soona   we create the best content for commerce   soona   we create the best content for commerce

soona   we create the best content for commerce   soona   we create the best content for commerce

soona   we create the best content for commerce   soona   we create the best content for commerce

the ultimate guide to Shopify product photography

Boost your sales with professional Shopify product photography. Our guide will show you how to create high-quality product photos for your online store.

soona crew
soona crew
written by
soona crew
written by
February 10, 2022
-
1
min

if you have an e-commerce business: chances are — you’re familiar with Shopify. it’s a platform that makes building a website and selling your products and services online easy and streamlined. but to really make the most out of your Shopify site: you’ll need some tips on awesome product photography. equipment. and image optimization.  each step in the process from “i have a product to sell” to “ship to customer” is part of your brand identity and it should be represented in a high-quality Shopify page. consumers make a lot of quick judgments when shopping online (if you don’t impress them or grab their attention — something else will!) so ensuring your website offers a seamless and engaging journey for the customer is super important for your conversions.

high-quality photos are a must

statistics show that consumers rely on product photography to make decisions about purchasing products online more than any other factor.

  • Baymard Institute reports that 69% of digital carts are abandoned and 28% of those consumers cite inaccurate product photos as their main reason.
  • a study by BigCommerce and Square found that more images of products is the #1 thing online shoppers want more of — with 78% reporting that was the most important thing.

along with countless other studies on online consumer preferences— these two statistics demonstrate how crucial your product photography is. but don’t fret — it’s not as daunting as it sounds to create a high-quality Shopify page with great product images.  Shopify is designed for non-tech-savvy people to be able to design their website and sell their product without extensive knowledge of website building.

Shopify product photography: getting started

unless you’re already a pro photographer: you’ll need to get some basics ironed out before you can begin producing high-quality product photos for your Shopify site. the good news is: clear and eye-catching product photos are accessible to anyone with a smartphone. natural lighting. and some creativity.  we’ll cover how to achieve great product photography for every budget: whether you’re a DIY type or hiring a product photography studio to produce your images for you.

checklist for hiring a photography studio

when it comes to hiring creatives to shoot your product photos for you: you’ve got options.  some services allow you to hire a photographer “freelance style” who will come to your location or who already has a studio. these photographers vary greatly in price based on demand. availability. and experience. typically you’ll have an exchange with them before booking where they will lay out their requirements. another option is to work with a studio of creatives virtually. this means booking a shoot and shipping your products to the studio where they’ll be photographed by experts.  whether you’re in-person or virtual for your shoot: here’s a list of things you’ll definitely want to have prepared before the shoot begins.

{{shopify-ad="/external-components"}}

shot list
it’s exactly what it sounds like: a list of every shot you want to make sure to capture. for example: single product shots and group shots. different background colors. etc.

mood board
this is super helpful for any creatives working with you on your shoot because they’ll get an idea of your brand identity.  a mood board should involve signature brand colors and overall vibe— think about adding images you’re inspired by that aren’t necessarily from your own brand.

person of contact
if you’ve got more than one person on your team: you’ll want to establish a person of contact for any shoots. this is because questions can come up mid-shoot that need to be answered promptly. having a designated person of contact to make executive decisions and help advise the shoot can make it a smoother ride for your brand and result in more satisfactory images.

sample products
these are your best-of-the-best products free of any fingerprints or flaws — prepare them the way you’ll want your customers to see them in a high-resolution photo. it’s a good idea to send two of each product if you’re planning on getting some photos of the packaging and some of the product-in-use.

photoshoot prep considerations

a little bit of time spent preparing before a photoshoot goes a long way in ensuring a successful shoot. (psst: we have a thorough guide to photoshoot prep). consider that your product photos will be examined closely by anyone thinking about purchasing your product. so while an accidental fingerprint on your product package may seem harmless to you — it could look like sloppiness to your customer as they make purchasing decisions. it’s always worth a few extra minutes before and during your shoot to maintain a flawless appearance.

be different and get creative!

