Quality product photos are crucial to the online buying process. Today, roughly two-thirds of consumer purchase decisions are made solely based on product photography, and this can be attributed to the increase in ecommerce shopping during the pandemic. While there is only so much you can say about a product with a limited amount of space, photos and videos offer a multidimensional perspective that empowers shoppers to make their own judgement calls.
“We are living in a visual economy,” Liz Giorgi, CEO and co-founder of soona, said. “We can all remember a time where we would wander throughout the market to find a gift or a new pair of shoes, and looking at them up close was an experience, but today’s consumer is trying to have that experience virtually. They think about what kind of footwear to purchase, and brands can use social media content to close those gaps in perception and make it easier to create those moments of connection and get that add-to-cart moment. Visuals allow them to do that.”
Start With the Basics
In order to take captivating product photos, Giorgi suggests starting with the basics of the item you are trying to photograph. This includes getting a good understanding of who will be using your product and in what ways they will be using it. For example, if you are selling a product to young moms, then show young moms in your pictures or videos so they know you are speaking to them. Kitchen wares also should be shown in a kitchen to give shoppers the understanding of how this item will help improve their life.
Choose Your Background
Once you have a good idea of your target audience, it is time to start taking the photos. According to Joe Doherty, ecommerce Manager at Atkins, if you start with a white background, this allows brands to take clean, product only images. “Here you can feature your chosen product with a variety of different angles. Ensure the product is well lit with two off-camera lights, one of which is placed about 45 degrees behind the product, and another in front of it in the other corner. Place your lights quite high up and pointing downwards in order to reduce shadow length,” Doherty said.
Photo light boxes provide the perfect background and lighting to allow brands to take flawless photos. This LED Light Room Photo Studio Photography Lighting Tent Backdrop Mini Box from DHGate is not only super affordable, but it also comes with LED lights and is foldable so you can take it with you wherever you want.
Roll Out the Red Carpet
According to data from Soona customers, including Lola Tampons, The Sill, and Wild Earth Dog Food, there is a surprisingly high percentage of companies using the once forbidden color red to accent their photos and sell products. Giorgi says that brands are starting to use this color to make a statement and stand out from the competition. Red also creates more urgency for customers, and it has been shown to create a faster checkout time. This is a great way to give shoppers that sense of urgency to buy the product now rather than waiting.
Some other statistics from Soona’s customers include:
- There has been a 271% rise in organic elements, which includes anything from plants, to fruit, to shots on the beach — particularly in direct-to-consumer — advertising is working.
- The use of micromovements (i.e. four frames of movement in one shot, like this example: https://www.instagram.com/p/CN5OAIGHBq4/ or even GIFS have been shown to increase conversation rates by 40%.
- Brands using hands in product shots have seen a 31% lift in shopping cart conversion rate.
Tripods for the Win
“It goes without saying, but use a tripod,” Doherty said. “If you do not have a tripod, use a stack of books or something similar to keep your camera stationary and to achieve consistency through your shots. It is also very important to remember the rule of three, and this is something that is taught in most basic photography classes. This helps you create balance in your shot and where to place your focus. You divide your canvas into 9 equal segments and you must position your product along the lines, ideally where the lines intersect.”
Don’t Fret and Grab a Pet
Another great photo opportunity is for pet brands to use actual animals in their images. According to Giorgi, this helps consumers to understand how they can use the product in their own life. Sellers are not just saying “here is my pet food product” with a white background, but they are also adding joyfulness and liveliness to the item.
“Nobody likes boring images, so you need to bring life to them,” Giorgi said. “It has been an amazing shift happening in the industry and moving away from sterility. In the days of walking down the street and looking through the window of a shop, it is so joyful and gives you that moment of happiness with wanting to connect with the brand. Online, we do not have those same moments of walking down the street, so bring that happiness to your customers through better images.”