The human brain makes connections between beauty and value all the time – which is why it's no wonder that a good-looking, well-presented product has a better chance of selling than its less attractive counterpart.
But whether you’re a beginning photographer or the next Ansel Adams, the good news is that improving your website's product photography isn’t all that hard. Here are five easy ways to go about doing it:
Tip #1 – Purchase a Good Camera
You don’t have to invest in expensive equipment if you're a beginner on a budget. However, taking good quality images for your website's product photography is a must. To improve your images, invest in a good entry-level camera. Your camera phone simply won’t cut it if you're trying to create professional looking images!
When looking for a new camera, look for one with basic options, such as the ability to zoom and take high resolution images. You can find reviews for most digital cameras on websites like Digital Photography Review or CNET Digital Cameras.
Just be careful not to invest in professional lenses or fancy camera gear right now. Over time, you can use some of your website’s income to buy a better quality camera. But avoid all the bells and whistles that professional photographers thrive on for now, as they simply aren’t necessary to create good product images.
Once you've purchased a camera that you’re comfortable with, learn how to use it by reading the user's manual. Carry the camera around with you and use it as often as possible in order to get a good understanding of the features available to you.
Tip #2 – Take Good Quality Shots
Now that you have a good camera, you should find it quite easy to capture a good quality shot. The camera will do most of the work for you, but there are few things that you’ll need to pay attention to.
Make sure that the products you'll be photographing are brightly lit and that there’s no clutter in the shot. Anything that might distract your website's visitors from the product itself should be removed from the shot.
Ideally, you'll want to use a tripod to prevent camera wobbles and to create a sharp image without any blur. And, in most cases, the closer you are to the product, the better your picture will be. Snap a few pictures and review them on your camera screen to see how they’ll look on your website. Once you're comfortable with a specific distance, use it to take the rest of your pictures.
Tip #3 – Take Multiple Shots of Each Product
With digital cameras and hard drive spaces being so affordable, it doesn't cost you any more money or time to take multiple shots of the same product.
When you do so, you'll be able to showcase the product from various angles. To you, this might not matter much, but your prospects will appreciate being able to see your products from all possible angles. Keep in mind that your prospects can't touch, smell or handle your items. All they can do is view the pictures and read the descriptions you’ve provided for each product on your website.
As a result, you should take at least three pictures of every product on your website – including a front view, side view and back view. When possible add a top view, a bottom view and various other angles.
This is extremely important when showcasing a product with notable variations based on the view. As an example, if you’re selling basketballs, then most shots won’t vary from one to the next. However, if you're showcasing cars, food or furniture on your website, you’ll want to provide as many views as possible. It's better to have too many pictures than not enough, so snap away!
Tip #4 – Learn Basic Image Editing Skills
There are a number of different image editing tools out there, making it easy to find one that will suit your budget and skill level. Two to take a look at include Adobe Photoshop (a paid, highly-complex image editing system) and GIMP (a popular free service that allows users to easily manipulate images).
You don't need to become a graphic designer to improve your website's product photography. However, having the ability to re-size images, adjust colors and remove unwanted elements are all basic skills that you'll want to learn in order to gain more control over your product images.
Tip #5 – Enhance Your Website Presentation
At this point, you've done everything in your power to create the types of compelling product images that your website visitors will love. The last thing you’ll want to focus on is giving the images a good home on your website.
Great images on an ugly website will rub your prospects the wrong way. For your website readers to trust you, everything needs to be in alignment. Keep the following website management best practices in mind to prevent your site’s design from hindering your images’ effectiveness:
- Keep your site’s code clean and light to increase page load times
- Use a design template that’s simple, professional and appealing to the eyes
- Make use of short product descriptions (remember – images are worth a thousand words)
- Integrate tools that allow readers to view large versions of all your product images
If you really want to improve the quality of your website's product photography, you can’t go wrong by implementing any of these tips. Investing a bit of time and money up front can go a long way, as good product photography definitely separates your site from the crowd and increases your chances of converting visitors to buyers. Now stop reading and get to work!