a creative photoshoot doesn’t mean it’s never been done before. taking inspiration from other images and making them your own is a great way to get creative inspiration.  for example: if you have a skincare brand — you’ve seen the IG feed of brands like Supergoop; bright & contrasted colors and natural faces. or Glossier; more neutral and rosy tones with “messy” flat lays. then there’s Aesop; industrial organic shapes and moody shadows. these are all well-established skincare brands. but it’s okay for you to choose one of those “vibes” and put a personal twist on it. take what you think informs your own brand identity — and leave the rest. at this step in gathering inspiration: you should be building a mood board (on an app like Pinterest or Canva, etc.) to keep track of your inspiration and direction.

let’s explore some of the specific steps you can take to make sure your photoshoot is prepped and ready for photos that will increase conversion and brand recognition.

do you need models?

models improve relatability of online marketing; remember that e-commerce customers are looking for a buying experience as close to IRL as they can get without being in a store. this means they want close-ups of fabric and functionality. but they also want to be able to picture themselves owning that product. if it’s apparel — it’s pretty easy to understand why you’d want to show it on a model. many apparel companies will even include details like “model is 5’6” wearing a size small” for context. but imagine you’re selling something like a mug. it’s not wearable; so why spend more money to hire a model? well — the presence of a model (or even just human hands holding a product) can increase sales — trust. reliability. and point of reference are all very important factors in the quest to simulate an IRL experience.  it’s worth paying a model or multiple models to humanize your business.  consider hiring models that reflect your target customer demographic (this means diverse and relatable models!) so that customers can see themselves belonging to the lifestyle your product provides.

do you need props?

consider what props you might want in your photos before the shoot begins. for many product pages: you’ll want a plain product-on-white shot. no props or colorful backgrounds needed. but you may want to consolidate your photo shoots and achieve multiple sets at once. do you want a few lifestyle photos with a palm leaf casting a moody shadow on your background for your hero image? how about the upcoming holiday — do you need some seasonal social media content? get your props sorted out so that either you or your stylist can prop shop beforehand.

how can you perfect your products?

pro-tip: a lint roller and/or a microfiber cloth work wonders for quickly removing imperfections as they arise during your shoot. handle your products with gloves if they’re easily smudged. and consider bringing or sending 2 of each product if you want to make sure you have all your bases covered. these tips don’t just apply to your products! also closely examine any props or backgrounds for blemishes to save yourself time editing later. and lastly — if you’re hiring models — make sure they’re clear on your expectations for appearance. should their nails be unpainted? should their hair be up or down? if you have a vision — communicate it beforehand!

jot down your shot list

create a shotlist that includes every photo you want to capture. whether you’re checking off boxes as you go through a DIY shoot or you’re sending it to a full service photography studio: your shot list will be a guide to make sure you’re not forgetting any important shots. for example: if you want photos for your product page as well as photos for your social media feed — your shot list might look like this.

  • product 1 on white background
  • product 2 on white background
  • products 1 and 2 together flat lay
  • product 1 with hand model
  • product 2 with hand model
  • etc. 

arrange your products

you’ve got total creative freedom with how product are arranged in your shoots!  again — for product pages you’ll want to seriously consider having the product alone on a white background. but for other scenes: get creative! here are some ideas for inspiration.

  • line up color options in rainbow order
  • have a model throwing various products in the air
  • create a flat lay with multiple related products
  • a shelfie
  • a lifestyle shoot with a “what’s in her bag” theme

select your background/setting

now consider what backgrounds you want to shoot! the possibilities are infinite: but here’s a quick list of backgrounds currently trending.

Shopify image nitty-gritty

Shopify does a lot of the work for you when building your ecomm website. but it doesn’t have perfect critical thinking skills. this means some of the decisions for file type. size. and format will be up to you. enter: Shopify image optimization (we’ve got an in-depth guide)

✨ image optimization means choosing an image that will be searchable. appropriate quality. and not so large that it slows down site loading times.

name your image file

your images folder might be full of names like “IMG_179585”. but when uploading to Shopify: you’ll want to name your photo specifically. think: what would I type into Google to find an image like this? and there’s a name! for example: “baby onesie pink stripes white background”. you don’t want to name your image with subjective words like “big sale adorable baby onesie”.

