Think about what you’ve purchased online recently. Did the website have photos of the products you bought? Of course it did. Think about those photos, though. Did they make a good impression? Is that what drew you into making that purchase? Probably, which is why excellent product photography is one of the most important aspects of running a business, especially an eCommerce business.
Product photography allows your customers to see the product for what it is. They should be able to see every feature, every side of the product while also presenting it in an enticing manner, such as on a model built like them so they can imagine themselves wearing or using it or paired with other products that they might already own or are thinking about buying.
But, product photography isn’t black and white. What works for one company might not work for another in their goal to boost sales. It depends on the products you’re selling, who you’re selling them to, and how you present your product photography to your customers.
Here are a few tips to creating product photography that shows off your products while also standing out against your competition who sell similar products.
Consider Product-on-white photography
Putting a product on a white background makes the product stand out. It is simple, clean, and to the point. This product photography works for most eCommerce websites, but it can also be replicated easily by other sellers who will likely want to try to compete with your product as well as make customers think that they might as well purchase from them because they aren’t offering anything different.
A product shot against a white backdrop is designed to draw attention to the product itself, not any of its features or functions, which may mean that potential customers who want to know more about it will have to look elsewhere. For eCommerce websites that sell products that are essentially blank canvases for customers’ imaginations, product-on-white product photography is a great idea.
It’s the most used type of product photography, usually used by most big box stores like Best Buy or Amazon. It’s a basic form of product photography that most companies employ.
If you want to try product-on-white photography for yourself, check out our previous blog that shares tips on this type of product photography.
Others, however, might want to consider product-on-color photography instead.
Consider Product-on-color product photography
Putting a product on a color background allows the product itself to pop out in front of that background color. It draws attention to the product itself, making it stand out more. product-on-color product photography is often used by smaller websites where the competition between eCommerce companies is less fierce and each product stands a better chance of being noticed on its own merits rather than trying to compete with other products offered by other companies that are similar but not quite the same.
It works for product photography where the product itself has a standout feature, such as jewelry or clothing. It can be used for other types of products as well, but it depends on how your product stands out against its background color.
Clothing companies use models to show off their products. They showcase everything product photography can do. It can make clothing look good on anyone, no matter what body type they have or how it looks on them.
Models aren’t just for clothing companies, though. Other eCommerce websites that are product-based also need to find models for their product photography as well, especially ones that sell products that look good on anyone.
A product photo may not be enough for that product to stand out. It needs a model or a person who can show that product in use as well as garner interest from potential customers so they know how it could look on them and what they could do with the product.
You’ll want to be sure that you’re hiring the right models, of course. If you’re selling clothes that fit a wide range of body types, hire models of all body types so that your entire customer base feels included.
Use Props, but carefully
Using props in product photography requires a bit of balance. You don’t want your customers buying something and believing that the props are included with the sale and you don’t want them to think that the product you’re trying to sell is the prop instead.
Products should be the focus of product photography, not the product’s surroundings. Taking product-on-prop product shots can help an eCommerce business stand out from other product-on-white photographs by adding a sense of theme and character to the images themselves.
Using props in product photos can help set an eCommerce store apart from its competitors, however. An eCommerce store selling children’s toys, for example, might consider product photos with kids playing with the product. An eCommerce store that sells kites could try product shots of people flying kites or images that include other objects that are related to the product, such as wind and bright sun.
Don’t be afraid to get creative!
Just because you’re taking photographs of products doesn’t mean you have to stick to what’s usually done. Go ahead and get creative with your products! It will help set your product shots apart from the rest.
Be sure to consider product-on-prop product photography for eCommerce websites that sell products that are meant to be used or enjoyed by customers, but don’t forget that product photos of otherwise plain product samples can also stand out by putting them on more interesting backgrounds like contrasting colors or settings.
You can easily find simple backdrops for sale that look realistic, such as posterboard with textures. They’re inexpensive and can easily be stored in sturdy tubes for multiple uses. Or perhaps consider fabric backdrops. Fabric backdrops can be classy and comfortable, depending on the vibe you’re trying to get out of them.
Think outside the studio, too. Outdoor shoots are worth considering for products you’d use outside.
Use product photography for marketing
It can be difficult to entice customers into purchasing a product when all they have is standard product photography that presents no thought or identity to them. It can help your eCommerce business stand out from the product-on-white crowd if you use product photography in marketing so that customers can see how it will relate to their lives, too.
Using product photography in eCommerce marketing is a great way to help your product stand out from your competitors. It can also make it easier for customers to imagine owning and using the product in their lives, which makes them more likely to buy it from you rather than somewhere else.
This is where getting creative can really bring life to your product photography. For example, if your product is a product that’s meant to be used outdoors, such as camping gear or hiking equipment, product photography can help show how it’s used in everyday life. Instead of product shots on white backgrounds, consider setting the product outdoors and showing its use by taking product photos out in nature. If your product is a home decor product, product photos in a home may be the way to go.
Product photography can also help show product identity and purpose when they aren’t used in everyday life. For example, product images set inside of a home that feature product photography can still help customers imagine owning and using the product. However, it’s especially helpful if you add product-on-prop product shots that give the product a personality and highlight its benefits.
How to Edit Product Photos
Outfit your product photos with product image editing software such as Photoshop or Lightroom for product photography that really stands out.
You can even use product photography in marketing without editing the product images themselves. However, product image editing software like Photoshop or Lightroom makes it easy to give product images an edge that shows off their premium quality. For example, product photography in eCommerce marketing is much more premium when you edit product images with product photography software that has the ability to sharpen product images.
Professional product photography is best for eCommerce product marketing. A product can’t stand out if it doesn’t look great. That’s why product photography needs the same amount of attention as product marketing does. After all, product photography is used in product marketing! So make sure your product image editing software uses product photography software to really bring life to product images so that product marketing can stand out with product images.
Product photos are just one part of your product marketing strategy, but they’re an important part. That’s why you need product photography that stands out from the competition, whether it’s product images on white backgrounds or product-on-prop product images.
If you use product photo editing software to give product images an edge, product photography can help your eCommerce business stand out from the product-on-white crowd while also helping customers imagine owning and using the product in their lives.
Consider Product Videography
Why not take it one step further and create a video that shows your products off? Video is the fastest-growing online content type. So product videos are a great way to give product marketing an edge and really catch viewers’ attention when they’re scrolling through their social media feeds.
A product video is also perfect for eCommerce product marketing because it allows you to give product images a voice by creating product videos that explain how to use your product and why it stands out from the product-on-white crowd.
Keep product photography and product videos in mind when creating product marketing materials, such as product images on white backgrounds and product-on-prop product photos, so you can add another element to your product marketing strategy that shows off your products in a way no other eCommerce business does.
Hire a photographer
If you don’t have the ability to take product photos that you and your company can be proud of, consider hiring a company to do it for you! C&I Studios is one of those companies. You can also look for freelance photographers that have the necessary skills and equipment, too.
Not only can they take the product photos for you, but many of them also offer editing services. Just make sure that you’re asking the right questions before signing a contract with them.
By hiring outside of your company, you can be sure to hire someone who knows what they’re doing, who may have ideas that you didn’t think of, and has all the right equipment to make your products really stand out against your competition. Collaboration is one of the best things you can do to keep the creative juices flowing and be able to get the best end product possible!
Now that you have a few tips and ideas on how to get a leg up with your product photography, you can go out and make sure that your products are represented realistically and enticingly for your customers. You’ll be able to boost your sales by directly posting these photos on your eCommerce site but also bring in new customers with refreshed marketing content!