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How to Get Creative With Shopify Product Photography

Learn how to master Shopify product photography and stand out from the crowd! Discover tips, gear essentials, and creative techniques to showcase your products effectively.

 Claire Oswald
Claire Oswald
product marketing manager
Claire Oswald
product marketing manager
March 5, 2024
-
1
min

Shopify Product Photography: How to Get Creative and Stand Out

Shopify is one of the biggest online retailers available to market and sell your products through. But it also comes with the challenge of driving traffic to your store. With so many retailers flocking to Shopify, it’s important to get your product photos right and attract customers to your digital storefront over competitors.

If everyone else is also striving to take great product photos, how can you ensure you’re standing out from the crowd? In this article, we’ll walk you through best practices and everything you’ll need to get creative with Shopify product photography. Because who wants to blend in when you can stand out?

What is Shopify product photography?

Shopify product photography is essentially any visual representation of the products you sell on your Shopify store. Product photos are the bread and butter of any Shopify storefront. They help gain the trust and confidence of shoppers looking to buy. 

Why is Shopify product photography so important? High quality photos drive interest and trust. Photos are a key opportunity to establish your brand. Without product photos, your brand is nothing but a concept to the customer. By adding images to your store, they can fully visualize and understand exactly what your brand is all about. So, choose your product photos carefully, and ensure they match the brand aesthetic and vibe you want to put out!

It’s important to keep Shopify guidelines in mind when taking and editing your product photos though—Shopify recommends a certain size and file type to maximize the effectiveness of your store. Make sure you get familiar with the platform’s image specs.

lotion in a bathroom scene

What you need for Shopify product photography

Before you start snapping pics, make sure you’re well prepared! You don’t need the fanciest camera and gear, but you do need the basics. Here’s a quick list to get you started: 

  • Camera: Ok, yes, this might be an obvious one. But you don’t want just any old camera to shoot your Shopify pics. Make sure you have a proper camera to get the product shots you need. A DSLR camera is best. 
  • Tripod: A tripod can be really useful to set up your shot and get the perfect angle. There are many tripod options out there, you can find one that suits your use case and budget. 
  • Elevated surface: Many people don’t think about this but you’ll likely need a pedestal or elevated surface to place your product on. Taking a photo of your product sitting on the floor can look unprofessional and messy—unless of course, you’re selling something that can’t be propped up, like a couch. No need to get complicated, this can be as simple as using your kitchen table! 

{{shopify-ad=“/external-components"}}

Optional

The items in the following list aren’t necessarily required but they can definitely add a lot to your Shopify photos!

  • Bounce card: This is a flat piece of material with a reflective surface and is used to create a directional light source. If you’re struggling to keep your product well-lit, rather than having a professional light setup, a simple bounce can often do the trick.
  • Models: Not every shoot requires humans, but if you’re featuring real-world people for lifestyle photos, you’ll need to coordinate with and budget for talent.
  • Props: You can use props to make your image more dynamic and stand out from your competitors. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

How to take good product photos for Shopify

Shooting your product photos for Shopify isn’t as simple as just whipping out your smartphone and snapping a few pictures to upload onto your computer. Here are some things to consider when planning and executing your product photoshoot:

Plan your shoot

This is the most fun part of your product photography. If you want to stand apart from the competition, use your creativity and imagination to really showcase what makes your product special. If you sell clothes, maybe take photos of your items on the models in funny positions, or jumping around, and edit the people out of the image in post, so that it looks like the clothes are moving on their own! The options are limitless.

Before taking any pictures, think about what you want to convey through your product photos—what is the message and story you want to shine through these images? How can you ensure the pictures are reflective and representative of your brand? What is the competition doing, and how can you stand apart from the crows? These are the sorts of questions to ask yourself as you start planning out the photoshoot.

Build a shot list so you know exactly what you need for each shot. This can help you and your collaborators stay on track. You can even integrate your Shopify store with the soona dashboard to identify any gaps in your content

Set your backdrop

You might think you don’t need to worry about the background because you’re going to edit it all anyway. While this is true, considering your backdrop before taking the photos can save a lot of time and energy. Not to mention the finished product will end up looking more natural with a real background, rather than a digitally edited one. And, with Shopify, you can get creative! You’re not bound to a white background like on Amazon. 

Again, consider your brand and what you want the image to look like—if the digital background fits your brand story, go for it! Everything is subjective to you and your style and online store.

Color theory also applies to your product photos, too! Outside of your own brand colors, consider how you want potential customers to feel when they look at the image. If you’re selling a legal textbook, the colors in your backdrop and image might be different from those in a picture of baby onesies.

