How to nail your e-commerce photography

Being in e-commerce, you sell products that a customer can’t touch, so you need to get the best out of your e-commerce photography. You may sell on Amazon, eBay or have your own site, you may sell artwork, fitness equipment or cookware. But whatever you sell and wherever you sell it, having professional product shots can make a real difference to your sales.

If you’re not a professional photographer yourself then investing in professional e-commerce photography is a sound move that will pay dividends as you move forward. For most e-commerce business owners, your sales are directly proportionate to how your store and your products look. If you put in time and money to look professional and well-established, customers are more likely to feel their money is in safe hands.

Not a time for DIY

If you are just starting your e-commerce business, we understand that funds may be tight, but this is one area you should not attempt to do yourself if you don’t already have the experience. Slick presentation of your products is going to be essential to getting those initial sales, so this is an expense worth paying, right from the start.

Who should do your e-commerce photography?

We have reached a stage where many people know “a friend with a camera” and they may be great, but e-commerce photography is a wholly different area than portrait or nature photography. You need to look for a product or e-commerce photography specialist. They will be able to make the best of your product, capture it perfectly and retouch anything that needs it.

Know what you want

A good product photographer will have plenty of vision, but it is up to you to share what you need for your brand. Have a clear idea of how you want your e-commerce business to display product and stick to it. Consistency and a good aesthetic will boost sales so changing how you shoot products every time you get shots taken will be jarring to customers. Before your shots are taken have a clear list of the shots you require and how these will be organised – do you want a white background, space for a logo to be overlaid, items on a table, top-down angles, close-up shots, natural lighting, etc. Having a well-thought-out shot list will save you and the e-commerce photographer time and money.

Best e-commerce photography
Krists Luhuaers

Find a photographer for your e-commerce photography

If you are part of any business networking groups it is possible to get recommendations, or even that you know a good e-commerce photographer. Don’t let this stifle your choices, however. To make the most of your shots you need a photographer who’s style blends well with that of your e-commerce business and can meet all your criteria.

If you don’t have a recommended photographer whose style you like, then it’s time to start the search. A simple google search should allow you to bring up a list of e-commerce photographers in your area, but make sure you vet these carefully. Do they have a professional-looking website? Do they have a portfolio or examples of their work on display? Are there are client reviews available?

Think outside the box

An alternative route is a freelancing site. Sites such as Upwork may not be the first place you would think of for an e-commerce photographer but feature lists of top-rated e-commerce photographers on their platform making it quick and easy to find viable choices.

Additionally, sites such as Bark allow you to get free quotes for a wide pool of photographers, which can be useful as a benchmark if nothing else.

What to ask a potential photographer

Once you have a shortlist, make sure you are asking the right questions to avoid buyer’s remorse. Make sure you have a clear deadline, that you know exactly how many shots you will be getting for your money (calculate the per photograph cost and you may find the cheapest on paper isn’t the best value for money), have seen their portfolio and credentials and know exactly what is or isn’t included in the fee.

Additionally, you’ll want to check if you get the master files. Otherwise, you’ll have to return to the photographer if you need a larger resolution or a different format, which can mean further expense. Make sure you have full access to your shots, or your e-commerce photographer may end up owning them outright preventing you from having the necessary freedoms of use.

It is also best to ask what they need you to do. How many products should you bring, should you bring any props, etc. Again, you are looking for the day of the shoot to be as smooth and seamless as it can be and that means having everything in place beforehand.

Next steps

Once your product looks great it’s time to make your business’ bottom-line match it. If you want a helping hand with your e-commerce accounting, or advice on how to utilise Xero apps to automate your accounting, get in touch with our team.

The best time to start is now.