don't forget about alt text

alt img tags are used for accessibility and search purposes. if you have a potential customer who is visually impaired — what do you want to make sure they know about this image? they’ll need to know the color. size. material. use. and the name of your brand of course. your alt img tag should actually describe the photo it’s attached to in simple and thorough terms.  you also want to make sure you’re using commonly searched keywords that pertain to your photo.

in other words: keywords are good but buzzwords are bad.  if you have a model in your photo — you’ll also want to briefly describe the model.

size your image

the size of your image will affect resolution seen by the customer when they visit your site. but don’t just think bigger is better! too big will slow down your website load times which can cause viewers to swipe away. to find the perfect balance: check out this deep-dive on Shopify image sizing.

make sure image is formatted correctly

most Shopify images will fall into three image formats:

  • GIFs
  • JPEGs
  • PNGs

in addition to our guide on Shopify image optimization — Shopify itself actually has tons of resources to walk you through image format and coding to make sure your website functions optimally.

Shopify-compatible apps and tools

  1. TINYIMG

$0 – $4.99/month

4.9 🌟

TinyImg allows you to compress images without losing quality. with a free plan and a premium option: you can choose what’s best for your website’s needs.

  1. SEO SUITE

Free

4.9 🌟

SEO Suite is useful for SEO (search engine optimization). the app allows you to find the best keywords to include in file names and descriptions to boost your website on Google searches.

  1. ALT TEXT

$1.99/month

4.8 🌟

Alt Text is a short-cut for creating alt-text for your images. it’s a major time-saver!

  1. PAGE SPEED IMAGE OPTIMIZER

$0 – $19/month

4.7 🌟

this app allows you to customize the screen that appears when your page is loading.  so instead of the spinning wheel that triggers our flight or fight response (it’s usually flight)— it allows you to create a quirky or personalized loading page that builds rapport instead.

product photography best practices

now that we’ve covered photoshoot prep and technical specs for Shopify image uploading — let’s start shooting. below are best practices for e-commerce photography.

get equipped

modern smartphones make great photography accessible to anyone. in a pinch (and used along with these other best practices) an iPhone camera can achieve decent high-quality images. however — if you want to level up — there are ways you can equip yourself with great photography equipment on any budget.

  • DSLR camera (Nikon and Canon are two reliable competitors with great DSLR options)
  • lighting umbrella
  • backdrop
  • tripod
  • turntable (one that matches your aesthetic or a clear polycarbonate turntable so it doesn’t appear in photos) 

lighting on point

both natural light and artificial light have their advantages. consider what your setting and mood should be for your ecomm photos — and consider your budget for equipment — to make the best decision about which type of lighting you should utilize.

natural lighting

natural lighting is fickle. if you’re using it indoors: you’ll need to have time to set up your shoot near a well-lit window before the prime lighting happens. this can mean you’re in a bit of a time constraint. when shooting outdoors (often with things like lifestyle photos) you’re chasing that fleeting few minutes of golden hour or blue hour. outdoor sunlight can be really harsh in photos if the timing isn’t right.

✨ benefits of natural light:

  • free
  • romantic
  • gives photos a natural glow

artificial lighting

artificial lighting can obviously be more costly — but it offers you more control. you can shoot a brightly lit scene in the middle of the night with the right equipment. but don’t think just one bright light will suffice — that would actually cast harsh shadows on the backside of your product. so when purchasing artificial studio lights: you typically need multiple. it also can be time consuming to move lighting around and take test shots to find the best combination for your vision. however; if you have a lot of products or a long shoot: it might be worth the investment.

✨benefits of articulation light:

  • controllable
  • dynamic
  • can change colors
  • can create moving shadows (for GIFs, etc).

focus on your product

product photography is more than just point-and-shoot. there are some camera settings to consider depending on the size and type of product you’re capturing. you’ll want to adjust settings to ensure your product is in focus and the background is slightly out of focus to really make your product pop.

shoot every angle

BigCommerce and Square found that more product images is the #1 thing online shoppers want more of. additionally — 49% of respondents to a survey said not being able to touch/try a product was their least favorite part of online shopping. this means your product page should get as close to IRL as possible. how will you achieve this? photos from multiple angles — on models — using GIFs of your product in action — etc.

