Fudge on plate, an example of a great product image

Why Incredible Product Images Are So Important.

by Christina Palmer from Captured by Crissi

Having incredible product images should be one of your top priorities… but why?

Think about when you go out shopping. Shops put up big displays to inspire us. It allows us to imagine owning the products and visualise them in our lives. Humans are incredibly cognitive creatures – we rely on our senses and choosing to buy something is a cognitive decision – in person we are able to use multiple senses when making that decision. We look and touch, smell and listen…

No matter how hard we try, online shopping does not match up because we have to rely solely on how a product looks in the images. Which is exactly why incredible product images are so important. Use your images to take the customer on a journey and help them explore the products you have on offer.

How to Get Incredible Product Images

The easiest option? Hire a product photographer. They know exactly what they are doing and can provide you with a sounding board to discuss ideas and options. They will either come to you or take products away to photograph before returning to you. They will work with you to produce the ideal images for you. This can, however, be an expensive option.

Or, you can learn to take them yourself. It isn’t as simple as just taking a photo though. There are elements that need to be taken into consideration, such as lighting, style of photo, composition of photo, if you want to give your customers the very best shopping experience you have to offer.

Tips for Lighting Your Own Product Images

The most important thing to learn about is lighting. It can be your friend, or it can be your enemy and it will either elevate your photos or hold them back.

Consider the spaces you have available to you – what are your light sources? Try and avoid using overhead and artificial lighting. These light sources produce a narrower range of the light spectrum and can affect the colour and hue of your images. Instead look for your natural light sources such as windows and doors. These could provide lovely pockets of lighting that will be ideal for taking your images. If they are letting in full sunlight all day, it’s no good – this is not ideal as it will create hard shadows and harsh highlights. However, it means the opposite side of the house will be have the perfect ambient light required.

If you are worried your house is too dark, or you aren’t convinced the natural light isn’t creating the image you had in mind, this is the time to look at buying some studio lighting. Studio lighting is preferable to other artificial lighting, because they give you much more control. You can change how bright they are, the angle of the lighting and even the warmth of the bulb (how white/yellow it is).

This is just skimming the surface and if you’d like to learn more about taking your own product photography using nothing more than your smart phone then please check out my Guide to Product Photography.

Christina Palmer is the photographer behind Captured by Crissi. She is a business, wedding and family photographer with years of experience in taking photos that will help you show the world who you are and what your business means to you.

Having fantastic product photography is one way of increasing the leads from your website. If you need any other website tips check out our Perfectly Planned Website Challenge where we will talk more about images on your website as well as other key actions you should be taking. Or you could have a look at our Five Things to Improve Your Website Conversions download.

Header photo by Christina Palmer.

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