The Product Shots You Need for Your eCommerce Business

January 30, 2015


New year, new imagery. Whether you are doing it yourself or investing in a professional photo shoot, if you plan to give your products a makeover in 2015, it all starts with a plan! The better you know what images you need for your website, special promotions, and social engagement in advance, the more money and time you’ll save throughout the year.

Not sure if new product photography shots are worth the time and money? Would it help to know that 67% of consumers consider images “very important” when they buy, and that more than 50% of consumers think a high-quality photo of a product is more important than product information, a long description, or rating and reviews? As this infographic shows, it’s all about the images when it comes to your products.

It’s All About the Images [infographic by MDG Advertising]

Infographic by MDG Advertising

Now, there isn’t just one type of picture; depending on for what you’re using your product photos, you need to have different kinds to fit different needs. Here are some examples, from ShipStation customers:

Mrs. Jones' Soapbox

Mrs. Jones’ Soapbox

The Plain Background Shot:

Shots with a white background are best, and by far the most flexible when it comes to using them. These shots are necessary for the product page, for cutting and adding to promotional ads, and for when you need your product to stand alone and take the spotlight. Having a plain white background on your shots also helps you Photoshop a few products together if you’re pressed for a group shot, but don’t have the resources to take a new picture immediately.




The Close-Up:

People want to buy things, but really like to do a close investigation, especially when buying online. Take a few shots of your products from different angles and at a very close range to show detail, durability, and quality. Give customers the best possible chance at truly understanding what they are buying.

For the best close-ups, make sure to use a macro lens, which lets you get your camera very close—usually within an inch—of your subject. If you’re using a point & shoot camera, look for the micro setting (usually it’s the picture of a flower). And yes, there are macro lenses available for smartphones.


Grace & Lace

Grace & Lace

Lifestyle Shot:

Whenever possible, you need to give your visitors an aspirational shot of your product at its best in a real-life setting. Show clothes and jewelry on models that are having fun and looking gorgeous. Show tech products at work in a business setting. Selling art or decor? Show it hanging from the wall or as a backdrop in a lovely home. Even if your customer doesn’t live in a lovely beach house, seeing their new lamp in that setting makes them imagine themselves there!





The Cat Ball

The Cat Ball

Scale Shots:

A lot of people really have a hard time visualizing measurements or size just from reading a list of dimensions. If feasible, for wares people really need to have fit in a certain space, or necklaces they need to wear, it is best to take a shot that gives them a true sense of size and placement.


Seasonal Shots:
Vintage Confections

Vintage Confections

While you are at it, a good angle on the lifestyle shot, and something that you could easily overlook, is seasonal lifestyle shots. If you are already taking the time to shoot all your year’s pictures, bring in some appropriate seasonal décor and take a few key shots of your products surrounded by the fruits of fall, or in wintry scenes. Having the shots taken ahead of time makes things much easier when you are planning promotional campaigns as each season approaches!



Bundled Shots:

We’ve talked before about planning for holiday successes or bundling your most often bought together products into pre-wrapped packages. If you are already keeping these items on easy-to-access shelves and you often promote them together, you should think of taking shots of them together. So, in addition to the individual product shots, make sure to group the key products together and do it all again: plain white background, close-ups, lifestyle and seasonal shots. You won’t be sorry!


Use this list, along with information from our article on DIY Product Photo Essentials (link to this), to start creating or upgrading your product shots.