 

styling and arranging

try to jot down (and add to your shotlist) any ideas for arrangements and styling of your shoot. do you want swatches of a makeup product? how about a shirt styled tucked-in vs. out? if you’re doing group shots: which products do you want in the forefront? every little detail should be documented either to help you guide a DIY shoot or to advise professionals hired to take the photos for you.

alternative image types

while you do want to be thorough and make sure you have multiple angles of still images for your product pages — you also might consider some GIFs. 360-degree photos. or even videos of your products. this may be something you can knock out all in one shoot or it may take a few different shoots (with different equipment) to achieve all your goals.  either way: consider what type of movement you may want in a demonstration video or an Instagram Stories ad.  

✨for example: a video on your product page may be a simple 360-spin on a white background just to show all facets of your product. but an ad on social media might be more of a lifestyle shoot set in a living room with models.

choose a photo editing app

now that you’ve got all your photos captured: you’re working with a pile of raw images. raw images are usually not ready to publish yet. it’s typical to have some amount of editing necessary.  luckily — there are 6 simple photo-editing apps we think will make this step so much easier! check out our guide to make a choice for your budget and ability.

💡 here are some things to consider during edits:

  • fingerprints on packaging
  • reflection of camera in shiny objects
  • harsh shadows
  • orange-y lighting
  • distracting wrinkles in your backdrop
  • fun animations to add to your photos

upload strategically

now you’ve got your photos edited and ready to share. but what’s your strategy? for product photos used in your Shopify product pages: go ahead and upload as many as you’d like as quickly as you can! these can only add more information for your customers.

but let’s say you’ve taken a few seasonal shots and lifestyle photos as well. you don’t want to create clutter on your homepage by adding a Valentine’s day theme photo under your hero image of your spring collection for instance.  use tools to assess when your website traffic is highest and create a strategy for refreshing your content! do you want to change your photos on a monthly basis? how soon before a holiday do you want to market towards that holiday? how will you cross-post that content on social media to drive traffic? these are all things to consider once you’ve made it through the process of creating high-quality photos to make sure they work better for your brand.

scale your high-quality Shopify store content with soona

if you’re ready to collaborate with creative photographers and stylists for the Shopify product photography of your dreams — head to soona to kick start your store with our shopify launch pack.

if you have an e-commerce business: chances are — you’re familiar with Shopify. it’s a platform that makes building a website and selling your products and services online easy and streamlined. but to really make the most out of your Shopify site: you’ll need some tips on awesome product photography. equipment. and image optimization.  each step in the process from “i have a product to sell” to “ship to customer” is part of your brand identity and it should be represented in a high-quality Shopify page. consumers make a lot of quick judgments when shopping online (if you don’t impress them or grab their attention — something else will!) so ensuring your website offers a seamless and engaging journey for the customer is super important for your conversions.

high-quality photos are a must

statistics show that consumers rely on product photography to make decisions about purchasing products online more than any other factor.

  • Baymard Institute reports that 69% of digital carts are abandoned and 28% of those consumers cite inaccurate product photos as their main reason.
  • a study by BigCommerce and Square found that more images of products is the #1 thing online shoppers want more of — with 78% reporting that was the most important thing.

along with countless other studies on online consumer preferences— these two statistics demonstrate how crucial your product photography is. but don’t fret — it’s not as daunting as it sounds to create a high-quality Shopify page with great product images.  Shopify is designed for non-tech-savvy people to be able to design their website and sell their product without extensive knowledge of website building.

Shopify product photography: getting started

unless you’re already a pro photographer: you’ll need to get some basics ironed out before you can begin producing high-quality product photos for your Shopify site. the good news is: clear and eye-catching product photos are accessible to anyone with a smartphone. natural lighting. and some creativity.  we’ll cover how to achieve great product photography for every budget: whether you’re a DIY type or hiring a product photography studio to produce your images for you.

checklist for hiring a photography studio

when it comes to hiring creatives to shoot your product photos for you: you’ve got options.  some services allow you to hire a photographer “freelance style” who will come to your location or who already has a studio. these photographers vary greatly in price based on demand. availability. and experience. typically you’ll have an exchange with them before booking where they will lay out their requirements. another option is to work with a studio of creatives virtually. this means booking a shoot and shipping your products to the studio where they’ll be photographed by experts.  whether you’re in-person or virtual for your shoot: here’s a list of things you’ll definitely want to have prepared before the shoot begins.

