLR lens. While focusing, make sure to leave enough white space around the product.
Now you can begin with the product photography. Once you are done with clicking a few shots, stop for a bit to see how they have turned out. After reviewing the same, try clicking again by tweaking the lighting, background or even the position of the product if it deems fit.
Having good quality product images for your eCommerce website can contribute significantly towards increasing your sales. I cannot stress enough on how much depends on the product shoot, but try thinking like a customer. In this virtual age, there is only so much that can help you in making a buying decision, and the product shoot plays a huge part in it. If you can afford it, I’d suggest you get a professional photographer to do your shoot as well.
I hope this article helps you in clicking better product pictures. It is imperative and will help you convert views into transactions easily. If there is anything you want to know in regards to the same, please feel free to ask here.
I’d come back with more soon.
Stay brilliant, and DON’T LOSE FOCUS! (Oh Snap! I should stop with the photography puns now.)