What is Product Photography? The Right Approach for Ecommerce
With such a wide range of smartphone camera apps available these days, it has become effortless for amateur photographers to take phenomenal photos. But when it comes to capturing product images for your brand’s ecommerce site, we recommend handing the photography to the professionals.
“Product photography is about more than just creating a beautiful image of your product,” explains Karli Foster, Nogin’s director of photography. “It’s about finding the perfect balance of quality, efficiency, and accuracy to ensure that your customers get what they want when they need it.”
When it comes to a brand’s need to photograph many products, partnering with a full-service photography studio that you can trust is incredibly beneficial. As the pros at Pixpa say, “A picture might be worth a thousand words, but when it comes to product photography, photos can be worth thousands of dollars.”
Karli Foster will walk you through the best process to set up product photography for your ecommerce website. However, let’s start with why product photography is so crucial for your ecommerce business.
Product Photography in Ecommerce: Why It’s Instrumental to Help Increase Sales
Since customers are engaging, viewing, and learning about your products solely on an online platform, your product photos must make visitors feel like they are in person holding and experiencing your products.
Whether you run a DTC CPG ecommerce, cosmetics ecommerce, luxury ecommerce, or any other product-driven ecommerce business, great photos are instrumental in cultivating a positive customer experience. You also want to ensure your website has a mobile responsive design to provide consistent experiences across devices which aligns with a superior user experience strategy.
The post coronavirus ecommerce space continues to grow, and many shoppers continue to shift to online shopping mediums rather than in-store browsing. However, the products that customers choose to purchase primarily come down to reputable websites with rich product listings that give shoppers all the information they need to make an informed and confident purchase decision.
Suppose you have already allocated a portion of your marketing budget towards targeted ads to bring shoppers through your ecommerce marketing funnel. In that case, your product listings must get users from the consideration phase to the conversion phase. Product page optimization starts with uploading engaging product photography that showcases your items in the best light. Upload your product from multiple angles, videos, and infographic images that display the benefits of your products. For instance, here is a product photo from a nutritious soup bone for dogs:
The image gives viewers added information about the product that helps convince them to make a purchase. This is old-school advertising 101: the more information you provide your customers, the more likely they will make a purchase.
For more ideas on how to optimize your product listings and increase conversions, check out some of our helpful guides below:
- Retail Pricing Strategies
- Retail Markdown Strategy
- Customer Retention Strategy
- Ecommerce Return Rate Solutions
- Ecommerce Keyword Research Guide
- Top Ecommerce KPIs
- Marketing Analytics Guide
Preparing for the Photo Shoot
“A common misunderstanding about product photography is that anybody can just take a photo and put it online. There are a lot more steps involved than that,” explains Foster, who estimates five to seven individuals handle each product during production. “When you’re working with product photography, the greatest challenge involves the process of working with a large number of products.”
Because of this, process efficiency is an extremely important element. Photoproduction begins by preparing all product samples well before the actual photoshoot. Depending on the products, this might involve removing packaging and tags, stuffing bags and shoes, and steaming or ironing clothing. Appropriate style looks are coordinated at this point, and all products are lined up in the order that they will be photographed.
If models are involved, Nogin can help coordinate the search. They will partner with modeling agencies and hold castings, though brand representatives ultimately choose which models best represent their brand.
All of this advanced preparation allows the studio to photograph a large number of product photos each day. On average, Nogin can shoot about 50 products per day; the entire production process, from start to finish, takes about six business days. These averages vary by type of product, how many product shots are requested, and what kind of stylization is involved. The more stylized the images, the longer the process.
At the Photo Shoot
Arranging proper space for a product shoot is essential. Photography studios generally have high ceilings, neutral colors, and a range of professional equipment. Whether shooting small items like jewelry or tech gadgets, or larger ones such as fashion apparel and even furniture, Nogin can provide as much (or as little!) space as needed for your session.
One of the most critical factors in product photography, of course, is image accuracy. Strobe lighting, or other forms of powerful studio lighting, can reproduce an accurate color balance. Proper lighting can also highlight product details such as text, trim, fabric weave, logos, or embellishments. Professional studio lighting will help ensure that final images are crisp and clear so that customers see an accurate portrayal of the product they are ordering. This transparency is key to reducing customer return rates.
After the Photo Shoot
Finally, the images enter post-production. To ensure accuracy, Nogin’s post-production team edits the product photos directly alongside the product samples. They confirm that each image represents the correct product, that it is best displayed, and that all colors are precisely reflected. These images are shared with the client for additional feedback and image selection.
“We make sure everything looks perfect before it goes live in front of customers,” explains Foster. A final quality assurance check is conducted before the selected images are uploaded to the brand’s site.
“We always strive to display the products both beautifully and accurately,” adds Foster. “We also focus on efficiency, which is critical in the fashion industry. With all the competition out there, it is crucial to get product images online quickly.” For even more tips on product photography, take a look at Pixpa’s “Top 6 Product Photography Tips for Beginners.”