In today’s digital world, photography is pretty much a make-or-break deal for a business. The vast majority of your customers will have never seen either you or your product in person, so their decision of whether or not to buy is made online.
All they have to go off is the photographs that you use to represent your business. When you think about it this way, it’s easy to see why it’s so important to get it right.
According to a fascinating piece of research from the emarketer website, 83% of American smartphone users classed product photography as either a “very” or an “extremely” influential factor when they are deciding whether or not to make a purchase.
What’s more, in a similar study from Salsify, 60% of online shoppers in the U.S. stated that they would need to see an average of 3-4 images before opting to buy that item
Very very few small business owners will be professional photographers (if you are, you’re among the lucky ones). So, securing the right images is not a simple task, especially if you’re trying to balance the budget.
Product photography is a challenge to get right, but it can be done. Even if you don’t have any prior training or specialist knowledge, there’s lots of simple techniques that you can use to take your photos up several levels.
In this blog post, we’ll be providing you with our top tips for product shoots. All you need is a good phone camera – no specialist equipment necessary.
By making these clever little tweaks, you can showcase your business in a far more professional and appealing way, without spending any extra money.
Keep the background clean and simple
A fussy background can just distract the image, and take away from your product. Make sure it’s clear what the viewer should be focused on. Allow your product to shine in the image by removing any unnecessary distractions. Although other bits and bobs can add character to the image, make sure that you don’t go overboard!
Tell a story with the shot
Give the viewer a sense of what it would be like to have your product there with them. You can sell the story that comes with your products in a number of different ways. For example, if you sold beer, you could be pouring it into a glass, or ‘cheers-ing’ with a group. Or, if you sell a handbag, you could photograph it out and about.
Don’t use any false filters
There’s few things worse than a super artificial, blurry, grainy or false photo filter being applied to the image. It really detracts from its quality. Your best bet is to keep the image crisp and clear.
Check the image for any reflections
All too often, if you look closely at an image, you can see the camera lens reflected in the product or background. So, be careful to thoroughly check over the image before you post it.
Don’t be afraid to get creative!
Have fun with different shots, and play different ideas out. It doesn’t matter if they don’t work, but this way, you could hit on a really good idea. If you’ve taken a slightly out-there image (which you like but you’re not sure whether anyone else will), our top tip would be to ask a friend for their opinion.
Try large pieces of white card
This makes a great backdrop, and they’re super cheap. Just prop one underneath your product, and one behind it, and you’ve got a sleek and professional backdrop for the image.
Natural lighting is always your friend
One of the best ways to make an image really visually appealing is by using real natural lighting. It really takes the whole thing to another level. So, position your shoot by a window, in a bright room. Trust us, just see how much more attractive it makes your product look.
Choose the right time of day
Building on the point above, be mindful of the time of day when you plan to take a photo. If it’s late evening and you haven’t got around to it, cut your losses and wait till the morning. Dimly lit photographs, or products that have been lit artificially, don’t have the same effect.
Make the most out of online tutorials
YouTube has a wealth of beginner photography resources, so make the most out of them! Watch different videos, read other blog posts, or see if there’s a free beginner session online. It’s a fantastic way to develop your knowledge.
We’re only scratching the surface here, but these are a few resources that we’d particularly recommend:
Browse social media, and get inspired
Have a scroll through other brands in your industry, and think about how they’re styling their photos. Get inspired by other creatives, and apply different bits and pieces to your own photography.
And remember – as the old saying goes, practice makes perfect. So, if you’ve got an afternoon free, have a play about with your product photography. Practice shoots in different lighting, with a range of backgrounds, at a number of different angles, etc. Even after just a few hours, you’ll quickly see some improvement.
If you have any other little tips and tricks, which you’ve gleaned from your experiences, we’d love to hear them. Share your photography hacks with us in the comments below, or with our social media community.