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Guide to Investing in Product Photography for Your E-Commerce Business

The importance of the images is not unknown or a new topic to shed light on. But when it comes to online selling, understanding the importance of product photography is not a deeply explored topic. 

According to a survey from Salsify, 60% of US digital shoppers said they needed to see an average of three or four images when shopping online. And another 13% said they needed five or more

Product photography is any picture of a product for sale, used to illustrate or market a product. Also referred to as commercial photography, these photographs intend to attract buyers to buy the photographed products advertised. They usually feature product features and details, with accompanying product descriptions and supplemental pictures.

What is product photography?

Product photography is any picture of a product for sale, used to illustrate or market a product. Also referred to as commercial photography, these photographs intend to attract buyers to buy the photographed products advertised. They usually feature product features and details, with accompanying product descriptions and supplemental pictures.

Product photography is not limited to capturing the product images but includes editing, maintaining the brand persona, and selling the garments through images

Why is product photography such a big deal?

Product photography is an essential element for all e-commerce fashion brands as these images act as primary and the closest contact with the customer.

There are many types of product photography services available for businesses. For example, some companies hire stock photography websites to create posters and other marketing materials for their products. Others rely on product photographers to shoot professional product images or develop stills for store windows. Some choose product photography services that use AI and are effective. 

professional photography

Basics of e-commerce garment photography

The most important part of e-commerce garment photography is post-processing. When shooting garments, it is crucial to use a white or neutral background with soft lighting to make the retouching easier. 

It is also essential to take pictures at all angles to give the consumer a clearer idea about the product. A guide to product photography is incomplete without understanding the basics of product photography.

1. Colour:

Colour plays a vital role in highlighting an element in an image. According to researchgate, 84.7% of consumers attribute color as the main reason for product purchases. Stating why color is essential and why e-commerce brands can not afford to take it for granted.

It is essential to choose the right color that will not interfere with the colors of the garment while still creating contrast between them.

2. Neutral background:

What if we say that there is a smart way of choosing a background for your photoshoot?

You might be like, what?

Yes, neutral colors act as one of the smartest ones to use as backgrounds. They work as a safe bet and make product highlight of the image, keep the picture clean, and make changing background easy.

Other than primary colors, using images with realistic backgrounds in one of the variant images also helps your customer know better about which occasion garment is more suitable.

3. Lights:

No matter how pleasant images look in natural lights, studio lights give you far more power to control the shoot time. Correct lighting makes the details highlight and improves the image quality.

4. Post-processing:

Post-processing is a method of editing the data captured by the camera. It gives the images a professional look required for e-commerce platforms. 

What you need before you begin

1. Photography essentials:

While setting up a studio, a few photography essentials are essential to have in hand to get the best images. Here is a list of the basics to get started:

  1. Camera
  2. Tripod
  3. Lighting source
  4. Backdrop
  5. Model or mannequin
  6. A good editing software
  7. A place to set up the studio

2. Garments and accessories:

Once the basics are set up, ensure that you have your garments and accessories ready to be shot. A poorly planned shoot can cost you thousands of dollars and provide zero returns.

3. Model and studio availability:

Make sure that your model and studio are available at the same time. This might look like a time taking task but is more important than you might think.

4. Or just a good Photography service

If setting up these things looks like an enormous task, and you are already making up reasons for not doing them, hire a studio, and they will take care of everything to take out time to work on business expansion.

How to photograph your product: step by step

1. Prepare appropriately for the shoot

Making sure that the basics are set right is more important than you think. Keeping the finalized garments and accessories for shoot ready makes you plan ahead and focus on shoot instead of figuring out the things.

2. Getting ready with equipment

In today’s digital world, camera phones have been good enough to capture the moments. But when it comes to business-level photography for your brand, invest in a DSLR or high-end point and shoot camera so that you can get the desired results.

3. Adjust your camera settings for the shoot

The key is to adjust the camera settings accordingly for what you are shooting. If it’s a product photography shoot, make sure you set your camera on manual mode and know how to operate its functions like shutter speed, aperture size, white balance, etc.

4. Frame your shot

A simple way to frame your shots is by setting up the subject in front of a wall or backdrops like floor mats or sheets, which can quickly provide an even surface without wrinkles and folds.

5. Properly expose light

The photographer needs to control the lighting and proper exposure for their images. Exposure is dependent on camera settings and the lens aperture, which changes how much light reaches the sensor or film. Adjusting these can help change how bright or dark a photo appears.

6. Choosing the right background for a photoset

The photographer needs to think about the color and tone of the background. The colors in a photoset should be complementary so that they don’t clash or fight for attention but complement each other.

To keep your eCommerce photography of the best quality, it is necessary to invest in good equipment such as cameras, lenses, light sources, and more.

Types of Product Photography shots

1. Individual shots

An individual shot, also known as a “hero” photo, is one where you isolate and focus on just one product from your line-up or collection. The aim is to feel they have all the information they need about this product without any distractions.

2. Group shots

A group shot is where you photograph several items, often from the same line-up or collection. It can be used to showcase different types of products, sizes, and prices in one shot.

3. In context

They are great for showing off an item’s features or functionality while also including what it would look like in its natural setting. For example, if you were selling a dress, you might take photos of them next to realistic background or get in edited so that shoppers know they’ll look while wearing the dress in a real life setting.

4. Lifestyle shots

These are the curated shots and styled scenes, sometimes featuring models. They’re meant to convey a feeling of what it’s like to live with the product in real life.

Lifestyle shots are vital for eCommerce businesses, especially when many other online sellers are vying for attention on Amazon and elsewhere.

Conclusion

Mastering the art of e-commerce photography is essential to getting professional photos for your brand and crucial to making your brand stand out from the crowd.

You and your team can either learn the art and become an expert or outsource your imagery from a studio. If you are planning to go ahead with the second option, read here about how to pick the best studio for your brand.

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Arunava Acharjee

(Product Marketing Manager)