Get good lighting

Remember when we were talking about bounce earlier? This is all a part of the light element when taking photos. You want customers to be able to see your product, so ensure it’s well-lit. This can be established by taking a photo in a window, or even using a flashlight!

Take some test shots to see if the lighting is right. When possible, work with indirect natural light—avoid direct sunlight. However, that’s not always possible, and lighting changes throughout the day, so bring in artificial light sources and bounce cards as needed. 

Adjust camera angles

Taking pictures from multiple angles is key for a product photo. If you’re selling a dress, for example, customers will want to see what the item looks like both from the front and the back! If you have a product that doesn’t necessarily need a 360 view, like a water bottle, you can still get creative and take images from different angles for a more dynamic feel.

Edit

This is where your personality and personal brand can really shine through! During the image editing process, you can make your Shopify images look how you want. Use editing software like Adobe Photoshop (or mobile apps!) and play with the saturation, size, background, and more! As long as the product is still center stage and the image design is on brand, why not get a little crazy with it?

You’ll also want to take an opportunity to compress your Shopify photos in order to reduce the file size while preserving image quality. This is important because you want a good Shopify speed score—the faster your website loads, the better it is for shoppers, conversions, and SEO. 

Once you’ve taken your product photo, you’ll need to upload it to your Shopify storefront. To do this, simply navigate to your products > all products. Then, select the product you want to add an image for. In the media section, tap view all, and then select the product photo associated with your chosen product, to make the default product image.

Shopify product photography tips

Now that you know how to take a good product photo, here are some top tips to make those images really pop on the screen.

  • Suitable shapes and sizes: As we mentioned before, Shopify has a set of guidelines and suggestions for the size and file type of your product images, and for good reason! Shopify knows what sells, so they ensure that their sellers follow those best practices in their product imagery, too. So make sure to read up on the recommended sizes before uploading.
  • Use the right equipment: Again, you don’t need to break the bank to take a good product photo. But it does well to ensure you have the basics required to set yourself up for success.
  • Lighting: Coming back to our point in taking a good product photo, lighting is everything. Further to just looking more professional, lighting can be the deciding factor for a customer choosing you versus a competitor. After all, how can a customer commit to buying your product if they can’t even see it?
  • Keep the product center stage: While a fun background or funky props can set you apart from the rest, make sure that it doesn’t distract from the product. Too many things going on in the image can be confusing and might leave your customer wondering what it is you’re selling.
  • Tell the product’s story: Use your product photo as an opportunity to tell your brand story., What sets you apart, and makes this product unique? Perhaps you can even take a photo of a model using the product, to show its versatility.
  • Options: When taking your images, it might seem like you’ve scored the perfect shot. But it’s important not to stop there! When photo editing, you might notice that the “perfect” image wasn’t so perfect after all and doesn’t tell the story you want to convey. Take multiple photos and try different angles, props, lighting, etc., to ensure you cover your bases and have a few suitable options.
  • Always optimize. The beauty of selling online is it gives you access to so much data, as well as opportunities to capitalize on your learnings through image optimization

Related: Tips to help keep your Shopify store fresh

Get professional product photos for your Shopify store from soona

And there you have it! Now you can creatively and effectively take product photos for your Shopify store and start selling more in 2024. 

Once you have your photos, run them through Listing Insights to see if they’re optimized for sales, or if you need to make some tweaks before pushing them live! The first-of-its-kind visual analytics engine is designed to optimize the visuals selling your product. You can integrate via the soona platform or download the soona Shopify App. 

It’s fun to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty with the creative aspects of product photography. But sometimes it’s more fun to leave it to the pros. A product photography studio can take your creative ideas and bring them to life. 

If you find you don’t have time to set up the photoshoot yourself or are maybe not confident you can capture your product the way you want to, hiring professional product photography services can be a great investment into your business! This way, you can guarantee amazing product photos that sell.

Grow your Shopify store with affordable product photography from soona >

Shopify product photography FAQs

Does Shopify automatically resize my images?

Yes, Shopify can automatically resize your images. Shopify has the option for you to crop and resize after you’ve uploaded. Alternatively, we have an image resizer tool you can try!

How many images can I use for one product?

Shopify allows 250 photos per product for your store.

How can I optimize my product image for SEO?

  • Incorporate target keywords into metadata, alt tags, and file names. 
  • Minimize the file size while preserving quality through image compression
  • Use JPG files when possible
  • Always include descriptive alt text for accessibility

Can I shoot product photos at home?

