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Here's a hard fact: Web users are very quick to judge. They form their first impressions about a website in the blink of an eye (literally), and that tiny fraction of a second is likely to determine whether they will stay or not.
Here's another fact: Human brains are wired to respond to great visuals and can process them 60,000 times faster than text!
So perhaps the lesson to be learned here is that for Shopify store owners, having killer Shopify product images is key to keeping visitors hooked and engaged with their businesses.
However, hiring a professional photographer can be very expensive.
The alternative is to let your DIY spirit take the wheel. In fact, producing an attractive product image for Shopify is not a tough nut to crack once you master the basic how-tos.
Product photography is essentially for showcasing the unique selling points (USP) of your products. It allows your customers to gain a better idea of what they should expect when they are not able to examine the products themselves.
A good product image can work wonders for your Shopify store because they:
While a full-frame sensor DSLR camera seems like an ideal option, you can start with whatever you have at hand, be it a point-and-shoot camera or your smartphone. Shopify suggests a mobile phone with a 12-megapixel camera or more.
It is not a compulsory investment, but if you have one, you can avoid a shaky camera and keep your photo angles consistent.
Good lighting can make a huge difference to the image quality. Here’s a basic pros-and-cons list of the two most commonly used types of lighting.
|Natural light||Studio light|
 The main light on a set
 The added light to fill in the shadows around the subject
It’s easier to shoot your products when they are on a table. With a table width of around 24-27 inches, you are given an adequate amount of comfort positioning and shooting your product.
A white background will make your photos easier to edit. You can either use a long roll of white sweep (a curved piece of paper that provides a seamless background) or a poster board as a much cheaper alternative.
These eliminate strong shadows and help you take crisp-looking photos that capture every detail of your products in their best light. You can use foam boards as bounce cards which can be found at any office supply store.
You need some rolls of tape to keep the backdrop in place and secure your products during your shoot.
After assembling all the equipment, it’s time to set up your DIY home shoot.
Place the foldable table right next to the window to have the natural light as side lighting for your set. This will bring out the shape and texture of what you shoot later.
Unwind your white sweep, attach one end to the wall or ceiling, then let the rest fall on the table. Use tape to secure the background to the table to ensure that things don’t move around throughout the shoot.
Mount the bounce card vertically on the other side of the table and opposite the window. This white board will reflect the sunlight onto your product and minimize unwanted shadows.
As simple as it appears, styling your product can take quite a lot of trial and error to reach a sweet spot.
Before anything else, you have to clean it and get it ready for the shoot. If you are going to photograph a pair of shoes, then don’t forget to remove the scuffs and stains before placing them on set. If you are shooting an item of clothing, make sure you give it a good iron and get out all the creases. If you put meticulous care and attention into the preparation stage it will save you tons of work later.
Now lay your product down in the middle of the table and against the white backdrop. You can make some tiny movements here or there or use certain props to add more dimensions to the frame. For example, some stiff foam cubes could take your jewelry photoshoot to the next level if used strategically. They can not only make your photos look more 3D by holding the pieces up and creating more distinct shadows, but they also help to bring your store a sculpture-like, classic glamor.
Need more inspiration? This video is a great place to start.
Yet however creative your photos might seem, always bear in mind that the primary purpose of the whole shoot is to sell the product. That’s why most Shopify stores opt for the classic choice of products centered against a plain white background. If you want to add a more lively charm to your photos by using props or colorful backdrops, then do so in moderation to maintain the emphasis on your product.
Expecting perfect photos straight away is unrealistic. Take as much time as you need to feel comfortable with the gear, experiment with different angles and positions, and develop your own best practice! Remember to check the focus regularly– there’s nothing more frustrating than thinking everything is on the right track just to find blurry images afterward.
What you should aim for is to produce photos that give your customers a realistic sense of what your product is like, as if they are viewing it at a brick-and-mortar store. In other words, make their secondhand experience feel like it’s actually firsthand!
Even when your photos look generally acceptable, you should never skip the editing process. This step is crucial to ensuring consistent image quality throughout your photo series, which can earn you extra points in the professional department.
If Photoshop is too complicated for you, here are some beginner-friendly alternatives that can perform equally well.
There are also a couple of aspects you should watch out for when retouching your product images.
File size: Up to 500 MB
3D model files larger than 15 MB will be optimized by Shopify in terms of visual output and loading speeds
Shopify allows your product images to be as big as 20 megapixels. It is, however, not advisable to go to that end of the size spectrum as this can affect the loading time of your page and may not adapt well to mobile screens.
That said, don’t use images under 800 x 800 pixels either, as your viewers won’t be able to zoom in on the details of your product.
Try using your product images as ads. Add a badge, some brand/feature icons, or even a CTA to attract attention and foster customer engagement.
Putting some extra work into these aspects will make it easier for Google to crawl your images and connect you with interested shoppers. Since Google cannot read your images, make sure to give every image on your website a concise and descriptive file name, alt text and caption, with keywords included (if possible).
ELEGOO is a tech company that develops and sells 3D printing kits.
In this close-up, ELEGOO shows the intricate details of its cutting-edge extrusion design that allows for higher printing accuracy and stability compared to ordinary 3D printers.
To pique the shoppers’ interest in their latest collection, Amazfit displays their ultra-slim watches in a futuristic-looking group shot.
Nothing works better than a lifestyle shot when it comes to fashion. In this photo, Longchamp features a casual chic look with their bag placed next to an outfit of the same pattern in a public, non-luxury space.
The Body Shop Philippines celebrates the brand’s values of self-love and vegan-friendliness in a minimal page design created by GemPages.
This photo demonstrates how the gift set seems like the perfect treat for those who pursue green living, with the highlight being the gift case, which uses sustainable material and can be reused for different purposes.
In a crowded landscape of over 1,750,000 merchants worldwide on Shopify, every seller is screaming for attention. High-quality Shopify product photography plays a crucial role in helping you rise above the digital noise.
Of course, producing flawless product imagery from the get-go or achieving ambitious revamp goals within just a few days is out of the question. We all know it takes an awful lot of practice and hit-and-miss attempts to become a success.
Nevertheless, once you get the hang of how product photography works, you will be able to snap a stunning product image, build a strong brand identity, and have a solid foundation to go places in the eCommerce world.