While you can certainly do a lot of reading online, there is no denying that the internet is a predominantly visual medium. After all, we like to look at engaging images, be they on Instagram, YouTube, or other sites.

This principle is essential for your own e-commerce efforts. It’s not enough to have a product that works well and lives up to your brand promises. If you want to encourage potential customers to buy your product, you need to use quality images.

How can you be sure that your images will help your sales efforts? Here are a few tips that can help you take better product photography so you can increase your sales numbers.

1. Use Both Product-Only & Lifestyle Photography

Whenever possible, it is best to showcase your products with multiple types of photos. This gives potential customers a better idea of what to expect from their purchase.

Start with a product-only photograph on a white background. This eliminates any potential distractions that would distract from the product itself. Take photos of the product from multiple angles to provide a clear and accurate idea of how it looks. Some e-commerce sites also add in small text highlighting key product features.

However, it can also be helpful to use “lifestyle images” — or photos that show your product in action. For example, if you’re selling watches, you could take a photo of a model wearing the watch. If you’re selling kitchen utensils, you could take a photo of someone using the utensils while eating dinner. These engaging action shots highlight the everyday value of your product and can be more visually appealing.

2. Understand Basic Photography Techniques

If you plan on taking the product photos yourself, you should understand that snapping a quick picture with your smartphone probably will not be adequate. You can take good pictures with your smartphone, but you should always take time to set up the shot to create a professional look.

Lighting is one of the most important elements of good photography. Soft natural lighting is generally considered the best option for showing off your products. Use reflectors and screens to soften shadows and present your product in the best light.

Take time to ensure that the camera is properly focused so the image won’t turn out blurry. Consider using a mounting tripod to help with this. For most product photography, take eye-level shots to give a neutral view. Other angles or closeups should be saved for highlighting additional features.

3. Image Optimization

While photo editing tools can go a long way in improving overall image quality, you also cannot ignore SEO optimization. Make sure that all images have appropriate file names and alt text that includes the product name, as well as relevant keywords you wish to target.

You should use JPG files for your product images, because the compressed file size will allow for faster page loading. Not only is site speed a ranking factor for Google, but studies have found that even a one-second delay can reduce your conversion rate by seven percent.

Parting Thoughts

Whether you plan on taking product photos with your own equipment or hiring a professional photographer to do the work, there is no denying the powerful impact quality images will have on your sales results. By investing the time and effort to show your products in the best light, you will be better able to appeal to your target audience.