Yes, you can shoot product photos at home. As long as you take clear photos with your product as the focus and follow Shopify’s guidelines and recommendations for sizing and file type, you’ll be good to go.

Shopify Product Photography: How to Get Creative and Stand Out

Shopify is one of the biggest online retailers available to market and sell your products through. But it also comes with the challenge of driving traffic to your store. With so many retailers flocking to Shopify, it’s important to get your product photos right and attract customers to your digital storefront over competitors.

If everyone else is also striving to take great product photos, how can you ensure you’re standing out from the crowd? In this article, we’ll walk you through best practices and everything you’ll need to get creative with Shopify product photography. Because who wants to blend in when you can stand out?

What is Shopify product photography?

Shopify product photography is essentially any visual representation of the products you sell on your Shopify store. Product photos are the bread and butter of any Shopify storefront. They help gain the trust and confidence of shoppers looking to buy. 

Why is Shopify product photography so important? High quality photos drive interest and trust. Photos are a key opportunity to establish your brand. Without product photos, your brand is nothing but a concept to the customer. By adding images to your store, they can fully visualize and understand exactly what your brand is all about. So, choose your product photos carefully, and ensure they match the brand aesthetic and vibe you want to put out!

It’s important to keep Shopify guidelines in mind when taking and editing your product photos though—Shopify recommends a certain size and file type to maximize the effectiveness of your store. Make sure you get familiar with the platform’s image specs.

lotion in a bathroom scene

What you need for Shopify product photography

Before you start snapping pics, make sure you’re well prepared! You don’t need the fanciest camera and gear, but you do need the basics. Here’s a quick list to get you started: 

  • Camera: Ok, yes, this might be an obvious one. But you don’t want just any old camera to shoot your Shopify pics. Make sure you have a proper camera to get the product shots you need. A DSLR camera is best. 
  • Tripod: A tripod can be really useful to set up your shot and get the perfect angle. There are many tripod options out there, you can find one that suits your use case and budget. 
  • Elevated surface: Many people don’t think about this but you’ll likely need a pedestal or elevated surface to place your product on. Taking a photo of your product sitting on the floor can look unprofessional and messy—unless of course, you’re selling something that can’t be propped up, like a couch. No need to get complicated, this can be as simple as using your kitchen table! 

{{shopify-ad=“/external-components"}}

Optional

The items in the following list aren’t necessarily required but they can definitely add a lot to your Shopify photos!

  • Bounce card: This is a flat piece of material with a reflective surface and is used to create a directional light source. If you’re struggling to keep your product well-lit, rather than having a professional light setup, a simple bounce can often do the trick.
  • Models: Not every shoot requires humans, but if you’re featuring real-world people for lifestyle photos, you’ll need to coordinate with and budget for talent.
  • Props: You can use props to make your image more dynamic and stand out from your competitors. Don’t be afraid to get creative!

How to take good product photos for Shopify

Shooting your product photos for Shopify isn’t as simple as just whipping out your smartphone and snapping a few pictures to upload onto your computer. Here are some things to consider when planning and executing your product photoshoot:

Plan your shoot

This is the most fun part of your product photography. If you want to stand apart from the competition, use your creativity and imagination to really showcase what makes your product special. If you sell clothes, maybe take photos of your items on the models in funny positions, or jumping around, and edit the people out of the image in post, so that it looks like the clothes are moving on their own! The options are limitless.

Before taking any pictures, think about what you want to convey through your product photos—what is the message and story you want to shine through these images? How can you ensure the pictures are reflective and representative of your brand? What is the competition doing, and how can you stand apart from the crows? These are the sorts of questions to ask yourself as you start planning out the photoshoot.

Build a shot list so you know exactly what you need for each shot. This can help you and your collaborators stay on track. You can even integrate your Shopify store with the soona dashboard to identify any gaps in your content

Set your backdrop

You might think you don’t need to worry about the background because you’re going to edit it all anyway. While this is true, considering your backdrop before taking the photos can save a lot of time and energy. Not to mention the finished product will end up looking more natural with a real background, rather than a digitally edited one. And, with Shopify, you can get creative! You’re not bound to a white background like on Amazon. 

Again, consider your brand and what you want the image to look like—if the digital background fits your brand story, go for it! Everything is subjective to you and your style and online store.

Color theory also applies to your product photos, too! Outside of your own brand colors, consider how you want potential customers to feel when they look at the image. If you’re selling a legal textbook, the colors in your backdrop and image might be different from those in a picture of baby onesies.

Get good lighting

Remember when we were talking about bounce earlier? This is all a part of the light element when taking photos. You want customers to be able to see your product, so ensure it’s well-lit. This can be established by taking a photo in a window, or even using a flashlight!

