When putting together product pages, it is very important to get the photography right. Though a great deal of attention should be paid to crafting a good description, most people will be sold on a good photo. A bad photo can be detrimental to your brand and paints a less than professional image around your company.
But for non-professionals, creating a decent product image can be hard work. Many large companies will spend a fortune on professional photography, but as cameras and camera technologies advance, it is becoming cheaper and cheaper take good quality pictures.
Here are a few tips on how to take decent photographs
For many, taking a picture is as simple as picking up a camera phone and snapping away. But in order to create compelling, persuasive images which will build a consistent brand you should consider planning the shots out beforehand. You should consider whether it is part of a range of products and how it might fit in visually on a website.
It is important that you consider how much context you will need to display your product. Ask yourself whether the item itself is enough or whether it might be more persuasive to see it in use. If you need modeling, choose your model carefully and ensure that they don’t detract from the product itself.
“Props or display items can offer contrast in your product photo,” says Donna Richardson, marketing specialist at Draftbeyond
and Last Minute Writing
. “You should use these sparingly, however, to avoid cluttering the shot. The key to creating concept shoots to display a product is simplicity – the more you have around the product the less impact it will make.”
Professional cameras can be very expensive, and if you have the money to invest it’s a good idea to get one. However, you need to be sure you know how to use it correctly in order to create professional looking photos. Whatever camera you choose you should familiarize yourself with the aspects of aperture, shutter speed, and ISO.
Experimentation is important in the early stages but once you’ve found a good setup stick to it. This will ensure that your product photos remain consistent.
Most photography course will emphasize the importance of using a tripod. Even the most stable handed can end up blurring photos, and a well set up tripod can eliminate this issue. There are a surprising amount of different types of tripods, but you needn’t spend a fortune.
Decent lighting can make or break a photo shoot. Many product photographers will use light boxes to present items – these are built boxes surrounded with light material.
You should consider how the product interacts with light. Heavily reflective surfaces, for instance, will cause a sense of glare, and darker items may need special care to show up well in the photograph. Some products look better with a little shadow, so experiment with the angle of each light to see how it brings detail into the shot.
You should consider which side exemplifies your products best qualities. Take photos from as many angles as you can so that you have a good range of angles to choose from. It’s important to be aware of how natural the picture looks, so imagine that the camera is the eye of a potential customer.
Editing and optimizing a photograph is now relatively cheap and easy. There are many photo editing suites available for free which you should utilize.
“Often, a digital camera will drain some of the colors of your product, so get familiar with color optimization early,“ writes Michael Searles, production manager at Writinity
, “But it’s also wise to exercise a little caution when using photo editing suites – remember you’re not trying to create high art!”