The product photography you use on your website can absolutely make or break a sale. So, you need to put plenty of time, thought, and energy into getting them right.
If you want to get the best results, it won’t be as simple as simply picking up a camera and pointing and shooting it towards the items you’re looking to sell. There’s a lot that goes into good product photography! So, here, we’re going to provide you with some tips that will help you to show off what you have to offer in the best light.
Use the right type of lighting
One of the biggest factors you’ll need to get right is the lighting of your product images. This can have a huge impact on the look, feel, and overall quality of the images you end up with. So, it may take some trial and error to get this perfect, but it’s worth persevering to get your desired results.
There are two types of lighting you can use for your product images: natural and artificial. Natural light comes from the sun and, in photography, it’s often referred to as “soft light” because it’s not as harsh or focused as artificial studio lighting can be. It’s also worth keeping in mind that natural light can be inconsistent and unreliable, but it can still work well for product shots if:
- Your products are designed for outdoor use so you decide to shoot them outside
- You’re going to show someone using or wearing your product
- You’re trying to highlight a product’s surroundings, rather than features of the item
So, depending on what you sell and how you’re planning to present it, natural lighting may work well. Just remember that you won’t have a great deal of control over factors like the weather and what direction the sun is shining in, so shooting with natural light can take a lot more planning and attempts.
Artificial light, on the other hand, comes from sources like light bulbs and candles. It can also be referred to as “hard light” because you’ll typically be provided with a smaller and more focused light. It can be great for showing off product details and will also provide you with more control of the overall look of your images.
If you’re just starting out and are preparing to take your first set of product photography, trying out different lighting types is a great idea. You may be surprised just how different products can look in different conditions, so you’ll want to consider all of your options.
Show your products in their natural settings
One of the goals of your product photography should be to help your ideal customers imagine using the different items you stock. And, one of the best ways you can do this is by showing off your different products in their natural settings.
For instance, if you sell home decor items, you could style them in different rooms, rather than simply displaying them against a blank background. If you offer outdoor gear, you could show it being used in the woods or on a hike. And, if you run a party clothing retailer, you could show your models wearing your pieces in a bar, club, or restaurant.
Essentially, think about where your customers or clients are going to use your products and then ensure your product photography takes this into account. To provide you with some inspiration, let’s take a look at one brand that does a great job of showing its products being used in their natural settings.
Kasala is an online furniture retailer that sells a wide range of fashionable items for the home. And, they make a great effort to show their products in fully styled rooms to give website visitors an insight into what kinds of lives they could be living with some of the company’s pieces.
For instance, on their living room category page, they show how their sofas, coffee tables, and accessories can work together in someone’s space. They’ve also added little details like a bottle of wine and two glasses to encourage people to get excited about potentially purchasing one of these pieces and incorporating it into their homes. Not only is this a fantastic way to help people imagine owning one of their items, but it could also help to encourage more people to buy multiple furniture items from the store, as they’re doing a great job of showing how everything can work beautifully together.
Consider whether this is a tactic you could use on your own website. Show off your products in their natural settings and think about whether you could combine different items in your photography to show how well they work together. It could do wonders for your conversion rate!
Take photography of your products in action
Similarly, showing your products in action can also help your website visitors to imagine themselves using them. It can also provide prospective customers with a better understanding of the different applications, how everything works, and how they can benefit from what you sell.
You should try to show happy people using your products wherever possible, too. It might seem simple, but this will help to give the impression that your items are genuinely enjoyable to use, and could be enough to push people towards making a purchase.
It can also help to choose models who reflect your ideal audience base. So, for instance, if your products are aimed at older generations, try to ensure this is shown in your photos. Otherwise, you could risk making your target customers feel like your items haven’t been designed with them in mind.
To give you some inspiration, let’s take a look at one business that does a fantastic job of taking photos that show their products in action.
Aerial Wakeboarding is a retailer of watersports equipment, and they put a big focus on providing images of all their products being used. For instance, they show people enjoying time with their friends on boats, having a lot of fun out on the water, and more.
These images are far more engaging and exciting than if they simply showed their products on a white background, or even just sitting in the water without a user. The fact that you can clearly see people having a lot of fun with the items they sell is very effective and is sure to lead to more sales for the company.
Could you do something similar on your website by showing people who look like your ideal customers using your products? It can be great for helping people to imagine how these items could be incorporated into their own lives and is likely to be great for your conversion rate.
Ensure your products are the focus
While you’ll want to show your products in action and in their natural settings, you also need to ensure that the items you’re trying to sell are still the focus. So, try to avoid making your images too busy. To find the right balance, you could even provide a mix of photos, showing those taken with a simple white background alongside others displaying your products in use.
For inspiration, let’s take a look at one company that uses this technique very well.
Helix Hearing Care is a company that provides those with hearing impairments with hearing aids and solutions. And, on their homepage, they do a great job of showcasing imagery that both highlights their products as the focus and shows their items being used by people who are out enjoying their lives with their hearing aids.
As you can see, they’ve taken artificially lit photos that show exactly what their products look like and highlight some of the features they have. This is helpful for anyone who wants to know more about a specific option or model. But they also have photos of people using and loving their products, which is sure to help prospective customers imagine themselves in their shoes.
This is a tactic that most product-based businesses can take, so consider whether it would be a fruitful option for your business. This will allow you to meet all of your website visitors’ needs and increase the chances of them buying from you.
Always provide a variety of images
Finally, one of the most important things is that you provide your website visitors with a variety of different images of each product you sell. It’s important to show them off from every angle, highlight any important features, and show their different applications.
Plus, as we’ve already outlined, if you can use a combination of product-focused images and photos that show your items in action, you can cater to everyone’s needs and increase your chances of making a sale.
So, don’t just stop when you have a good photo you like — keep going. Generally, the more photos you can provide the better.
Your product photos can have a huge impact on your website’s conversion rate, so it’s vital you put a lot of time and effort into getting them right. With the most appropriate lighting, the perfect setting, and models that reflect your ideal audience, you can really make magic. And it’s sure to have a huge effect on your sales.
Author bio & headshot:
Aaron Haynes is the CEO of Loganix, an SEO fulfillment partner that supports marketing agencies and professionals. The company specializes in helping businesses to improve their online visibility and ultimately make more sales. The Loganix blog has a lot more information and advice, so make sure you check it out if you found this article helpful.