If you sell products or share recipes online, having photos of the items is a must. And trust me, your readers want to see photos that are appealing!
With so many other businesses vying for your customers attention, having great photos can set you apart and convince someone your ‘item’ is a higher quality and worth the price.
Here are 5 key things you can ask yourself before posting a picture of your item online.
1. What are you selling and who are you selling to?
Selling prints? Show them framed on a wall. Selling a necklace? Show how it can be worn by using a live person/model. Sharing a recipe? Show what the item looks like once made.
Think of yourself as the potential customer, and photograph what you would want to see if you were buying or making that item.
2. Am I showing the details and selling the story that sets my product apart?
Your materials may be higher quality…your stitching may be tighter…your cardstock may be thicker… don’t leave out these details in your photos. These are the things you want to visually show as well as mention in the description of your item to attract your customer.
3. How’s the lighting?
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Is the photo dark, blurry, overexposed, a funky color, hard to read? Good lighting and focus are key! I’m primarily a natural-light photographer. I tend to shoot either indoors next to a window or outdoors – which leaves me with very little, if any, post photo corrections.
Note: There are tutorials online for homemade light boxes for artificial light photography, I previously did a DIY – Product Photography post if you would like to consider this option.
4. What angle gives the most interest to your product?
While it can be really hard to find the absolute right angle to shoot your item with, there are three basic angles I ALWAYS try first when shooting a subject: Straight On, Straight Above, and at a 90 degree angle.
I shot straight on for the main photo above. The sliders look delicious and you can still see the background props, which add some color and help convey the story (of how yummy these sliders are accompanied with a nice cold frothy beer!)
Move around. Show things open and closed, front and back. Don’t leave a customer wondering, because that leaves them room to find an alternative from another shop!
5. Am I seeing the product or the props?
Your item should not have to compete with the background. Leave the flowery, busy, overpowering background behind, and stick to neutral backgrounds and a few modest props…unless the flowery, busy, overpowering background or props are what you are selling!
Note: It’s good to have the same background for a variety of items in your online shop – this will give you an attractive, cohesive, and consistent look that intentionally keeps the focus on your products!
In a future post, I’ll share some of the inexpensive surfaces and background props I use that are very handy for this. But for now, I hope these product photography tips help you develop the story you want to tell.
An added bonus: Here’s the recipe I created for the Spicy Jalapeno Burger Sliders product shot for this post…And what I’ll be serving at our Super Bowl 2014 party – go Seahawks!
Easy to eat out of hand, sliders make great party food! Slathered with sauce or garnished modestly, this mini burger is a delight for the appetizer line-up…or can be served two or more per person as a main course.
I made the burgers with lean beef (but chicken is yummy too), and loved having the slight jalapeno kick – without having to slice and dice jalapenos!
Note: Whether you make them with lean beef, turkey, chicken, veggie burgers and use another cheese of choice… it’s fun to modify them however you wish!
Spicy Jalapeno Burger Sliders
Author: Your Marketing BFF
Prep time: 10 mins Cook time: 6-10 mins Total time: 20 mins or less Serves: 4-8
- cooking spray
- pinch kosher salt and pepper, to taste
- 1 1/2 lbs (93% lean) beef patties
- 12 oz Kraft Philadelphia Spicy Jalapeno Cream Cheese
- 8 slices Muenster cheese
- 8 pretzel rolls (or other roll of choice for slider buns)
1. Heat a skillet or grill over high heat. When hot, spray with oil and add the patties. Season with salt and pepper and cook a few minutes on each side, to your desired liking. Add the cheese and cover; cook to melt, about 30 seconds.
2. Place the cooked burgers on the bun. Top each burger with 2 tablespoons of cream cheese.