Shoppers aren’t influenced by your product title as much as you think. If your main featured product photo does not stand out, shoppers will scroll past your listing in search results. If you grab their attention, maybe they’ll read your listing’s title.
A recent MIT neuroscience study found that the human brain can process images in as little as 13 milliseconds—just over 1/100th of a second. That is how much time you have to ‘wow’ shoppers.
Today, I will show you six steps to taking a beautiful white background product photo for your Amazon FBA listing at home.
You need more than your main featured photo, but the main photo is the most important one of them all since that is the first and only image your shoppers will see in Amazon search results before they click onto your listing. Once you can take an amazing white background photo, you’re in good shape for taking your other photos.
In total, you need the following product photos:
- 1 main white background image
- 2 other product images from different angles
- 1-2 tech spec images
- 2-3 lifestyle images
- 1 competitor comparison image
In the Amazon FBA Mastery Membership, I show Just One Dime students how to take all of their own product photos step by step. If you’re ready to invest in your Amazon FBA knowledge, apply today.
Amazon requires that your featured photo have a pure white background where the product occupies at least 85% of the image. Additionally, I’ve tested different featured photos, and I can confirm that white background featured photos perform the best.
Step 1. Get ahold of a decent camera.
Your camera must be able to take a photo with a resolution of at least one megapixel. This way, you conform to Amazon’s 1,000 pixels x 500 pixels minimum requirement for images.
Practically all smartphones today can clear this hurdle. For example, the Samsung Galaxy s9, which came out way back in 2018, has a 12 megapixel resolution. Newer phones have even better cameras.
Nothing beats a modern DSLR camera. However, if your non-cell phone camera is on the old side, double-check to make sure that it has more megapixels than your phone.
Borrow a camera if you have to—whether that’s your friend’s cell phone or DSLR. It doesn’t have to be expensive to get the job done.
Step 2. Ensure you have the product in its full and final form.
You probably have a prototype from your product supplier. That’s great. But make sure you have the product in the form that you are actually going to sell. You may want to receive your first shipment at your 3PL warehouse or your home before you send your product into Amazon’s fulfillment center (if want Amazon to fulfill orders for you). You could also get part of your inventory shipped directly to Amazon and get a fraction of your inventory shipped to you.
Step 3. Purchase a piece of white card or a white backdrop.
When I started on Amazon, I used a cheap tri-fold poster board from Walmart. It doesn't sound professional, but it works great. You can get these for $5.
When you take a photo, you can place your item on the poster board and prop up one of the sides like a brochure to help evenly reflect light. If it’s just sitting on a white board and there’s nothing behind it, the shadows from the room are going to show up darker. Keep the sides up so that there’s white both underneath and behind the item.
Solid white curved backdrops are even better. You can get these for under $20 on Amazon.
Ensure your white backdrop measures at least 5 feet x 5 feet (~1.5 meters by ~1.5 meters).
Step 4. Choose your lighting setup.
For best results, use soft, diffuse light. If your light is too harsh, it creates stark shadows that don’t look good on the product. Shadows also ruin the white background illusion you should go for.
Your cheapest and easiest lighting method is if you shoot outside. Wait for a day with no direct sunlight (overcast), when it is still bright outside, and there is no rain or wind.
If the weather doesn’t agree with you, and you opt to take photos inside, get a photography translucent umbrella. You attach a light bulb to the stand. The umbrella evenly reflects the light. I personally use two of these with 5-watt bulbs with a brightness of 6,500K.
An even cheaper option for even lighting is to use China ball lights, which softly diffuse light.
Step 5. Take your product photos.
Follow the best practices for taking good photos. For example, ensure your camera is fully zoomed out. Don’t zoom in; get closer to the product.
Do not use a flash.
Take more photos than you think you will need.
If you have attractive friends, take lifestyle photos of your friends using the product. These types of photos help sell the experience of having the product and also help shoppers get a sense of your product’s scale.
For example, if you sell a toothbrush, find someone with a pretty set of teeth and get a picture of them brushing their teeth with it. Having all-white backgrounds is important, but not for photos of people experiencing the product.
In all seriousness, if you don’t have objectively attractive friends, hire models. Attractive people help move products.
Consider product videography at the same time as photography.
Step 6. Edit your photos.
You have to edit your photos so that you can erase the shadows on the white background. Your product should look like it’s floating in a white void.
The industry standard photo editing software is Adobe Photoshop. However, it is pricey to spend on just a single set of product photos. There are free Photoshop alternatives out there—with the best two being Krita and GIMP.
If you don’t have experience with Photoshop or other image editing software, hire a freelancer from a website such as Fiverr.
Today, I pay someone to take all my images for me. If it fits within your budget, professional photography can make a huge positive impact on your sales.
You can send your product to a professional product photography service such as Prime Label Studios.
Are you going to take your own product photos? Let me know in the comments.