Friday, April 26, 2013

Creating Effective Product Images

If you plan to sell physical products on your website or blog, you need to provide images of your products so that customers can see what they are buying. Few customers will be willing to complete purchases if they cannot see what their products look like. In order to increase buyer confidence and improve conversions, your images should have a professional look and feel.

Fortunately, creating effective product images does not have to be a difficult task. These tips will help you create product images that make visitors want to buy:

1) Invest in a quality digital camera. Cell phone and point-and-shoot cameras are fine for social media posts, but they cannot produce the quality you need for professional product images. Quality cameras are available for under $1,000. Ideally, your camera should have an optical zoom lens for close-ups of important product features. You should also choose a camera that offers both manual and automatic exposure control.

2) Take the time to properly set up lighting. You should have a light 45 degrees to the left of the product and another light 45 degrees to the right. To reduce harsh shadows, place a third light behind the camera at a 45-degree angle. If possible, use diffusers in front of each lamp to eliminate harsh glares.

3) Set up a staging area for your products. Ideally, the image background should be white. Having objects in the background can distract visitors from the details of your products. You can create a simple staging area by placing a piece of white poster board, matte side up, under the product. Attach a second piece of poster board to a rigid frame and stand it behind the product with the matte side facing out.

4) Mount your camera on a tripod when taking product images. This helps ensure that your images will be clear and crisp. Taking pictures while holding the camera can result in slightly blurry images that can distract viewers and diminish image quality. Most camera shops and retail electronics stores sell durable tripods for less than $30.

5) Adjust your tripod so that the camera lens is even with the vertical and horizontal center of the product. This prevents "keystoning," which is an undesirable photographic effect that can make your object appear warped. Keystoning makes images look like they were taken by an amateur and can dissuade potential customers from buying your products.

6) Crop images using a digital photo editing program. Typically, you should remove as much white space as possible to make your product images look tight and professional. If you are familiar with basic digital photo editing, you can crop an image in less than two minutes.

Once you have your staging area, lighting, and tripod set up, you can easily create professional product images. This allows you to quickly upload images to your site so that you can begin generating sales.

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