Take some test shots to see if the lighting is right. When possible, work with indirect natural light—avoid direct sunlight. However, that’s not always possible, and lighting changes throughout the day, so bring in artificial light sources and bounce cards as needed. 

Adjust camera angles

Taking pictures from multiple angles is key for a product photo. If you’re selling a dress, for example, customers will want to see what the item looks like both from the front and the back! If you have a product that doesn’t necessarily need a 360 view, like a water bottle, you can still get creative and take images from different angles for a more dynamic feel.

Edit

This is where your personality and personal brand can really shine through! During the image editing process, you can make your Shopify images look how you want. Use editing software like Adobe Photoshop (or mobile apps!) and play with the saturation, size, background, and more! As long as the product is still center stage and the image design is on brand, why not get a little crazy with it?

You’ll also want to take an opportunity to compress your Shopify photos in order to reduce the file size while preserving image quality. This is important because you want a good Shopify speed score—the faster your website loads, the better it is for shoppers, conversions, and SEO. 

Once you’ve taken your product photo, you’ll need to upload it to your Shopify storefront. To do this, simply navigate to your products > all products. Then, select the product you want to add an image for. In the media section, tap view all, and then select the product photo associated with your chosen product, to make the default product image.

Shopify product photography tips

Now that you know how to take a good product photo, here are some top tips to make those images really pop on the screen.

  • Suitable shapes and sizes: As we mentioned before, Shopify has a set of guidelines and suggestions for the size and file type of your product images, and for good reason! Shopify knows what sells, so they ensure that their sellers follow those best practices in their product imagery, too. So make sure to read up on the recommended sizes before uploading.
  • Use the right equipment: Again, you don’t need to break the bank to take a good product photo. But it does well to ensure you have the basics required to set yourself up for success.
  • Lighting: Coming back to our point in taking a good product photo, lighting is everything. Further to just looking more professional, lighting can be the deciding factor for a customer choosing you versus a competitor. After all, how can a customer commit to buying your product if they can’t even see it?
  • Keep the product center stage: While a fun background or funky props can set you apart from the rest, make sure that it doesn’t distract from the product. Too many things going on in the image can be confusing and might leave your customer wondering what it is you’re selling.
  • Tell the product’s story: Use your product photo as an opportunity to tell your brand story., What sets you apart, and makes this product unique? Perhaps you can even take a photo of a model using the product, to show its versatility.
  • Options: When taking your images, it might seem like you’ve scored the perfect shot. But it’s important not to stop there! When photo editing, you might notice that the “perfect” image wasn’t so perfect after all and doesn’t tell the story you want to convey. Take multiple photos and try different angles, props, lighting, etc., to ensure you cover your bases and have a few suitable options.
  • Always optimize. The beauty of selling online is it gives you access to so much data, as well as opportunities to capitalize on your learnings through image optimization

Related: Tips to help keep your Shopify store fresh

Get professional product photos for your Shopify store from soona

And there you have it! Now you can creatively and effectively take product photos for your Shopify store and start selling more in 2024. 

Once you have your photos, run them through Listing Insights to see if they’re optimized for sales, or if you need to make some tweaks before pushing them live! The first-of-its-kind visual analytics engine is designed to optimize the visuals selling your product. You can integrate via the soona platform or download the soona Shopify App. 

It’s fun to roll up your sleeves and get your hands dirty with the creative aspects of product photography. But sometimes it’s more fun to leave it to the pros. A product photography studio can take your creative ideas and bring them to life. 

If you find you don’t have time to set up the photoshoot yourself or are maybe not confident you can capture your product the way you want to, hiring professional product photography services can be a great investment into your business! This way, you can guarantee amazing product photos that sell.

Grow your Shopify store with affordable product photography from soona >

Shopify product photography FAQs

Does Shopify automatically resize my images?

Yes, Shopify can automatically resize your images. Shopify has the option for you to crop and resize after you’ve uploaded. Alternatively, we have an image resizer tool you can try!

How many images can I use for one product?

Shopify allows 250 photos per product for your store.

How can I optimize my product image for SEO?

  • Incorporate target keywords into metadata, alt tags, and file names. 
  • Minimize the file size while preserving quality through image compression
  • Use JPG files when possible
  • Always include descriptive alt text for accessibility

Can I shoot product photos at home?

Yes, you can shoot product photos at home. As long as you take clear photos with your product as the focus and follow Shopify’s guidelines and recommendations for sizing and file type, you’ll be good to go.

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