A picture is worth a thousand words and when it comes to selling an item nothing is more effective than some good photos of the product you are trying to sell. Don’t make these common mistakes when shooting product photography!
There are several potential pitfalls you may encounter when you are taking photos of your product. Here are the five most common mistakes you should try and avoid when taking those crucial shots for your site or social media.
1. Not Taking Enough Shots
The first mistake you are likely to make is not taking enough shots of the product.
This is a two-fold issue, the first part being that if you don’t have enough angles of the product then the customer may not be able to actually see the product in full. For example, if you are selling a suitcase you are going to want to show off the space inside the case as well as the outside and any security measures that are selling points.
The second part of this issue relates to the fact that the more shots you take the more you have to choose from. While you want 3-5 shots at different angles with different focuses, you may not get that perfect shot for a certain angle the first time.
You should be willing to take the time to take a few test shots and work with them to try and get the image to look right.
2. Not Getting the Lighting Right
Poor lighting is another big issue. If the product is poorly lit it can be a case that makes it hard for people to actually see the details of the product and can be just generally unappealing. You also want to try and avoid flash reflections that obscure parts of the product.
You can get some decent professional equipment for around $200 and can also make a DIY softbox to diffuse the lighting. If you cannot afford the lighting equipment, natural light is the best option but it will not be as good or show as much detail.
3. Busy Background
When you think of product photos you will rarely see a picture that has a background of props as its main shot. While you may get a shot of a product in action, the main product shots should be clean and bring focus to the product.
Most companies use a white background to get their product to stand out and keep the customers’ focus. Even if you don’t have the resources for a studio, using a white sheet or piece of paper can create a great DIY background for you to use. Check out how to DIY your brand’s photoshoot here.
4. Using Low-Resolution Images
Another mistake to avoid is accidentally taking all photos in low resolution. The pictures you put on your website must always be high-resolution. For social media, low-res may be needed in terms of file size. However, you can always play around with the resolution from your high-res product photo.
No matter the quality of the product, low-res pictures can and will most likely give a cheap feeling to your product, and they definitely look unprofessional.
Aim for a minimum resolution of 1200px x 1200px. The pictures should look good and sharp if the customer zooms in on them to see more detail.
5. Not preparing items
The key thing to always remember is that you are trying to sell your product with these photos. If your product is not in good condition or doesn’t look appealing, then the photos won’t incite people to buy it.
Make sure that your packaging is pristine, remove creases from clothing and ensure that everything is clean and free of marks or fingerprints.
Even if you think it won’t be noticed, the camera is likely to pick up these flaws and it will cost you sales.
And remember to prepare your pictures
Once you’ve taken your shots remember to take some time to edit and prepare the images for viewing so that they are the best quality. The best results take effort. If you do plan on retouching photos, don’t skimp on the budget.
Badly edited or overly-retouched photos will potentially reduce your sales.
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Let’s Sum It Up
Overall, there are many pitfalls to product photography but as long as you take your time to get enough shots, spend the time preparing your shot in advance and review the image in the post you will be able to catch issues as they occur and fix them.
As a recap, these are 5 of the most common mistakes in product photography:
- Not taking enough shots
- Not getting the lighting right
- Busy Background
- Using low-resolution images
- Not preparing items
If you like reading about product photography insights, make sure to check out our product photography tips to create images that sell, our 17 product photography ideas for your brand, and more on the Cherrydeck Blog.