I’ve tested product photos in a lot of different ways, and I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. The most basic thing to keep in mind is to photograph your product against a white background. A clean, simple photo with a white background will help your product shine.
Believe it or not, you don’t have to be a professional photographer to take a good product photo, and you don’t have to spend a fortune on materials, either. Your goal is to make money, not to spend money. However, your product photos will have the strong influence on the conversion rate of your listing (how often people who look at your listing end up buying your product). Later, when your product starts selling, you can invest in upgraded photography equipment. But, in the beginning, there are three simple things you need to start taking strong product photos: the camera, the lights, and the white background.
1. The Camera
First and foremost, you need a camera. Many months back, I took my pictures with my trusty iPhone 5. Your camera doesn’t have to be the latest and greatest. With a halfway decent camera and a steady hand, you can take a good product photo. Remember not to zoom in too much, because zooming in usually decreases quality.
2. The Background
You don’t need to spend a lot of money on a fancy white background for your photos. Instead, you can get a white tri-fold poster board from Target or Walmart for $5. Sometimes, they even sell these at the dollar store. Then, all you have to do is put your item on the poster board and prop up one of the folds so there’s white beneath the item and behind it. This will block shadows from the room around you and help reflect light more evenly, making for a clean-looking picture.
Now, I have my photos edited using Photoshop, replacing the original background with an even whiter background that really helps the items pop. I also have shadows added to add a little depth to the image. However, before I started having my photos edited, my $5 poster board background worked just fine.
3. The Light
daylight isn’t always reliable, but there’s a simple fix. You can buy a
photography translucent umbrella. In our early days selling on Amazon, I bought one off of Amazon. It’s a simple device:
all you do is attach a lightbulb to the stand, and the umbrella reflects the
light and distributes it evenly. You can find these umbrellas on Amazon for
less than $50. I, personally, use two umbrellas with strong lightbulbs –
45-watt bulbs with 6,500k brightness.
None of this is professional equipment. Even the umbrella is only semi-professional, at best. But you don’t need top-of-the-line professional equipment to take strong product photos.
Having featured photos with clean white backgrounds is important, but there are a few other photos you’ll need to take.
First, you’ll need to have photos of people experiencing the product, or “lifestyle” photos. For example, if you’re selling a toothbrush, you should have a photo of someone brushing a beautiful set of teeth with that toothbrush.
Second, you’ll need detailed close-up photos of your product. Amazon requires that 80% of the frame be filled with the product, so a tiny photo of the product from a distance won’t work.
Camera, lights, poster board – those are the three basic things you need to take high-quality photos of your products. Customers will respond to clean, good-looking photos, and you’ll have the competitive edge to start building sales in no time.
One thought to keep in mind: most Amazon sellers go too cheap on photos. Your photo is the number one influencer on whether or not people will buy your product. It is more important that having a flood of reviews on your listing. You do not have to spend a fortune on photos, but do what it takes to make it look amazing.