Product Photo Tips for your Website

Here are a few quick tips on creating better product photos for your website.

Good shots mean less editing.

  • Use a tripod. A tripod with approximately the same settings at the same location will give you the same camera position for every photo, set to set. Experiment to find a shooting distance and angle that works for a variety of subject sizes and note your settings.
  • Move the subject rather than the camera to shoot 3/4 views. Penciling some subtle guide marks on the subject platform provides consistency between products. Use zoom to frame smaller subjects. Focus on shot composition – your goal is no cropping when editing.
  • Shoot at lower resolutions. Set your camera resolution to approx. 2.5 megapixels; 1920×1280 or closest setting. There is no quality advantage to shooting at higher resolutions and you don’t need (or want) images larger than this for your purposes. Lower resolution images are smaller in file size, faster to transfer, and easier to edit.
  • Add some light. If you have the space, consider a lighted photo box large enough for your subjects.
  • Use neutral colored backgrounds.  Bright colors will be reflected, tinting your subjects. This will be highly visible if you remove backgrounds from your photos.

Every image requires some minimal processing for the web.

  • Learn how to perform the basics. Every photo should be processed through your editing software “Save for Web” settings to compress the image and reduce file size. This is important for the speed of your website as well as search engine performance.
  • Resize larger images to a common standard size. This means every product image has the same uniform standard width and height. I recommend either 1920×1280 (camera standard 4:3) or 1920×1080 (HD standard 16:9).
  • If you need to manually crop a photo, maintain the aspect ratio of the image and resize to the common standard image size to maintain consistency.
  • Add a watermark if you need to brand images as your own. This is a transparent layer applied over each image containing a logo or other marks for identification.
  • Learn some tricks. The time spent learning how to batch process sets of images in your editor will pay for itself the first time you do it! Entire directories of images can be resized, watermarked, and compressed with only one set of commands.