Amazon is the largest online platform by some distance. What is even more impressive about it is that the business model allows the company to thrive in the midst of adversity. For instance, at the height of the coronavirus epidemic and the associated lockdown across the world, Amazon’s stock soared. This is by no means a trend that is going to change. The marketplace allows sellers from all over the world to list and sell their products to buyers in all four corners of the world.
The stiff competition places a greater level of interest in how the products are presented. That is the importance of getting your Amazon product photography right. It will often be the difference between a potential buyer checking out and deciding to see what else is available before they commit to a purchase.
We are going to look at some important tips to ensure that you get this right the first time. What’s even better is that they do not have to cost you an arm and a leg. These will help you not only attract customers but also meet the technical requirements that Amazon specifies.
It does not matter how good your photos are if they do not meet the gatekeeper’s standards. So, what does Amazon expect from your photos?
- They must have a white background.
- The product should cover 85% of the image.
- There should not be text in the image.
- There should not be additional items in the image.
All of these specifications apply to your main image. This means that you can have additional props and backgrounds in your other images.
1. Accurate Representation
Did you know that over 20% of all product returns are due to the buyer feeling that the product is not what the photo represented? This is what makes accurate representation essential. All returns are costly. They should be avoided. Now, let us consider some of the commonly misrepresented aspects of products and how you can avoid them.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it is where a lot of sellers get stumped. Putting your dimensions in the description is not enough. Many buyers do not bother reading it anyway. How can you make sure the size of a product is clear? The only way to do this is to put it into perspective. Amazon do this for their paperback books by placing them in front of a human to show how big the book is.
You can do the same by adding a measuring tool such as a ruler into your photo. The implication of this is that the customer will use the ruler to get an idea of how large the product is. Another tip would be to put it into a working environment, surrounded by people and other products. That draws enough comparison and inference into the actual size.
Have you ever taken a photo and realised that the colour isn’t quite the same? It may be a lime green that looks, well, not so lime green. This is the same experience that customers will have as well. Except their solution would be to return the product for a refund.
It is essential that you check every image against the actual product to ensure that the colours are accurately represented. Good lighting and getting your camera settings right will often resolve this for you.
We need not express just how important lighting is for good photography. No matter how great a photographer you are and how good your camera is, poor lighting will yield poor results. One of the most notorious issues in product photography are shadows.
There are two ways that you can deal with shadows. The first method is what we call the cancellation method. Seeing as a shadow is cast in the direction that is opposite the light source, you can cancel it out by adding another light source where the shadow is being cast.
The second way to do it is the bounce-back method. This is done by placing a white object in the direction of the shadow to reflect/bounce the light back. This lifts the shadow and creates a perfectly lit area.
Types of lighting to use
We have discussed tips and tricks without touching on the lights themselves. The best two lights that you can use for photography are LED & fluorescent ones. This is because they produce a pure white light, which works best for product photography.
If you are taking the DIY route on a budget, getting a photo box may help. This is a cheap method to get a good background and lighting in one package. Larger products may not fit into a regular photo box. You must consider this before purchasing one.
Dealing with harsh lighting
If you are using fluorescent lighting, you may find that the lighting is too harsh. This will often result in one side of the product looking slightly different in colour from the other one. Harsh lights always give you a shadow. The levels of luminosity will differ. Fortunately, we have two great tips for dealing with harsh lighting.
- Filter it.
- Reflect the lighting
The filtration method is that of placing a thin layered sheet of cloth between the light and the product. You can use baking paper for this.
We have already covered the reflection method. This involves placing a white object opposite the light to reflect it.
Achieving a perfectly white background is much easier than some of the things that we have covered. Depending on the surface that your product photos will be taken from, you can use a bedsheet or any other large plain white cloth. You can also purchase a hardware sheet that is white. These are often preferred if you are looking to simulate a seamless infinite background.
It is as simple as it sounds. The one thing to look out for is where you put the product. You want it in a central position.
Believe it or not, the angle that you take your shot from matters. People often say “they have a good side”. Product photographs are the same. Straight shots do not have the same sort of effect that an angled one would have. Place your product at various angles during the photo shoot. You will soon see what we mean.
We have covered a wide range of things that should take your Amazon product photography to the next level. This will, in turn, help your business. If we had to condense it all, it would be to follow the Amazon guidelines, get your background right, get the lighting right, and test different angles.
The one thing we haven’t mentioned is the importance of your camera’s exposure. Make use of your manual to get this setting right. Once this is done, you are all set to take some truly impressive product photos.