Seeing is believing!
As simple as it could be, product photography plays a big role in the sales of your listing. It is not only important to adhere to the Amazon Product Image requirements, (which is highly recommended by industry experts) but they must also have the potential to manipulate customer behaviour. With years of experience with Amazon platform, we noticed that some images bring in more customers than the others. So in this article we are sharing with you the essential tips to make your listing hit the perfect shots.
Before you read further, you must know that the intent of this article is to make you aware of the potential photo mistakes in a listing. You can take the images yourself with these tips, if you are running some tests or want to cut on your expenses. But a professional photographer is not called ‘professional’ for no reason and shall be taken benefit of when necessary.
1. Perfect Background
Image background is a debatable topic. As per the Amazon Product image guidelines, the background must be pure white. Most items do look great against a white background, which is simple and un-distracting. But remember this guideline is for the title image, so you definitely have some freedom with the background of secondary images.
So the trick here is to use white background for the main image and for rest of the images you can use patterned or colored background as well as the product in its natural setting. There is no thumb rule for what exactly is the ‘best’ background as a lot depends on the type of product. Here are a few examples to make it clear for you.
Tip: White or not, the background must not take away the attention from your product but be complementary to it.
In the image above, the main photo has white background (which is fine) but second photo with white background looks dull since the product itself is pure white. A darker background in the second photo would have made the product look better.
In the image above, except the main photo, the rest of the photos have complementary backgrounds. You can clearly see the difference a background can make.
2. Let there be Light!
Neither too bright, nor too low, but just the right amount of lighting is important for a good photograph. You can use any source like a flash or a lamp (easily available at home or you may buy one from a store), but make sure that the light is bright and white in color. Using light sources having tungsten bulbs throw a tanned or yellow color, which tends to alter the actual color of your product. LED lights are the best!
Moreover, to start off, natural lighting is another best option. It’s the perfect choice in fact, as the natural daylight is soft, handy and brings out the truest color of the product with the added advantage of little or no shadows.
- Don’t shoot the product by placing it in direct sunlight (or even under a too bright artificial light source). Just a well lit area in your house/office (with ample windows) will do the trick.
- You may also use a combo of natural and artificial lighting, depending on the time of day, location, weather etc.
- You may also use a mini studio or a lightbox for smaller products.(easily available on Amazon)
From the first two photos in the image above, see how too much or too little lighting can present your product in poor light, whereas the third product looks like presented in its true color and of good quality. Here, another point to note is that colors like black and white need extra care with lighting.
3. Support the Product
With ‘Support’ we mean two things.
One, for smaller articles or those which cannot stand upright on their own add a support item. Something like a stand or wall etc will give depth to your product in the picture.
The above image contains more support ideas (like a tea cup, felt roll, hand, cardboard or simply a bust for smaller and lightweight products like earrings)
It adds more taste and creativity to your product photo but make sure the support you add must be simple and doesn’t steal away the attention from the product itself.
In the image above, we compare photos for three different (but similar looking) napkins. In photo 1, napkins lay flat on the surface and look like an ok-ok product. Photo 2, looks posh but there is too much clutter which makes it confusing as to what really is coming in the package. Moreover the glasses and the table cloth are more distracting than supportive. In photo 3, the napkins are simply placed in a little basket and look neat. Does it need a mention that the third photo is the best?
Tip :- While adding supportive articles in the photo, make sure that you clearly mention what is included in the listing.:
Two, for bigger products like a bed or a sofa etc add the support of an elegant interior or exterior (where the product could be placed). This will represent how the product will look in its natural surroundings.
For this dog sofa above, the first photo looks impressive with the stylish interior. Placing a dog on it and a dog pillow in the back pocket is another great support (discussed further under the point of ‘product in practice’). This product comes without both- the dog and the pillow, (wink!).
4. Get the right attention
When we talked about giving your product support, we missed one important point. When you add support articles (here we are also referring to the models) make sure your product remains the centre of attraction in the photo. There must be no distractions or confusions. Keep it simple and impressive.
In the above image, the Garden Hose is the ‘hero’ in the photos.
Tip: when using models for products other than wearable’s (like apparels etc), ask the model to look at the product to fetch maximum attention to it.
5. Try the Tripod
‘Who needs a tripod?… It’s a needless expenditure!’
No buddy, it ain’t! Though many will consider it futile to spend on a tripod the one who has used it at least once will know the difference it can make in product photo-shoot. When taking professional photos, even minuscule movement of camera can temper with the image quality. Tripod makes sure this doesn’t happen and ofcourse you will be able to take clicks from every awkward angle without inviting a sprain to your neck or arms. Plus no blurry shots and consistent background, as the camera will stay still while you make adjustments to or change sides of the product.
So resist the thrifty temptation and buy one real quick. There are plenty available on Amazon (for phones to professional cameras) in a wide price range (there’s quite a variety of options even under $25).
6. Grab the Camera
If you have sufficient means to buy a new camera, go ahead, there are many economical DSLR cameras available on Amazon. A DSLR will give you much power and features for product photo-shoot, with the added advantage of quality, performance and professionalism.
