A picture may be worth a thousand words. However, when it comes to e-commerce and online product listings, it is worth so much more than that. In the world of online marketing, a great product is only as good as the photos used to advertise it. Though many large companies outsource their product photography and editing work, you can still create quality images to supplement your Amazon product listings. This strategy allows you to rely on your own skills and some tips and tricks employed by professional photographers.
Depending on your camera settings and filming location, it might take quite a bit of practice before you are consistently taking usable photos. Fortunately, there are plenty of aids and tools available to help improve your photography techniques. Taking great product photos can usually be accomplished with the right environment and decent editing abilities, so do your best to broaden your skills and adopt a few new strategies to produce high-quality content.
1. Sizing Your Photos
Amazon product photos need to be sized to a minimum of 1000px, so ideally you should keep your photos between 1000px and 2000px. Even if your products contain small parts that customers are going to want to take a closer look at, keep your photos within this size range. Customers can always take advantage of Amazon’s zoom feature to take a closer look at your products if they so choose.
Setting your photo sizing above 2000px will only increase load times, which could lead to awkwardly-angled photos after automatically cropping. On the other hand, making the photos too small keeps customers from being able to observe the product closely before making their purchase. This can lead to customer dissatisfaction if the product received varies wildly from what was pictured.
With the right size, you can avoid a plethora of photo issues and optimize the way your photos look when paired with automatic processing.
2. Product Positioning
When taking pictures of your products, try to position them with photo cropping in mind. Even with proper photo sizing, you’re probably going to need to crop your photos to some degree to fit the square photo frame displayed in your listing. It’s best to plan ahead of taking product pictures, so that your cropping does not distract from the overall quality of the images.
Remember, Amazon crops photos so that they fill a square slot, so you’ll want to make the most of your photo space. Don’t make your products appear crowded, but carefully utilize your frame. This way, your photos will not be cropped in a way that makes the “added padding” feature show up. It’s far better to have clean, crisp photos than ones with large blocks of colorized padding distracting customers when they view your products.
3. Your Main Image
It’s no surprise that your product’s main image should be the most eye-catching in the group. While each photo in your gallery should complement the product, your main photo needs to encourage your customers to look closer. The main image is going to be the first preview that people see when they’re searching for your products, so having the highest quality main image is going to be what convinces a customer to click on your listing instead of the array of other offerings within the marketplace.
Your main image should be defined, free of padding borders, and should clearly display your product in the best way that a single image can.
4. Photo Quality
Quality product images are a must, but creating the perfect image can be a challenge for sellers who do not have a lot of photography experience. Though the art of photography can be complicated, there are several simple tactics that sellers can adopt from the pros in order to make their photos look their absolute best.
For starters, take high-definition photos so that the quality of your product can be seen clearly in single images, especially your main image. Avoid busy-looking backgrounds or distracting graphics that take the focus away from your product as well.
The Right Lighting
Poor lighting is one of the easiest ways to ruin a good product photo. Unflattering shadows or color-changing light quality can make a great product look cheap and unappealing, so make sure that you are taking your photos in an adequately lit room. Both studio lighting and natural lighting work wonders when it comes to taking professional product photos. Experiment in the space you’re allotted to determine which angles and what time of day works best for your light quality.
Another way to greatly reduce a photo’s potential is by taking a shaky shot. Depending on the camera you’re using, movement sensitivity might show up in your photos and make them look blurry or grainy. Either strive to keep a very steady hand when you’re taking product pictures or invest in a tripod so that you can be certain your camera remains as still as possible.
Multiple Shots to Choose From
Don’t stop at one product photo per angle. Take several shots from multiple angles so that you can examine a full gallery later and choose the images that best represent your products. It’s better to take your photos in the same area at the same time of day than to have to reshoot several angles in lighting that does not match the rest of the gallery.
When in doubt, consider exploring the web for some inspiration. Visit some of your favorite online stores and take a look at listings of products you commonly purchase. What about these listings appeal to you in their photos? If you can, adopt photo styles similar to those you see in best-selling products.
5. Photo and Video Inclusion
Take advantage of the photo and video slots that Amazon allows in your listing. Typically, a seller is allowed 7 slots for product photos, though you might be able to work around this limit. In Seller Central, Amazon allows sellers to add a total of nine images to their listing, but the final two are not optimized for viewing. They’re not immediately visible in the listing, so customers have to search through the image gallery to view the final two.
