Boost Online Sales With These Simple Product Photography Tips

Why your image quality is so important and can have a huge impact on your conversion and sales figures.

As an entrepreneur you have worked yourself to exhaustion developing your product idea, sourcing, producing, packaging, storing, marketing and shipping your products. We know how much work it takes to get to market and then keep up with the demand.

Sometimes, things like images and marketing material can be put on the back burner. But your image quality is a key element to keep your conversions up and your cost of sales down.

Once you have SEO’d your website and invested in being seen on Google search, perhaps even spending a budget on PPC, the images you use to present your products are listed together with and compared directly with your competitors. An inviting modern image can put you miles ahead and steal the attention. 

You may have worked so hard to get your business off the ground but you can’t figure out why sales are slow and you can’t convert.

Here are some guidelines to help you to increase your conversions and turn your hard work and commitment to your business into revenue.

Decide what kind of images are best for your products

There are two key types of images you can use to promote your products. Whitesweep and lifestyle.

Whitesweep is where your products are placed on a white background and pictured on their own. They are often used for e-commerce listings and you should have a version of this kind of photo for each of your products. They are like a catalogue style picture.

The lifestyle pictures show your product in context, how it is intended to be used. These images can evoke a more emotional response as they start to show the buyer how their life might be enhanced by using your product.

Once you are clear what kind of photo shoot you are going to do, you can start to plan the photo shoot. 

Tips for your whitesweep photo shoot

You will want to get several pictures of your product from different angles. This type of image is what the buyer will zoom in on in order to see details about the product. They might look at seams, clips, zips, colours, dimensions and more. This is the kind of investigation that will help your customer to choose to buy so make sure you have answered every question they may have with your image.

If you have various colours or patterns available in the same product, you will want to also have images of the various options. This also helps your customer to make up their mind and get what is right for them.

Use lots of light, you will be surprised how much light is used to illuminate products on line and the number one mistake that we see is dark images, it is a sure fire way to make your shop and products look amateur and low quality. The brighter the better, so point every light possible onto your product. It really is the difference between a pro looking shot, and high quality looking images equals conversions and sales.

Equipment and space

You will need a white background and lighting. You will be surprised how much light is used to illuminate product images. 

You can buy simple and easy to use white boxes and lighting kits for product photography, they are not expensive and will be a great investment. You might want to invest in a tripod, even if you are using a phone for your pictures, something to secure it and keep it still will really help. Again you can get a phone stand for photography for a very reasonable price. Make sure your light stands come with light diffusers, this is simply a soft material that covers the light and will stop you from having harsh lines and shadows in your picture. You will also need more than one light, this also helps to avoid shadows.

You are best to choose a space that you can control and that is all yours for the shoot. You will want enough space to be able to move around your product and get all of the angles you need. Also, you may take longer to the get the perfect shots that you need so give yourself time in the space.

Tips and tricks

Just because this is a whitesweep photo shoot, it doesn’t mean you can’t use props and other things in the shoot. Try surrounding your product with relevant items both in front and behind your product to create depth in your photo. These kinds of images are great for instagram and perhaps less useful for your e-commerce site, but while you are set up you can grab some of these pics too using your white box set up. 

Try using your portrait mode to get some real texture and to bring focus to your product. Think about using lots of lovely colour and take photos with other items face on instead of from above to accentuate the depth of your photo. 

Once you are happy with your images, have a look at other pictures of similar products online and be honest about how they look side by side. Do you need to give it another go and try to get that bright, modern and fresh look that you see on your competitors’ websites. Also, ask your friends and family for their honest feedback. 

Tips for your lifestyle photo shoot

Lifestyle pictures are great for showing customers how your product will be used and how it can impact their life. If your product solves a problem if you can illustrate that in your picture that is very powerful for a buyer. If your product is stylish and fashionable, showing it in a fashionable setting can help your buyer imagine actually using your product and feeling fashionable.

Equipment and space

You may want to take your lifestyle picture on location. Choose a space that you can have to yourself and that you are allowed to use for photos. You may have to get permission if you are on the street and outside of another person’s business. If you are in the outdoors, try to pick a space where others are not going to be impacted by your photo session. If you are indoors, pick somewhere you can light well and that is decorated correctly for the picture you are trying to take.

You will benefit again from having a tripod or camera stand and if you are indoors, you will need lighting similar to what you needed for your whitesweep pictures. 

Tips and tricks

You can try sketching your photo first so you have a plan and so that you know what you would like in the frame of the picture. This way, when you square up the camera you can check your frame against your sketch and ensure you have everything you wanted and also nothing unwanted in your picture. 

If you are working with a model, be really planned out so you don’t ask them to stand around for too long. You want them looking fresh and engaged, so if you have 4 shots planned, share your plans with them and be set up when they arrive. Give them clear directions and let them know if they are close to what you are looking for, or how to adjust. 

Again, much like your whitesweep pictures, check out what others are doing and get some great ideas. Be sure about what your objective is with the picture e.g. do you want to create calmness, motivate people to get into the outdoors and become active, share with friends, help someone feel organised or fashionable.

Get feedback from friends for your plans and then again for your final pictures. 

You will be amazed at what you can create when you have planned properly and when you do just a little bit of research before you get started. 

If you would like more tips and tricks, get in touch with us at and we are happy to give feedback, support planning or help you find equipment for your shoot.

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