Does your product imagery answer these questions? | Preparing for your e-commerce product photography

Part of a great client experience is predicting the questions that your customers will have and answering them before they have to ask. When building your shot list, you need to be thinking about all the questions a customer may have about your product and using the images to answer these questions. Depending on your product, answering some of the below questions with your imagery may or may not apply, but asking yourself these questions will be very helpful in producing images of your product that will help them sell well on e-commerce sites like Etsy, Fair, Hello Abound, or your very own Shopify website.

Of course these images aren’t the only important component of your product listing, the images are meant to accompany & compliment a great product description. But some people are just not going to read (yeah, I know!)…so make it easy for them with high quality images that answer all the questions they may have. 

What is this product?

This one is rather simple, make sure you have a clear, high quality image of your product that clearly shows what your product is. Make sure not to have competing products or props in your image that may have your customer questioning what it is they’re buying. 

How will I use this product?

Think about ways that you can portray how your product will be used and the problem that your product will solvel…or better yet, how will the product make your customer’s life easier. This is a great place for lifestyle photography, showing your product in use.

A great example of this is, if you sell art products, placing your art in mockups of it hanging in a livingroom is a great way to show how your product is used so that they can imagine it in their own home. 

Yellow Brick Road specializes in personalized goods and has a line of dog bandanas. Laid out on a white surface, it’s just a piece of fabric, but showing how they’re used (on a dog) adds great value to the product and answers so many questions about what this product is.

How big is this product?

How many times have you bought something online and you received it in the mail and it was soooo much smaller than you thought it was going to be? Showing how big your product is can be a great question to answer for most products. A great way to do this is photographing it relative to a human since we are all familiar with how large an adult or child human is, whether it be a body or something as simple as a hand. Another way to show size is against a ruler, especially with smaller objects (think QVC jewelry segment…hey hey no judgment, I watched it a lot with my grandmother).

Hopscotch Sidewalk Chalk sells boutique chalk for children and putting their product in context of children’s hands was essential to their product photography.

What is this product made of?

If it is important to showcase what your product is made of–recycled materials, non-toxic ingredients, etc.–then including images of the materials that you use to create your product may be useful to add value to your audience. You could use your ingredients as props in your photographs or a simple layflat to seamlessly include them in your images. 

Night and Daye Studio thought it was really important to highlight the ingredients that she uses in her spa products to not only show people she uses high quality materials, but to also give context to the scents she offers.

Are there any other variations of this product to choose from?

Do you offer other variations like colors or finishes of the same product? It’s helpful to include these different variations in one photograph so that customers can easily compare their options side by side. If you can’t gather the objects in one photograph, consider having an image of each option that is very consistent from one image to another. 

Clothed with Truth offers two different types of Silver finishes for their cuff bangles, shown here is the brushed and polished silver options for clients to select from.
Kara Anne & Co. offers two different paper colors for her stationery suites, showing them side by side helps her clients decide which paper they prefer.

What does this product look like from different angles?

Making sure to include images of your product from different angles may be very helpful to clients when making decisions about your product. Does your product have a one of a kind backing that adds value to the customer? Or does the detail of your sculpture continue to the back? If so, consider adding 2-3 images to your carousel of photographs that show some of the details that cannot be seen from just the front.

This series of images show the different parts (angles) of the My French Xpress, also answering questions of customers how they’ll use this travel mug.

What does the product look like up close?

Adding macro shots of your product’s details may be useful when customers are wondering about the texture or materials of your product. Many times a photographer has to use a specialty macro lens to create these images, so make sure to include them in your shot list. 

meet Gari-Ann

Gari-Ann Kia is an accomplished Branding and Product Photographer with a passion for helping creatives and professionals elevate their brand by showcasing their product, promoting their services, or simply enhancing their brand image. Gari-Ann's expertise in branding and product photography will help you stand out from the crowd. With years of experience in the field, Gari-Ann has honed her skills and developed a unique approach to visual storytelling that resonates with her clients and their target audience to help them stand out from the crowd.

Gari-Ann currently lives in the Washington DC area with her husband and two children. She enjoys traveling with her family, some of their favorite destinations have been Santorini, Wanaka, Paris, & Aix en Provence. In her free time, Gari-Ann enjoys giving back to her community by supporting fellow military spouses & their families and mentoring other small business owners.

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