Running an online business means that your customers can't touch, feel, wear, use or smell your products.
While online commerce revenue is increasing year after year, it's still challenging for people to shop online because of these drawbacks.
The few ways you can present your item to your customers is with your branding, website, product descriptions and product photos.
Amazing product photography is a necessity for any online creative business selling products.
Combine this with having an awesome website, and you've built yourself a very strong and solid foundation for success in your business online.
An amazing product photo online makes you want to buy it.
It makes you squeal with excitement or giggle with amusement.
It submerges you in the story, feelings and emotions the photo is telling.
It should also give you a a very clear idea for what you'll expect in the mail when you buy it.
Do your photos suck?
If you answer “yes” to any of the points below, you'll want to take your photographs again:
- Bad lighting – can you even tell what color the product for sale is?
- Blurry photos – you can't tell what you're looking at
- Harsh shadows – distracting and takes away from your designs
- No supporting photos for multiple angle shots – what does this look like from the side or back?
- No photos to show the scale of the item – how big or small is this?
Photography is a whole art in itself and thousands of people make a living doing it.
But it's an skill you'll want to teach yourself or practice if you want to stand a chance at building a successful business online.
Start investing in yourself. I promise it'll be worth it.
Why you need white background photos:
- You're more media/PR friendly
- People talk about you and word spreads about how awesome your shop is
- When working with blogs, magazines and website, t's the industry standard to have your photographs on white backrgound
- No distractions or misrepresentations
- White product shots are simple, clear, and most of all, transparent.
- Your customer gets what she sees. There's no room for misguided purchases
- Manage your customer's experiences with your photos. If they're disappointed, they won't shop with you again.
- Product pages are put together, consistent and whole (like Zappos or Amazon)
- It's makes shopping more enjoyable
- It allows your customer to feel more comfortable and builds trust in you and your shop
Why you want colorful photos:
- Evoke emotion, tell a story
- Photos like the one below convey a specific emotion and paint a picture for a story
- It's your job to create that story and emotion you want your customers to experience
- People buy based on emotions, not on logic
- Having beautiful product shots that are playful, cute and fun, or mysterious and romantic can really help boost your sales
- Just like how you bought that dress because it looks good on you. It makes you feel good!
- They're viral
- Beautiful product shots like these are the kinda stuff you see on other people's blogs, Facebook posts, Pinterest boards or Twitter streams
- You make it easy for shop visitors to share your products with their friends because it's such a great photo with such a cute or enigmatic item
- You're basically providing people with a bagful of eye candy that engages and draws attention
- They can provide scale
- If you use props in your photos, you're giving your customers a sense of scale
- Your customers have a better idea for how big or small your item is
- Prevents confusion and makes your customer confident in buying from you
White background vs colorful background
Work on white backgrounds first.
These are your essentials and when you've got at least one photo of your item on white, you can explore with creating more artistic photos using props and colorful backdrops later.
Which camera should I use?
- Ideally you'll want a camera that allows you to set custom preferences, such as the ISO speed, f-stop/aperture, white balance, and shutter speed
- Getting confused? Check out How to take perfect product photos on a white background for a tutorial on how to photograph your products on white
- You want a camera with variable settings like these because you want full control of your photos. Imagine being an artist and you didn't even have all the tools you wanted to make that masterpiece.
- Having good equipment goes a long way. Your photos are more crisp, clear and of higher quality
- However, you shouldn't need to spend more than $200 for a camera
- Smartphones these days have fantastic in-built cameras
- My iPhone takes awesome photos, but I would recommend using only iPhone 5 and newer models.
For the exact steps, check out how to take perfect product photos on a white background.