Ecommerce Design / How To Sell Online

The Complete Ecommerce Product Photography Guide to Starting Up, Selling More and Reinforcing Your Brand

/ 53 min read

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Table of Contents

Chapter 1 How to Build Your Own Ecommerce Photography Studio Chapter 2 A Step-by-Step Guide to High Quality Product Images Shot with Your Smartphone
Chapter 3 Purchasing Photo Studio Lights: The Pros and Cons of Continuous, Speedlight and Monolights for Product Photography Chapter 4 How to Add Shadows to Product Images to Increase Sales
Chapter 5 Photographing Highly Reflective Products: Light Your Way to More Sales Chapter 6 Ghost Mannequin Photography: A Step-by-Step Guide to Mastering the 3D Effect
Chapter 7 White Backgrounds Be Gone: How Brands Add Color and Creativity to Product Photography Chapter 8 Product Photo Retouching Techniques to Grow Sales (+ Reinforce Brand Value)

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How important are product images to ecommerce? Hmm… let’s ask the VP of Google Shopping:

Whether they’re looking for a new sofa or the perfect pair of earrings, people who search and shop on their smartphones at least once a week say that product images are the shopping feature they turn to most.

Jonathan Alferness, Vice President, Product Management, Google Shopping Inside AdWords, May 2016

When you’re shopping online, product images are the closest you can get to an in-store experience; zooming in and looking at alternate angles is the digital replacement for holding it in your hands or trying it on.

Photos are how shoppers judge fit, quality, and overall desirability of your product — and your brand. The care you put into your imagery reflects the care you put into your business and your credibility as a seller.

At Pixelz, we’ve edited more than 15 million images for more than 10,000 retailers, brands, and photo studios around the world. In working with everyone from multi-brand fashion groups, startup marketplaces, mobile apps, and name brands like Express and Arc’teryx, to DIY entrepreneurs launching businesses from home, we’ve learned that the biggest barrier to high quality product images isn’t budget — it’s knowledge.

The biggest barrier to high quality product images isn’t budget — it’s knowledge.

Many budding entrepreneurs are intimidated by the technical aspects of product photography and wary of the hefty price tags they seen thrown around: $5k/day for a model, $10k camera lenses, $1500 studio rentals, etc.

Don’t be.

In a world where the average person is already walking around with a 12-Megapixel camera in their pocket, and where the most powerful image editing software ever created is only $10 a month, product photography doesn’t have to break your bank.

We’re writing this guide with BigCommerce to demystify product photography and post-production for everyone. High quality images are within your reach, with just a little bit of reading and planning.

In this guide we’ll cover topics like:

  1. How to build your own ecommerce photo studio
  2. How to use your smartphone for product photography
  3. What kind of lights to use (when and why)
  4. How to add shadows to product images for a more professional look
  5. How to photograph reflective products
  6. How to create ghost mannequin images
  7. Alternatives to white backgrounds (and when to use them)
  8. The importance of retouching –– and some best practices you need to know (or else Twitter may take your brand down!)

By the end, you’ll be ready to confidently go forth and give your products the image quality they (and you) deserve.

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