Stock photos are a big no. Aliexpres’s photos are, also, a (very) big no for your Shopify store. You NEED to personalize your eCommerce shop, as 44% of Americans impulse buy and a photograph is often worth more than a thousand words. So how to take great photos of your store?
Fortunately, you don’t have to follow expensive photo lessons or hire a full-time expert to shoot photos for you
Let’s Collab – Professional Photos for Small Shops, with over 11.000 members, is one of the largest community of professional photographers and eCommerce businesses on Facebook. It basically connects small eCommere shops with photo experts and videographers also.
You just need to post a request and photographers will work with you in order to take photos of your products. The rules of the community state that photographers trade 1-5 images per product/set up to $180. For items $180 USD or above, shops may request up to 1 image per $30 (10 images max). 2 weeks turnaround default.
Some professionals can help you with videos, as well.
There are several pages on Facebook and on the Internet for professional editing your photographs. They are rather cheap so, if you already have the photographs of your Shopify products/models but you need them to really shine, you can send them to owners of pages like LuckyPhotoEditing (±50.000 followers) or pages like SleekLens or Tucia.com.
Carefully read the terms and conditions of these sites. They are great especially for FASHION or beauty industries, so you should check them out.
On Fiverr there are also hundreds of photographers who are willing to help you take photos of your products – each has a rating and reviews, so you can choose knowingly.
Things to know if you want to shoot product photos on your own
- There are two main alternatives – using a smartphone or a DSLR. Both have pros and cons.
Smartphone – everyone has a smartphone and for the past 2 or so years the cameras have become quite a powerhouse. Still, Photos aren’t going to be as sharp as a DSLR photo. Phones just can’t fit a sensor the size of a dedicated camera’s sensor into their limited multifunctional space.
If you’re lucky enough to have an iPhone 11 Pro, chances are you’ll get 80-90% of the accuracy a pro camera would provide :).
Check this video for some accessories you can use for your smartphone photos.
DSLR Cameras – they shoot higher quality photos because they’re literally built for this sole purpose. You can also use interchangeable lenses to get the perfect shot – and so can you. The biggest cons are that professional DSLRs are (very) expensive and the learning curve is steep.
Mirrorless cameras have taken off, is much more sleek and thin than DSLR, but still having interchangeable lenses. So it’s a great option – check the Sony Alphas, Canon M series, or Olympus Mirrorless cameras, for example.
2. How many photos of a single product should you upload in your eCommerce (Shopify) store?
This is a question every eCommerce player should ask – how many photos should you upload on your site? The specialist’s opinion is that 5 photos/product is an acceptable number, but it highly depends on the product you’re selling. Don’t get cheap on the photos, though – potential buyers will want to see the products from many angles, different perspectives, and locations, etc.
Show some details of the product as well as a “lifestyle one” – the object interacting with a person, displaying how it’s supposed to be used.
3. What size should your photos be? What about the resolution?
As already explained here, the resolution of photos/banners can greatly impact the speed of your site. You should find that thin line between high resolution and high site performance and speed.
The good news is that Shopify automatically resizes the photos. So, if you upload a 25 MB photo, Shopify isn’t going to display that one for your client. The platform will automatically scale it down to the size deemed appropriate for the viewer. On the other hand, rather obvious, scaling a photo UP always results in a bad, grainy, pixelated image. So it’s better to provide high-resolution images.
As for the SHAPE of the photograph, the best ones are square, with the product-centered. People should concentrate on the PRODUCT, not realize that it’s a photograph. Square images are better seen on social media (Instagram for example) and, in general, on mobile devices, while they work for almost any Shopify templates. Rectangular ones might get stretched on some devices, which results in a bad experience.
4. Light – your best friend
Since the dawn of time, the light was our best friend. Same thing with photography – use lightboxes for taking photos of small to medium products.
One recommendation is Foldio, a brand with several models and a low price starting point. They are folding up, hence the name, and are designed to be used with smartphones.
In the video below there are some more lightboxes you can use to take photos for your Shopify eCommerce site.
Besides the photos taken against a background or in a lightbox, you may also want to consider taking photos of your item either being used or held by someone or sitting next to a common object to give shoppers a sense of scale.
For example, a handbag could be photographed on someone’s shoulder in profile so shoppers get an idea of how big it might be when they carry it. Jewelry or other smaller products could be photographed next to a coin, ruler or another small household item next to it.
What are your tips for taking the best Shopify photos? Share them below!