{{shopify-ad="/external-components"}}

shot list
it’s exactly what it sounds like: a list of every shot you want to make sure to capture. for example: single product shots and group shots. different background colors. etc.

mood board
this is super helpful for any creatives working with you on your shoot because they’ll get an idea of your brand identity.  a mood board should involve signature brand colors and overall vibe— think about adding images you’re inspired by that aren’t necessarily from your own brand.

person of contact
if you’ve got more than one person on your team: you’ll want to establish a person of contact for any shoots. this is because questions can come up mid-shoot that need to be answered promptly. having a designated person of contact to make executive decisions and help advise the shoot can make it a smoother ride for your brand and result in more satisfactory images.

sample products
these are your best-of-the-best products free of any fingerprints or flaws — prepare them the way you’ll want your customers to see them in a high-resolution photo. it’s a good idea to send two of each product if you’re planning on getting some photos of the packaging and some of the product-in-use.

photoshoot prep considerations

a little bit of time spent preparing before a photoshoot goes a long way in ensuring a successful shoot. (psst: we have a thorough guide to photoshoot prep). consider that your product photos will be examined closely by anyone thinking about purchasing your product. so while an accidental fingerprint on your product package may seem harmless to you — it could look like sloppiness to your customer as they make purchasing decisions. it’s always worth a few extra minutes before and during your shoot to maintain a flawless appearance.

be different and get creative!

a creative photoshoot doesn’t mean it’s never been done before. taking inspiration from other images and making them your own is a great way to get creative inspiration.  for example: if you have a skincare brand — you’ve seen the IG feed of brands like Supergoop; bright & contrasted colors and natural faces. or Glossier; more neutral and rosy tones with “messy” flat lays. then there’s Aesop; industrial organic shapes and moody shadows. these are all well-established skincare brands. but it’s okay for you to choose one of those “vibes” and put a personal twist on it. take what you think informs your own brand identity — and leave the rest. at this step in gathering inspiration: you should be building a mood board (on an app like Pinterest or Canva, etc.) to keep track of your inspiration and direction.

let’s explore some of the specific steps you can take to make sure your photoshoot is prepped and ready for photos that will increase conversion and brand recognition.

do you need models?

models improve relatability of online marketing; remember that e-commerce customers are looking for a buying experience as close to IRL as they can get without being in a store. this means they want close-ups of fabric and functionality. but they also want to be able to picture themselves owning that product. if it’s apparel — it’s pretty easy to understand why you’d want to show it on a model. many apparel companies will even include details like “model is 5’6” wearing a size small” for context. but imagine you’re selling something like a mug. it’s not wearable; so why spend more money to hire a model? well — the presence of a model (or even just human hands holding a product) can increase sales — trust. reliability. and point of reference are all very important factors in the quest to simulate an IRL experience.  it’s worth paying a model or multiple models to humanize your business.  consider hiring models that reflect your target customer demographic (this means diverse and relatable models!) so that customers can see themselves belonging to the lifestyle your product provides.

do you need props?

consider what props you might want in your photos before the shoot begins. for many product pages: you’ll want a plain product-on-white shot. no props or colorful backgrounds needed. but you may want to consolidate your photo shoots and achieve multiple sets at once. do you want a few lifestyle photos with a palm leaf casting a moody shadow on your background for your hero image? how about the upcoming holiday — do you need some seasonal social media content? get your props sorted out so that either you or your stylist can prop shop beforehand.

how can you perfect your products?

pro-tip: a lint roller and/or a microfiber cloth work wonders for quickly removing imperfections as they arise during your shoot. handle your products with gloves if they’re easily smudged. and consider bringing or sending 2 of each product if you want to make sure you have all your bases covered. these tips don’t just apply to your products! also closely examine any props or backgrounds for blemishes to save yourself time editing later. and lastly — if you’re hiring models — make sure they’re clear on your expectations for appearance. should their nails be unpainted? should their hair be up or down? if you have a vision — communicate it beforehand!

jot down your shot list

create a shotlist that includes every photo you want to capture. whether you’re checking off boxes as you go through a DIY shoot or you’re sending it to a full service photography studio: your shot list will be a guide to make sure you’re not forgetting any important shots. for example: if you want photos for your product page as well as photos for your social media feed — your shot list might look like this.

