Showcase your Product like a Pro
“If a picture paints a thousand words”……then the visuals that you choose for your online store should reflect the best of your product!
Not quite the iconic words of the original song by ‘Bread’ but proof that pictures and visuals are of the utmost importance in our online world.
An amateur looking photograph could send your customers away – most customers would not bother to click to find out more about the product if the picture is a blurry thumbnail. So, make the time to learn how to present your products expertly and you could see your sales figures rocket!
Fortunately you don’t need to hire expert help or spend thousands on a studio to achieve this end effect. Here are our tips for creating that professional looking shot for your online store:
Nature provides perfect light for taking photographs especially if you are lucky enough to be able to enjoy enough sunlight in the day! (Hint: This may not work so well in Norway in the Winter!) Move a table next to a window and turn off all artificial lights to enjoy a naturally soft diffused light.
Try not to use a flash unless you have the correct backdrop on which to take it – there is nothing worse than seeing a flash ‘glare’ on a product. This will cheapen your shot and make your pictures look amateurish.
Of course, there are many lighting kits available and these include those that have a ‘continuous’ light which could provide a better option than flash and offer a depth to the picture at the same time. Sometimes a simple clamp light will also work just as well.
2. Stage your picture
Be creative but don’t take away the focus of your product. A white or other neutral colour such as grey can be simple yet effective. Use some glare free craft paper and roll out on a table, then create a ‘ramp’ or ‘sweep’ type effect by clamping it to something a few feet higher with some craft clips. This conveys a very professional finish whilst also adding depth to a picture. Creatively, some sellers will also use vintage books, industrial surfaces, wood, paper, cloth or metal – experiment until you feel you have showcased your product to it’s best advantage. Of course, depending on what your product or service is you may require a different kind of shot. A model (or mannequin) to wear your clothing or jewelry line can also help give the viewer perspective and adds a new dynamic.
However, don’t get too carried away with your creativity! Anything that distracts from the product or is not linked in some way could just divert the viewer’s attention away.
You may think you need a fancy camera – and the salesman may tell you as such – but the truth is that with the advances in technology, some of cameras in phones can also produce a great effect. Find out what features your camera phone has and learn how to utilise these effectively. However, if you can afford to have a DSLR you are obviously going to have a wider choice of lens choice – for use such as close up work or jewellry photography. Ensure that you use the correct aperture and white balance and refrain from using a wide angle lens. This will just distort your product.
A tripod is a necessity and needn’t be expensive. Even if you are shooting on a phone this is a wise investment – eliminating the ‘shake’ and improving the quality of your photo.
Your online store need not only be about still photos. How about a tutorial video or clip to really give the viewer a first hand experience? Always take more shots than you think you will need as it’s easier to remove than to add and always document your process. Include a variety of shots showing before, during and after and also a variety of shots in different scenarios or situations. If you need to show your hands, it’s wise to enlist the help of a friend or consider making yourself a headcam? Show your customers how that cake / pair of earrings / clothing range came about and give the product some history and a story that people can relate to. A tutorial can really bring a product to life.
5. And finally……
Make sure your product is showcased to its’ best advantage. Rub off any sticky fingerprints and make sure the background, camera lens and product are spotless. If your product is clothing-make sure it is ironed, doesn’t have any stray or pulled threads or any stains or blemishes. Although Photoshop is an amazing tool, it should be used only for final touches or colour details. Don’t be afraid to try something new and experiment with new ideas and your own creativity.