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E-Commerce for Beginners: Product Photography Mistakes That May Cost You Sales
Posted Dec 14, 2018 by Lina Vashurina, Ecwid Team

E-Commerce for Beginners: Product Photography Mistakes That May Cost You Sales

When shopping online, people strongly rely on pictures. 22% of online shoppers return products because the items looked different in the picture. That’s why product photography is so important.

From our experience at Ecwid, we’ve noticed that many beginner businesses make the same photography mistakes. Luckily, they are very easy to fix — and we’re here to help.

This post is not about pro photo editing tips: on the contrary, you’ll learn how to make a simple but quality picture that will actually sell your stuff. So, before you announce your grand opening, be sure to avoid the following faux pas.

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Product Photography Mistake #1: Poor Background

A poor background distracts the attention away from the product and makes the picture look amateurish.

Product photography mistake: background


Make sure your background doesn’t draw attention away like here

When in doubt about what background to choose, stick to plain white. For small products, use a sheet of paper and a couple of clips; for bigger products, use thick cloth or a white wall.

Product Photography Mistake #2: Blurry Pictures

It may sound obvious, but lots of merchants still make this mistake. Bad-quality pictures don’t allow customers to get a proper view of a product.

product photography mistakes blur


Blurry or unfocused images won’t make sales

Keep an eye out for blur at every step of your photo session:

  • Make sure the lense is clean
  • Focus your camera on the product before shooting
  • Hold it tight and use a stabilizer
  • Don’t shoot too close to the product
  • If you resize or crop your pics to optimize them for the web, double-check the quality of the final images.

Product Photography Mistake #3: Extra Stuff in the Picture

Multiple products in a picture can look good if:

  • They are of the same type so it’s clear what you sell exactly on this product page
  • You arrange them in a flattering way.

However, if you’re just starting out, composing your images can be tough. When playing with angles, keep an eye out for accidental distractions from the item you’re trying to present.

Product photography mistakes extra


The other cup obviously shouldn’t be in the picture

It’s best to have some air around your product too: even if something gets in your shot (pet owners will get this), you’ll be able to crop the image later.

Product Photography Mistake #4: Poor Lighting

Сheck out the examples below: in the first case, the image is too dark; in the second case, it’s too bright. Both pictures are unflattering to the product.

Product photography mistakes light

One of the basic photography tips for beginners is to shoot in daylight. Artificial lighting can be aggressive, cause hard shadows, or make your images look too warm. Natural light in the morning or at sunset is soft and bright enough to flatter your products.

Product Photography Mistake #5: Bad Angle

In the example below, you can’t see the picture on a product and whether it has a handle — you don’t know what the item actually looks like.

Product photography mistakes angle


The actual shape and size of this cup are not clear

That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t play with angles. On the contrary, a creative and unexpected composition in your product images can bring fun to the shopping process. Just make sure you display the most important features of your product in the main picture, and add more pictures in the gallery.

Product Photography Mistake #6: Different Ratios

The first picture in the example below is rectangular, and the second is square:

Product photography mistakes ratio

Just like with angles, there’s nothing wrong with combining different ratios, but that’s more of a pro play. If you’re a newcomer to e-commerce, it can be challenging to design such a layout. So you may end up with your product grid being hard to navigate and confusing. The human brain is constantly looking for patterns, so help your customers browse your store by making your product catalog symmetric.

If you use Ecwid E-Commerce for your online shopping cart, it automatically adapts your pics ratio to the grid you’ve selected:

Ecwid storefront design options square


Square ratio

Ecwid storefront design options  portrait


Portrait ratio

Ecwid storefront design options landscape


Landscape ratio

Learn more about design options in Ecwid: New Ecwid Design Settings: Dozens of Customization Options, No Coding

A Checklist for a Solid Product Picture

Okay, it’s time to review your product images. Look for:

  • A neutral white background;
  • High resolution and proper focus;
  • No other items in the picture;
  • Soft natural light;
  • The picture represent the product realistically;
  • More images of different angles in the gallery;
  • Consistent ratio.

Great product photography 32

Product photos can be as simple or sophisticated as you want. But to make product pictures sell, it can be enough to indicate your product’s best features in your shots and stick to a quality image. The rest comes with time and experience.

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About the author
Lina is a content creator at Ecwid. She writes to inspire and educate readers on all things commerce. She loves to travel and runs marathons.