  • product 1 on white background
  • product 2 on white background
  • products 1 and 2 together flat lay
  • product 1 with hand model
  • product 2 with hand model
  • etc. 

arrange your products

you’ve got total creative freedom with how product are arranged in your shoots!  again — for product pages you’ll want to seriously consider having the product alone on a white background. but for other scenes: get creative! here are some ideas for inspiration.

  • line up color options in rainbow order
  • have a model throwing various products in the air
  • create a flat lay with multiple related products
  • a shelfie
  • a lifestyle shoot with a “what’s in her bag” theme

select your background/setting

now consider what backgrounds you want to shoot! the possibilities are infinite: but here’s a quick list of backgrounds currently trending.

Shopify image nitty-gritty

Shopify does a lot of the work for you when building your ecomm website. but it doesn’t have perfect critical thinking skills. this means some of the decisions for file type. size. and format will be up to you. enter: Shopify image optimization (we’ve got an in-depth guide)

✨ image optimization means choosing an image that will be searchable. appropriate quality. and not so large that it slows down site loading times.

name your image file

your images folder might be full of names like “IMG_179585”. but when uploading to Shopify: you’ll want to name your photo specifically. think: what would I type into Google to find an image like this? and there’s a name! for example: “baby onesie pink stripes white background”. you don’t want to name your image with subjective words like “big sale adorable baby onesie”.

don't forget about alt text

alt img tags are used for accessibility and search purposes. if you have a potential customer who is visually impaired — what do you want to make sure they know about this image? they’ll need to know the color. size. material. use. and the name of your brand of course. your alt img tag should actually describe the photo it’s attached to in simple and thorough terms.  you also want to make sure you’re using commonly searched keywords that pertain to your photo.

in other words: keywords are good but buzzwords are bad.  if you have a model in your photo — you’ll also want to briefly describe the model.

size your image

the size of your image will affect resolution seen by the customer when they visit your site. but don’t just think bigger is better! too big will slow down your website load times which can cause viewers to swipe away. to find the perfect balance: check out this deep-dive on Shopify image sizing.

make sure image is formatted correctly

most Shopify images will fall into three image formats:

  • GIFs
  • JPEGs
  • PNGs

in addition to our guide on Shopify image optimization — Shopify itself actually has tons of resources to walk you through image format and coding to make sure your website functions optimally.

Shopify-compatible apps and tools

  1. TINYIMG

$0 – $4.99/month

4.9 🌟

TinyImg allows you to compress images without losing quality. with a free plan and a premium option: you can choose what’s best for your website’s needs.

  1. SEO SUITE

Free

4.9 🌟

SEO Suite is useful for SEO (search engine optimization). the app allows you to find the best keywords to include in file names and descriptions to boost your website on Google searches.

  1. ALT TEXT

$1.99/month

4.8 🌟

Alt Text is a short-cut for creating alt-text for your images. it’s a major time-saver!

  1. PAGE SPEED IMAGE OPTIMIZER

$0 – $19/month

4.7 🌟

this app allows you to customize the screen that appears when your page is loading.  so instead of the spinning wheel that triggers our flight or fight response (it’s usually flight)— it allows you to create a quirky or personalized loading page that builds rapport instead.

product photography best practices

now that we’ve covered photoshoot prep and technical specs for Shopify image uploading — let’s start shooting. below are best practices for e-commerce photography.

get equipped

modern smartphones make great photography accessible to anyone. in a pinch (and used along with these other best practices) an iPhone camera can achieve decent high-quality images. however — if you want to level up — there are ways you can equip yourself with great photography equipment on any budget.

