April 13, 2020

A 3 Step Process To Capturing High-Conversion ECommerce Photography

Ecommerce photography defines the sales output of your business. Why? Because people like to see what they will get. Learn how to take converting photos now.

With about 1.3 million eCommerce sellers in the world, knowing how to make your business one of the top ones can be incredibly difficult.

A great place to start is by improving your eCommerce photography. Capturing high-quality product photography can help you to attract new customers and convert new clients.

Keep reading to learn how to get started with product photography.

1. Know Your Camera

The first thing that you need to know when attempting to create high-conversion eCommerce photography is your camera.

While shooting with a high-quality phone is definitely an option, it's vital that you understand what your settings mean. If you have a digital SLR at your disposal, shooting with that will allow you to have a lot more control.

Let's dive in!

Shooting With a Phone

Unless you have the latest iPhone or Samsung with incredibly high-quality cameras, you should probably stick to shooting with a DSLR if possible.

If you are shooting with a phone, use the different cameras to your advantage. Many cameras have some sort of portrait mode available today which will allow you to capture the product with a shallow depth of field. This means that the background will be blurry and your product will be in focus.

When shooting with a phone, make sure that you don't have any night light on that warms the screen. You want to be able to see what your product actually looks like with the lighting that you have available.

Additionally, if the photo is looking too bright or too dark, while in the camera app, tap the screen and a little exposure line should appear. You can drag up or down to change the exposure. Make sure that the product is correctly exposed! The exposure of the background matters far less than your product.

Shooting With a Digital SLR

If you're shooting with a DSLR you're going to have a lot more control over your settings. You'll also have more success when editing, as more image data is captured by a DSLR than is typically captured by a phone. If you're going to be editing in a professional photo editing software like Lightroom, switch your camera from capturing in jpg to RAW or NEF.

There are three important elements that you need to know when shooting in manual mode.

  • Aperture
  • Shutter speed
  • ISO

Aperture

Aperture refers to how open your shutter is. A higher number like f/22 means that the shutter is very tiny so not a lot of light is let in. There will be little to no depth of field if you shoot this high. For product photography, stick to numbers from f/1.8 to f/5.6.

Shutter Speed

Shutter speed refers to how fast the shutter opens and closes to capture the image. Unless your product is moving, you won't need a very high shutter speed.

If you're holding your camera by hand (without a tripod) you'll want to set your shutter at no slower than 1/100 of a second. Any slower (1/90, 1/50, 1, 10, 20 etc.) can result in camera shake and a blurry photo.

ISO

ISO refers to the light sensitivity of your camera. If you're shooting in a well-lit area, an ISO of 100 is a good place to start. If the photo seems a little dark you can increase it up to an ISO of 200. Don't go beyond ISO 400 or you might have some grainy photos.

How Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO Work Together

These three elements work together to help you capture the perfectly exposed and sharp photo. The best way to learn how they work together is to pull out your camera and take some test shots.

Changing one will probably mean that you need to change another. They all affect each other. For example, if I take a photo and decide that it's too dark, I could change either my aperture, shutter speed, or ISO to let more light in.

However, I need to remember that if I increase my ISO it may result in a grainy photo. I could reduce my shutter speed to let more light in but that may result in camera shake. If I open my aperture more, the photo might have too much of a blurry background.

Learning how to operate a camera manually can be tricky and frustrating at first, but once you know the basics, your photos will easily be better than your competition's!

Capturing the Product

Books have been written about how to perfectly capture a product, but we'll just give you a few easy tips to start:

  • Use natural light unless you have specific studio lights
  • Avoid harsh shadows (or shadows at all)
  • Capture lifestyle photos of the product in use
  • Capture the product from all angles
  • Find inspiration from your competitors

These tips can help you get started on improving your eCommerce photography.

2. Edit Your Photos

Your photos aren't finished until you edit them! Editing allows you to bring out the colors and make sure that the lighting is perfect. You can remove any imperfections or distractions in the photograph that detract from your product.

Don't skip this step! Editing is something that new photographers often overlook but it is a vital part of the process.

Here are a few programs to get started with editing:

  • Lightroom and Photoshop (paid)
  • Lightroom Mobile app (free)
  • Snapseed (free)

Try out these programs to see what best suits your needs.

3. Know Your Clients

The final step is to know your clients. What do they frequently ask about your product and how can you present that visually?

Maybe they want to know if a product is dishwasher safe; include a product photo of it in your sparkling dishwasher. Perhaps your clients want to know the size of the product. Take some photos with something that allows them to determine the size. This doesn't have to be just your product with a ruler, you can get creative!

Let Us Help You With Ecommerce Photography

You might be feeling a bit overwhelmed. This is a lot to take in! You're trying to run a business and learn a new skill at the same time.

Why not let us give you a hand?

From capturing products on white backgrounds to creating brand documentaries, with eCommerce photography, we can help you take your eCommerce business from a side gig to a full-time event!

Get in touch today to learn what we can do for you.

Kyle Nelson

About the Author

Kyle Nelson, CEO of Results Imagery has a background in media, branding and marketing. With past start-up success and noticing an emerging need in premium eCommerce media services, he co-founded Results Imagery; allowing the industry to have a full-service studio option serving national clientele ranging from fortune 500 companies to small mom-and-pop boutiques.