Because the final two images are not often seen, they do not typically contribute to sales in a significant way. Instead of dedicating extra time to the two additional photos, it’s advisable to plan out six or seven quality images and a single video (if allowed) on your product listing. Of this collection of images, one is the eye-catching main image, three or four more images can be added to further illustrate product features and details, and the final two can be used to place your product into a stock image for scene inspiration.
The seventh slot can also be used for a product sample video, which is not always an included feature in product listings. Usually, only listings that have Enhanced Brand Content are able to include product videos in their listings.
6. Amazon’s Features
The Seller Central feature utilizes several tools that are meant to make product listings easier for sellers. However, when sellers are not aware of the automatic tools that Seller Central uses, issues can arise that impact the quality of their product photos. For example, Seller Central automatically compresses and processes photos when they’re uploaded. While this is convenient, the feature can damage photos that have already been compressed previously.
Save yourself some time and allow Amazon’s compression feature to compress your photos so that you don’t have to.
Additionally, avoid adding Amazon’s multi-pack logo to your images via photo editing software. Amazon will add the logo on its own as long as sellers opt to update their listing’s package quantity.
7. Time Saving
If you’re reading through Amazon’s product listing guides before you upload your images, you may have come across the term “300 DPI” or something similar. It is okay to disregard this term when it comes to uploading your product photos. This term only really applies to printed photo quality rather than upload quality, so the term “300 DPI” does not need to be considered when uploading product photos to your Amazon listings.
If you’re uploading several high-quality images, the process might take a while. Do not attempt to refresh during the upload process if you assume that an error has occurred. It’s not uncommon for photo upload requests to take more than 15 minutes to complete.
While you’re waiting, make yourself comfortable or tackle another task on your list. The upload time will pass much faster when you’re not waiting in front of your screen.
8. Photography Rules
Rest assured: you do not have to adhere to a specific image naming system. While there are suggestions for naming, they are by no means rigid rules. Your product photos are not breaking any rules should you decide to title them any way you please, and they will not be flagged in the rare case that someone notices your photos are not following the image naming suggestion.
Many sellers worry about Amazon’s photo guidelines, such as the one that claims that glossy white backgrounds are a rule violation. While this is technically true according to Amazon’s rules, many sellers still opt for the clean look of glossy white backgrounds. The rules are not strictly enforced.
That is not to say that you should set out to violate the guidelines. It is advisable that you do your best to follow Amazon’s rules as much as you can. You just should not let any fear of making an error keep you from using your images. Just know that if your product photos are flagged, even when using photo techniques that apparently violate photo rules, you will not face any dire consequences. You will likely be asked to amend your photos to meet the guidelines.
Bottomline: chances are, if you see a photography technique on a wide array of other Amazon listings, you’re unlikely to come across any issues when using similar techniques to display your own products.
9. Uploading Reminders
Save your product images as SRGB files when you upload them to the web. While Amazon pages state that CMYK is an acceptable format to use, you should avoid it if you value your photos’ color schemes. Formats other than SRGB can negatively impact the color quality of the photos despite what Amazon guides state.
If you have uploaded photos and you notice that the color gradient does not match the quality observed in your original photos, they have likely been uploaded in a format that does not properly maintain color schemes. It’s in your best interest to re-upload the images and ensure that they’re in the correct format before continuing.
10. Professional Investment
Photography can be complicated, and replicating the images you see when shopping for your favorite products is no simple feat. This is because many brands choose to invest in professional photography services. If you find that you’re still struggling to produce quality photos even after taking all of the necessary steps, you may want to think about hiring a professional photographer.
While paying for professional photography services might sound like a costly investment, having high-quality photos of your products is usually worth the expense in the long run. With professional photos, your listings appeal to a wider audience and you’re more likely to increase sales when people are able to trust the appearance of your products.
If you plan on investing in professional photography services, be certain to work with a photographer with experience in the field of product photography. While professional photographers are required to have certain qualifications, one photographer does not always equal another when it comes to the subjects being photographed. For example, a baby photographer might not approach product photography the same way a professional in the field may. Conduct research before making a decision.
Taking the time to produce great photo content is a surefire way to increase customer conversions on your listings. Because online shopping prevents shoppers from being able to physically examine your products before purchasing them, create photos that do the next best thing. Provide your customers with enough visual detail to feel confident in purchasing products from your store.
If you’re looking for an expert approach to product photography, we at Results Imagery pride ourselves in our ability to deliver the highest quality of product images. Whether you’re seeking crisp product photos on a clean background, lifestyle images, or product videos, you have come to the right place. Let us help you tackle any aspect of your product imagery needs.