For those who can’t but a camera, your phone camera is the king. Most smart phones come with a good camera of at least 8 mega pixels. Giving the example of iPhone, the camera comes with many features, like you can tap and scroll to adjust the brightness of the image using the exposure dial. So take maximum leverage of your camera’s feature set.
Tip: While clicking photos with a phone camera, don’t use zoom-in feature, instead go closer to the product if you need a close up shot. This will retain the image quality.
7. Go Macro Mode
If using a professional camera, use the macro mode to focus on smaller details of your product. Be careful, while using this mode, it may or may not suit your product. It is especially important for the smaller or tiny products to better depict their details.
In the image above I have listed the photos of the tiniest products sold on Amazon like rings, hair-pins, nose-pins, pendants and screws. Macro mode is a must have for such products.
8. Don’t miss any angles
When buying online, customers are more concerned to have the knowledge of what the product looks like from different angles, (from above & below, front & back as well as sides), since they can’t physically touch and see it. Tinker around with angles to show the product from multiple viewpoints. Try to show the texture and other details as these photos will serve as the proof of what will reach a customer’s doorstep.
In the image above, you can see that the photos for this women sunhat are clicked from different angles and the seller has even included the material details in the last picture.
9. Include the Variants
Include all the variants of your product, including the variation of color, style etc. Every buyer wants to know what they are paying for, so leave no room for doubts.
In the image above, note that many color and size variants have been included which improve its sale ability.
10. Prominence of Perspective
Some details of an item are difficult to perceive from the photographs. The photos may become more misleading if you are selling multiple items in a package or you are displaying different variants in a single photo. Better support such products with something common, like a ruler, a coin etc. This will give the user a good picture of what’s the actual size of the product.
In the image above, if a user looks at the first photo alone the lamp seems large in size, while from the second photo you get the idea that it fits in a hand. Moreover, a close up shot of the plug type in photo 3 will be helpful for many. Fourth photo is especially for size details.
In the image above, the chair was claimed to be ‘heavy duty’ and they actually proved it in the photo by placing heavy weight on it. It’s simply a trust building step.
11. Demonstrate the Details
Make your photographs represent the details of the product and its parts and accessories in a picture form. Make maximum use of Amazon’s Zoom-In function. Click close up photos of the little details, like the zipper, texture, etc. Of course don’t add anything extra or a supportive article in such photos.
In the image above, see how the secondary photos are close up shots which depict finest details of a small sized product like drum sticks. Click on the image to view the listing.
The above image is another way of listing the details in pictorial form. Each and every component of the Remote Control Helicopter is photographed closely and adequate labeling has been done.
12. Product in Practice
As per the nature of the product, click pictures when the product is in use, like, a ‘Nail Paint’ applied on nails, a ‘water hose’ being used in the garden, a ‘cap’ being worn by a model, a ‘vase’ being placed in a living room. It will also give the buyer better understanding of the physical dimensions and usage of your product.
Tip: You can also add videos in the listing or provide a link to other website to show the product in practice.
Some examples of product being used (like the drum sticks, TV cabinet, a necklace and a pet stroller) have been shown in the above image.
Tip: Again, be careful that the models or the background setting you use must not be distracting.
13. Consistency Counts
One thing must always be consistent in the photos and that’s your product.
Note that in the image above, all the photos of this comforter set are consistent with respect to color, lighting, texture, quality etc.
14. Crisp Photographs
You must have come across some blurry or dull images. How did you feel about their product quality? Poor of course! Don’t commit the same mistake. Take sharp images, by using the tripod (you read that already), and if using DSLR, make good use of the focus adjustable lenses and lastly, view your images at maximum zoom, the minutiae will speak for itself.
Note that this photo is so fine that even the fabric texture of the pillow is clearly visible.
15. Add some magic
A little magic can go a long way! By magic I mean, pep up your photos since there is always room for improvements. Use Photoshop or any other good image editing software to tweak the product photos to beat the rest of your competition. Make good use of them. The tweaks worth mentioning are:
Color Check: Sometimes a photo clicked on a camera captures different color than what the product actually is. Adjust the color settings, like the brightness, contrast etc. The Exposure is another main tool to check the lighting after the clicks have been shot.
Retouch: Look for finer details, like an unwanted speck or something like that on your product in the photograph and remove them. These edits generally need some expertise, but you can go ahead if you have a creative and eager to learn mindset or else hire an image editor or Photoshop professional. They will definitely add some good amount of magic.
In a nutshell
Photography is a vast topic; no doubt it takes professional photographers years of experience to sharpen their skills. So go ahead by following these instructions, but only practice will make you better. Not bad for a starter! Is it?
Short of time or don’t have the like for photography? Getting your product images a qualified touch is still possible! Hurry up! Contact us for the best in market product photography services, by writing us at :- website to view our Minnesota studio address to send us your product(s) for a photo-shoot. We are here to help!or call us on +1-612-598-0002 or you may visit our