We live in a visual world – no doubt about that. Website and blog content that include photos have a higher open rate than those that don’t. Social media platforms are all visual-heavy, even Twitter.
Visual content is everything from photos, graphs, pictographs, charts, illustrations, and infographics. Take this for an example. According to HubSpot, revenue from Pinterest ads, a visual platform, grew by 100% in 2019. Also, 70% of YouTube viewers view videos on YouTube to help them with a specific problem.
These statistics alone are a huge indication that you should invest more in visual content on your website. Visual content should be tailor-made to what you offer, and it opens up a myriad of ways to present information in an easy-to-understand format.
Plenty of websites benefit from high-quality visual content, with the most basic being photos. There are plenty of websites out there that have tips and tricks on how you can take amazing pictures and edit them to professional quality. Plus, photography technology has improved so much that it’s easy to work with a camera or mobile phone.
However, firstly, let’s establish one fact – you don’t need a costly camera. If you’re working with a low budget, you can stick to your smartphone! iPhones are amazing when it comes to capturing beautiful pictures. But then, if you can, invest in a good DSLR or digital camera. It will really take you a long way.
Secondly, you want to keep things simple. Look at various websites in the same industry as you are and get some inspiration. What do you like, and what were the elements that attracted you to the visuals? If you notice, most pictures have these common traits:
- Lots of natural light
- Simple backgrounds
- Detail, detail, detail
- Angles matter.
- Using the same setup
- Then, practice, practice, and practice.
Let’s break it down.
TIP #1: NATURAL LIGHT
Having a good dose of natural light is always excellent for photos. If your home doesn’t have good natural light pouring in, then take your product outdoors. If you have lots of bright and natural light, pick a good spot and start snapping away. Alternatively, you can also invest in a good spotlight to brighten your images. There are many tutorials online that teach you how you can create your own lightbox. It doesn’t take long, and it’s a super cost-effective way to get perfect lighting with a clean background.
TIP #2: UNCOMPLICATED BACKGROUNDS
The focus of your photos should be your product, not the environment, not the ambiance, not the scenery. It’s your product that’s the star of the show, so keep it simple.
The Best Background for Beginners
The best background is a white background. White backgrounds are excellent for two reasons:
- White works for every skill level. It makes your products pop out, and you don’t need to use props or any effects for a great photo. A white background is simple and easy to use, with minimal fuss.
- A white background perfectly captures the product. It showcases every aspect of your product, giving buyers a good idea of the shape and color. Also, a white background enables the viewer to focus directly immediately on the product and nothing else.
- How do you get a white background? You can employ several different methods:Use a white sheet.
Use a thick white cardboard or poster board – anything bigger than A3 words perfectly.
Use a DIY lightbox. You can find online how to make one.
Depending on what your product is, white backgrounds may not be suitable for everything. For example, if your product is bright or white, use a contrasting background.
Sometimes, staging a product also works for things like rugs or pillows. If you sell earrings, bracelets, or necklaces, then use a model or buy a jewelry display. In this way, you’re giving the buyer an idea of context, size, and dimension.
If you like to use a different background, that’s totally fine. Just remember to focus on your product.
TIP #3: IT’S ALL IN THE DETAILS.
Think about how you look at things when you want to purchase a dress, a sweater, or even a car. When we go shopping, the good thing is we can pick the items up and examine them. We hold them, look at them, feel them, and check for any damages.
Always remember that our customers can’t feel what we sell when we sell it online, and the only way they can judge a product is by its photos and, of course, website reviews.
How do we ensure that our customers can get all the details they need to make a purchase? It’s easy:
- Make sure your pictures are clear and feature every aspect of your item in great detail.
- Take far distance shots to give the bigger picture and close-up shots to feature details. Check out https://revologycars.com/ to see how they portray their products and cars.
- Think of including an object to show perspective. Place the object next to another item to show dimensions.
- Explain particulars in the descriptions, such as material, sizing, texture, and so on.
TIP #4: ANGLES MATTER.
Angles make your photos look professional. Angles determine the parts of your product that your customer most likely wants to see. Upload up to 5 images per item, so if your first photo shows the front of your product, show the back of the product, so they have an overall view of what you’re selling. Remember to give your customers:
- the top
- the back
- the sides
- the inside
Give them more access to your product’s little details to increase the likelihood of your customers clicking and checking out with your product.
Keep in mind, though, that not all products require a complete overview, such as paintings, so while you can give 5 different photographs of your painting, try to keep the focus with just maybe 3 looks of your painting. From afar, close-up, and maybe the frame that comes with the painting.
Clothing, bags, shoes, hats, dresses, and furniture are items that buyers would want more details, so all of these can be attained through featuring your product from different angles.
TIP #5: USE THE SAME SETUP.
Once you’ve found a good spot for lighting and you had your perfect background and figured out your angles, you’ve gotten over the hard part. Since you have these items improved, don’t stray. Use this same exact setup for all your photos because guess what – IT’S CONSISTENCY, AND CONSISTENCY IS KEY.
However, to spice things up, you can alternate between backgrounds and just add something different to a few photos, but there must always be some sense of similarity:
- Consistent background(s)
- Consistent natural lighting
- Consistent camera angles
- Consistent camera settings
- Consistent camera distance/zoom
- Same time of day, so the shadows are at the same angle
Why do you need to have some sense of similarity? For these two reasons:
- This means you can take photos fast and easily because you already have your setup, and you know exactly what to use and where to place your products to get the best lighting.
- You have a sense of consistency and continuity because things have the same look and feel, contributing extensively to your branding.
TIP #6: PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE.
You’ve definitely heard that practice makes perfect. With the perfect lighting spot, knowing your angles, and a good background, take your DSLR, digital camera, or smartphone for a photo shooting extravaganza. Take loads and loads of photos because the more you take, the better you’ll understand how your camera works, how angles work, how lighting and shadow work, and in no time, you’ll be a pro at it.
What you can do is take small batches of the same product, and then upload them to your computer. Sometimes, pictures look amazing on the camera screen, but it doesn’t translate well on a computer screen. Your objective is to make sure that it looks great on a computer screen because that’s what people will look at. Once you see the unedited images on your computer, you can then see what areas you need to tweak – maybe lighting, maybe angle, etc. By taking several pictures of the same product, you can decide which shot perfectly showcases your product.
Once you’re done taking pictures, use photo editing software such as Adobe Photoshop to enhance your images by working the contrast and brightness, color saturation, shadows, and highlight.
A little bit of effort, investment in time, thought process, and direction can really brighten up and add on the appeal factor for your website. With the number of photo editing apps, programs, and software available, there are many ways to enhance your images to engage with your audience and attract them to the products you’re selling. Oh, a dash of creativity wouldn’t hurt, either.