  • DSLR camera (Nikon and Canon are two reliable competitors with great DSLR options)
  • lighting umbrella
  • backdrop
  • tripod
  • turntable (one that matches your aesthetic or a clear polycarbonate turntable so it doesn’t appear in photos) 

lighting on point

both natural light and artificial light have their advantages. consider what your setting and mood should be for your ecomm photos — and consider your budget for equipment — to make the best decision about which type of lighting you should utilize.

natural lighting

natural lighting is fickle. if you’re using it indoors: you’ll need to have time to set up your shoot near a well-lit window before the prime lighting happens. this can mean you’re in a bit of a time constraint. when shooting outdoors (often with things like lifestyle photos) you’re chasing that fleeting few minutes of golden hour or blue hour. outdoor sunlight can be really harsh in photos if the timing isn’t right.

✨ benefits of natural light:

  • free
  • romantic
  • gives photos a natural glow

artificial lighting

artificial lighting can obviously be more costly — but it offers you more control. you can shoot a brightly lit scene in the middle of the night with the right equipment. but don’t think just one bright light will suffice — that would actually cast harsh shadows on the backside of your product. so when purchasing artificial studio lights: you typically need multiple. it also can be time consuming to move lighting around and take test shots to find the best combination for your vision. however; if you have a lot of products or a long shoot: it might be worth the investment.

✨benefits of articulation light:

  • controllable
  • dynamic
  • can change colors
  • can create moving shadows (for GIFs, etc).

focus on your product

product photography is more than just point-and-shoot. there are some camera settings to consider depending on the size and type of product you’re capturing. you’ll want to adjust settings to ensure your product is in focus and the background is slightly out of focus to really make your product pop.

shoot every angle

BigCommerce and Square found that more product images is the #1 thing online shoppers want more of. additionally — 49% of respondents to a survey said not being able to touch/try a product was their least favorite part of online shopping. this means your product page should get as close to IRL as possible. how will you achieve this? photos from multiple angles — on models — using GIFs of your product in action — etc.

 

styling and arranging

try to jot down (and add to your shotlist) any ideas for arrangements and styling of your shoot. do you want swatches of a makeup product? how about a shirt styled tucked-in vs. out? if you’re doing group shots: which products do you want in the forefront? every little detail should be documented either to help you guide a DIY shoot or to advise professionals hired to take the photos for you.

alternative image types

while you do want to be thorough and make sure you have multiple angles of still images for your product pages — you also might consider some GIFs. 360-degree photos. or even videos of your products. this may be something you can knock out all in one shoot or it may take a few different shoots (with different equipment) to achieve all your goals.  either way: consider what type of movement you may want in a demonstration video or an Instagram Stories ad.  

✨for example: a video on your product page may be a simple 360-spin on a white background just to show all facets of your product. but an ad on social media might be more of a lifestyle shoot set in a living room with models.

choose a photo editing app

now that you’ve got all your photos captured: you’re working with a pile of raw images. raw images are usually not ready to publish yet. it’s typical to have some amount of editing necessary.  luckily — there are 6 simple photo-editing apps we think will make this step so much easier! check out our guide to make a choice for your budget and ability.

💡 here are some things to consider during edits:

  • fingerprints on packaging
  • reflection of camera in shiny objects
  • harsh shadows
  • orange-y lighting
  • distracting wrinkles in your backdrop
  • fun animations to add to your photos

upload strategically

now you’ve got your photos edited and ready to share. but what’s your strategy? for product photos used in your Shopify product pages: go ahead and upload as many as you’d like as quickly as you can! these can only add more information for your customers.

but let’s say you’ve taken a few seasonal shots and lifestyle photos as well. you don’t want to create clutter on your homepage by adding a Valentine’s day theme photo under your hero image of your spring collection for instance.  use tools to assess when your website traffic is highest and create a strategy for refreshing your content! do you want to change your photos on a monthly basis? how soon before a holiday do you want to market towards that holiday? how will you cross-post that content on social media to drive traffic? these are all things to consider once you’ve made it through the process of creating high-quality photos to make sure they work better for your brand.

scale your high-quality Shopify store content with soona

if you’re ready to collaborate with creative photographers and stylists for the Shopify product photography of your dreams — head to soona to kick start your store with our shopify launch pack.

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