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Sunday, June 28, 2009

How To Photograph Your Product to Enhance Your Online Sales in 4 Easy Steps

Here are some tips anyone with ANY camera can begin using today to improve the quality of their shots for online sales.

**Given the fact that few online vendors are also skilled photographers with fancy lighting set ups, we’re keeping things super simple by using natural light. **

1. Turn Off the Flash

Start by turning off your flash. 9 times out of 10 glare (caused by the flash) on your product is going to make the image look amateur and as a result lower the buyer’s confidence in the quality of the product as a whole. Wait until daytime, turn out any lights in the room, and pull a table up close to a window or doorway. Photograph your product there in the soft difused light. Diffused light isn’t only flattering light for skin tones and face shapes, it’s just as powerful a photographic tool on your pretty product.

2. Remove Distracting Elements

I can’t even believe that I’m forced to point this out. Sheesh people. :) Remove anything from the photograph that doesn’t add directly to the feel/concept of the image as a whole. Obviously this includes any kind of mess or clutter that is in no way related to the product, but also, this applies to elements you’re tempted to add to the image just for the sake of creativity. I know it’s our tendency to attempt to grab the buyer’s attention by utelizing our creativity to create a “catchy” image. Remember: 99.9% of the time what we think is going to be “catchy” ends up being a turn off to buyers as it simply looks cluttered and distracting. Not to say that there’s no good in staging. . .

3. Utilize Simple Staging.

Simply placing your product on a piece of glare free fabric (or paper) can be sufficient. A a simple complimentary pattern may add a little punch without feeling too busy. Having a model wear the product (if applicable) rather than just photographing it lying lifeless on a table can add dynamic. The trick is to attempt to be creative without getting out of control. Your product should be the focus of the image.

The rule of thumb should be, if your staging is distracting from your product, or if your eye isn’t immediately drawn to your product, but first drifts to another part of the image, then you need to back off of the staging. Be sure to get an outsider’s opinion. Sometimes we get so caught up in the concept we’re going for as photographers that our judgment can become clouded.

4. Employ Creative Use of Depth of Field to Highlight Product Detail

Use a low aperture to create a shallow depth of field to highlight the elements that make your product special. Since people can’t physically handle your product, you’ve got to make sure you show them everything there is to show. . . including the details. If you’re not familiar with controling depth of field check out this article from the DPS archives or simply switch your camera over to Aperture Priority and make sure your aperture (fstop) is dialed down to the lowest possible number your lens allows.


Happy Shooting!
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