There is no denying the power of attractive photos, especially in the world of e-commerce. Simply scroll through a well laid out Instagram feed and take note of the number of likes and comments under each post. The same principle applies to images used to advertise products on your e-store. While an in-depth description is important, clear pictures of the product will be the first thing to grab a potential buyer’s attention. You want to ensure that your catalogue or photo gallery is neatly and engagingly laid out in order to persuade browsers to want to see more. With phones such as Samsung being made with high-quality cameras you don’t have to worry about investing in an expensive camera if you don’t have the money to afford it. Whether or not you do use a high-end camera, however, a few key tricks will still help you take great shots for your store. 

Pay attention to light and colour

The lighting you use when taking your product shots depends on the mood you want to create and the personality of the brand. Some brands stick to bright, well-lit shots while others get a more sleek look from having a dark background. The pros are using software like Adobe Photoshop and Adobe Lightroom, but iPhone and Android apps like VSCO and Afterlight are easy to use alternatives. Know what you want your buyers to feel when they look at your products. Similarly, the colours you highlight in each shot will be determined by who you wish to appeal to and the type of product you’re selling. Most smartphones these days come well equipped with built-in technology to adjust for lighting depending on the feel you want to communicate.

General Rule: Ensure your product can be clearly seen. Buyers will quickly lose interest if they have to struggle to figure out what they’re looking at. 

Unless it’s a set - take individual shots

Don’t be tempted to put a number of similar items in one shot. Buyers want to be able to see as much of the item they’re interested in as possible. Even items that come as a set should have individual shots. The more you can show your buyers, the easier you will make it for them to decide. 

Ensure your product stands out

Product shots don’t have to be boring! Use some of those selfie skills you’ve acquired. Incorporate blurred backgrounds, add filters, take shots from interesting angles. Remember - the aim is to make your product stand out, not just from the site but also in the viewer’s mind. You want your item to look so appealing that they come back to it even if they went to look at your competitors’ products. Do a quick Google image search to see what similar shots are out there and find ways to make yours different. Maybe you can edit your image to add a more unique touch - such as your logo or a trademark feature in Photoshop. 

Brand your images

Another way to really ensure your images stand out and to properly align with your brand is to add branding. This can be a simple logo that is added to your images, a personalized watermark and any such personalization. You can design a logo in Photoshop or with a free site such as Canva and make it unique by using your own fonts and colours. Be sure that your artwork ties back to what your web store is all about in order to further develop your brand. 

Choose the right models

This is once again dependent on who your brand is, who you are targeting and the vibe you’re going for with that particular shot. In the case of clothing items, be very mindful of the subliminal messages you might send to your audiences. Time and again brands have fallen short by not being inclusive or diverse enough, mainly using petite models of light complexion with straight hair even when marketing to a mixed market. Find someone who represents your average customer. If hiring a model is too costly, consider finding stock photos that represent your brand and products well. 

Highlight defining features of the products

What makes your product unique? What makes it such a great item? Is it the brand, the designs, the colours? Find ways to highlight those features in your shots. You can do this by using complementary of contrasting background colours, doing close up shots, overhead shots. 

A part of what will make your online shop successful is how well it is marketed. Take some practice shots and share with your friends to get feedback. Remember - your skill will improve with practice!